Emmanuel Sanders talks Chad Morris, visit to Moody
By: Demetrio Teniente
He sat along the baseline closest to the SMU bench- what has become the customary seat for celebrities and professional athletes that attend games.
Whenever he got up and moved around the coliseum, he made sure to stop for every photo request from fans. It was certainly a warm welcome for the former SMU stand-out and the atmosphere of the renovated Moody was almost overwhelming for him.
“It is awesome man,” said Sanders. “I love it. Obviously I haven’t had the opportunity to come back often, but with the love and appreciation for SMU athletics that I have its always good to come back. I definitely enjoyed it.”
Sanders had the opportunity to meet with new football head coach Chad Morris during the game.
Having been a player in the SMU football program and now being an NFL player, sanders has dealt with a wider spectrum of coaches than high school recruits or current collegiate athletes.
And even with his experience with coaches like Mike Tomlin and John Fox, Sanders was impressed with Morris.
“We talked about how he was going to bring this program to the next level,” Sanders said. “He wants it really bad and I want it really bad and I think the SMU community wants to see it too. You know, you have a guy that is coming into the program that has a lot of energy, has an up tempo offense, is faster about what he does and has a lot of high school ties. I think that SMU did a really good job in hiring him.”
During the second half, just before SMU made it’s comeback run, Sanders was show on the big screen and was greeted loudly and adoringly by Moody.
Sanders waved, smiled and eventually stood up to accept the love from his former school. While the wide receiver would have undoubtedly received a warm welcome based on his achievements as a Mustang alone, his success with the Broncos this past season has elevated his level of celebrity enough that Moody was much louder than normal for a returning Mustang.
This past season, Sanders caught 101 passes for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns for Denver. While he noticed the change in fans reactions and how they approached him, he couldn’t help but see it more as part of a change sweeping through SMU sports fan culture than his NFL success.
“It’s fun,” he said. “But I want to see SMU on top. Not just academically but also athletically. I think that is the goal for everyone- just ask Cole Beasley, Sterling Moore and all those guys. That’s the main objective and we are looking forward to doing whatever we can to put our hands in that pile and make that dream come true.”
2016 Oklahoma guard getting major interest from SMU
By: Patrick Engel
Leave it to SMU to offer a player from Mustang (Okla.) High School. Larry Brown offered 2016 Mustang guard Jakolby Long at the end of the summer and has kept building a relationship with him.
“Coach Brown and coach K.T. (Turner) came to my school about two or three weeks ago,” Long said. “They talked with me and I’m still pretty interested. I like their style of play and their coach, the way they play defense and how they get down the floor in transition.”
Long estimates that SMU has come to watch him two or three times this season. He can play both point guard and two-guard, and he said coach Brown likes the versatility.
Long hasn’t seen much of SMU before, but plans to get to Dallas soon.
“I think I’m going to take a visit after playoffs,” Long said.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Long listed offers from SMU, Oklahoma State, Wichita State, Ole Miss, Missouri, Kansas State, Missouri State and Tulsa. He said Oklahoma State, Tulsa and Missouri State have been talking to him the most recently, but he is keeping all options open right now.
“Right now it’s pretty equal,” Long said. “I’ll probably make more decisions by the end of the summer. Me and my family will make the best decision for me. Most (important) in a school, I look for the coaches and how they’d treat me, and the style of play.”
Long plays AAU for Athletes First and also is a football player.
2017 athlete talks new SMU offer
By: Patrick Engel
Signing day is passed and SMU has turned its attention to 2016 players and junior day invites, but that hasn’t stopped Chad Morris and staff from offering a few 2017 players. Bremond (Texas) High School athlete Roshauud Paul grabbed an offer, his first, from SMU running backs coach Claude Mathis earlier this week.
“It felt really good. This is a big time thing for me coming from a small school, getting that first offer. I was really excited; me and my head coach had a good long hug after it happened. It’s an experience like no other.”
Paul said he and Mathis have been talking for a couple weeks and has enjoyed learning about SMU.
I see a lot of good stuff about coach Mathis. He’s a guy I really like,” Paul said. “He’s been talking about how he came from a small school just like me. He’s been telling me how I should come and see the school.”
While Paul and Mathis are developing a strong relationship, Paul said the entire coaching staff is his favorite part about SMU.
“The new coaching staff is really strong. They’re a lot of great guys and so many that I like,” Paul said. “(Chad Morris’ hiring), it really piqued me interest. It put them on the map. He’s a really good coach and someone I really like.”
Paul will visit SMU for the spring game on April 18, and said he might go to the junior day that same weekend.
“They’ve been analyzing my film a lot, so I’ll see how that goes,” Paul said.”
Paul led Bremond to a 15-0 season and the Class 2A state championship. He plays quarterback defensive back, but SMU is looking at him as a quarterback/athlete. He is 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds.
2017 Plano East linebacker makes unofficial visit
By: Scott Sanford
Coming off a 1-11 season, it’s hard for some to believe that a high school player with 63 offers would even be considering the SMU Mustangs.
But don’t put anything past this new SMU coaching staff.
With their 2015 recruiting class signed, sealed and delivered, the staff has started to focus on future classes, and not just the 2016 class.
On Monday, the Mustangs hosted arguably the most sought-after player in the 2017 class in Plano East linebacker Anthony Hines.
The 6-foot-3, 224-pound was on the Hilltop for his second unofficial visit with the new staff where he toured what is currently left of the old facilities.
