The Hilltop Review 2/27

Come inside another jam packed Hilltop Review for all the latest SMU recruiting news!

Kimball defensive lineman picks up SMU offer

By: Scott Sanford

2016 Dallas Kimball (Tex.) defensive tackle Demerick Gary left SMU junior day with a completely different impression of the Mustangs’ football program.

“It was pretty cool,” Gary said. “I liked how they are redoing everything, the new uniforms and the new staff there, and I like what they’re trying to change SMU into.”

Gary had the opportunity to talk with Coach Morris on junior day, and the new head coach spent that time telling Gary why he wants him to be a part of SMU. Gary also had the chance to talk with his position coach, Coach Wyatt, who he has already formed a nice bond with.

“I have a good connection with Coach Wyatt,” Gary explained. “We talk almost everyday so we’ve been able to form a really nice connection.”

Not only did Gary enjoy his time with the staff, but he also enjoyed seeing the facilities and amenities SMU has to offer as a school.

“It’s just a nice campus. I’m from the other side of town in Dallas so it’s different for me, but it’s a nice place,” Gary said. “The surroundings, the mall—it’s just a great place to be around. Another thing that impressed me was Dallas Hall and all the history from that building on campus.”

While the 6-foot-3, 245-pound junior was impressed by the coaching staff, facilities and overall environment on the Hilltop, Gary left junior day with no offer from the Mustangs.

That changed on Wednesday when Gary called SMU defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt.

“I called him and we were just talking, then he said he really liked my style of play, he really liked me as a person, and he liked me as a player,” Gary said. “Coach Morris and Coach Malone were really excited about me so they were going to go ahead and offer me. It’s just a blessing.”

Gary’s SMU offer was his fourth. Arkansas State, Texas State and Stephen F. Austin have also offered Gary, and the defensive tackle is receiving interest from Rice, Houston, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Nevada, UTSA and Oklahoma State.

The Dallas native did say that he “really likes” SMU, but it is too early to say where they stand compared to the other schools that have offered him.

Now that the Mustangs have offered him, Gary, who lives just 15 minutes away from campus, plans on spending as much time as he can on campus.

“I’ll probably be at the spring game and I’ll probably be at some spring practices,” Gary said. “Coach Morris and Coach Wyatt said I can come up any time I want to so I’ll definitely be up there more.”


Arlington Bowie wide receiver talks SMU interest

By: Andrew Hattersley

Just a few weeks after receiving an offer from SMU, Bowie HS (Tex.) wide receiver Anthony Hawkins was at SMU for their junior day.

“Junior day at SMU was nice they had practically everything, they told me everything about their system, everything they had to provide, they told me about their journalism program and basically its just a good school altogether,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins was especially impressed with the facilities at SMU, including the little bit of entertainment that was provided in the locker room by SMU.

“The facilities were nice, top of the line,” Hawkins said, “They have a nice campus, they have a nice weight room and the locker room was nice, they had a personal DJ in the locker room, they let me put on a couple of uniforms and take pictures it was nice.”

Despite many prospective students being impressed with the facilities, the coaching staff has told recruits they plan to upgrade the facilities in the future. This fact was hard for Hawkins to imagine.

“The locker room was very nice, but they told me they were getting ready to rip that up and build a new facility and I was like wow how does it get any better than this,” Hawkins said.

Along with an offer from SMU, Hawkins also holds offers from Texas State and Arkansas State but says he is still open to everything despite being impressed with SMU.

“I really look to the education first, I look at what they have to offer me as a football player and I would have to