“They were moved out of their normal facilities because of the construction, so they showed me the construction, and of course the stadium and the team rooms,” Hines said. “It was kind of hard to go through because there was so much construction, so mostly I just talked with the coaches, had good conversations and built relationships.”
Building relationships is something Hines has focused in on with the SMU staff as he tries to get to know his potential future coaches.
I’m currently building extremely close relationships with Coach Morris, Coach Malone and Coach Mac (McDaniel), and I look forward to building them even more as we move forward,” Hines said. “I can sense the energy within this new staff and they are totally going to flip this thing around.”
Hines said that SMU’s proximity to his home is definitely a reason he visits so often, and a reason he’s seriously considering the Mustangs.
“It (SMU) is fantastic. Since it’s so close, I’ve been so many times. The campus is extremely impressive,” Hines said. “The have a top-5 business school, and I look to major in finance, so that’s a huge plus. They also have the new facilities coming in in the next few years, and it’s just going to be a great place.”
When it comes to finding his perfect school, however, Hines is looking for the full package.
Really just a place that fits me,” Hines said. “Not only on the field, but off the field; socially and academically.”
With 63 offers, Hines plans to cut that number in half in the near future, and he doesn’t have a set day when he will release that list, but when asked if SMU will make the cut he said, “I’m sure they will.”
College coaches undoubtedly like what they see from Hines through his two years of high school, but the linebacker knows there’s always work to be done and is focused on being the best he can be.
“I’m really just improving my knowledge for the game and just continue to get stronger and faster so that I can go out and perform as good as I ever have,” Hines said.
SMU extends offer to 3-star West Mesquite TE/WR
2016 West Mesquite HS (Tex.) wide receiver Donte Coleman was speaking to the coaching staff for the first time Wednesday when they offered him a chance to join the Hilltop as a part of their next class.
“Coach Morris reached out to me this morning and his offensive coordinator reached out to me this morning and they offered this morning,” Coleman said, “They reached out to me and said they liked what they saw on tape and it was a really good conversation.”
Coleman was thrilled to get the offer and sees SMU as an opportunity to join a program that is growing, while playing in a good offense.
“The SMU offer means a lot because that program, that’s an upcoming program on the rise and especially with the offense, that’s big, and I’m excited to watch them,” Coleman said.
Coleman has been to SMU a couple of times already but he is looking forward to coming to SMU soon to get a more in depth look.
“I’ve been out there before but I haven’t really got to see a good picture of the school so I’m looking forward to just meeting the coaches and just seeing the campus and touring the facilities,” Coleman said.
The 6-3, 215-pound Mesquite receiver does not have any sort of rankings yet but is rather just enjoying the process.
“I haven’t really ranked anyone yet I’m still deciding,” Coleman said while also touching on the recruiting experience as a whole, “It’s busy but it’s been really good, it’s really good.”
Coleman does not have a date set for a visit yet but given his proximity, he will be visiting in the near future.
“SMU is right down the street so I can go there anytime, I am looking forward to it though.”
2017 running back picks up first offer from SMU
By: Andrew Hattersley
2017 Stephenville HS (Tex.) running back Kaegun Williams picked up his first offer Thursday and it came from new head coach Chad Morris.
“The offer meant that those coaches saw some kind of potential in me and I’m truly thankful for that,” Williams said.
The 5-9, 180-pound back admitted the offer held a special place in his heart because it was his first. Williams has also been familiar with SMU a while after his uncle attended SMU.
“From what I understand it’s a good school to go to because there are a lot of alumni that make sure that after school you’re doing something good in your life,” Williams said, “No matter what it takes, what you put into school in the end will end up getting you a good job.”
Williams says he’s spoken mostly to coach Morris and that the new coach is excited about what he’d be able to do on the Hilltop if he came to SMU.
“He just said he was really excited just to see me and see how I would fare at SMU,” Williams said.
The Stephenville running backs’ hopes for SMU are also bright, although he admitted it might take a year or two.
“I think it’s going to be a good coaching staff, I think at first not perfect but I’m sure it will get a lot better,” Williams said.
Williams has still got a couple of years to develop and in those years hopes to become a three down back instead of just being used in special situations.
“I’m pretty elusive and shifty but I’m trying to work on gaining weight and increasing my speed at the same time,” Williams said, “I want to be not just a scat-back but more of an all-purpose back and have power but at the same time I can run away from you or juke you at the same time.”
Williams also picked up an offer from Tulsa Friday morning.
SMU impressed by 2016 defensive back
By: Scott Sanford
The SMU staff continues to make its way through the 2016 class, this time reaching out to the coaching staff at Cedar Hill about defensive back Eric Sutton.
While the staff has not had direct contact with Sutton, Cedar Hill head coach Joey McGuire and the SMU coaches have had a few conversations about the 5-foot-11, 165-pound junior.
Sutton does not hold any offers right now, but Coach McGuire informed him that an SMU offer could be on its way in the next month.
Sutton doesn’t know much about SMU yet, but his coach has talked to him about Chad Morris and his reputation as a coach.
“When he (Chad Morris) first got hired, our head coach, Coach McGuire, talked to me and told me he’s a great coach,” Sutton said. “He used to coach at Clemson, and from what I’ve seen I think I would like him.”
Sutton was hoping to meet the SMU coaching staff soon, but with track season picking up, it will likely be another month before the junior finally gets to visit the Hilltop.
Having just moved from Southern California, Sutton is a big fan of the city lifestyle, which is something he is looking for in a college.
“I just like being in the city a lot, and being around fans that like college football a lot,” Sutton said. “My top thing is academics obviously though. That’s very important.”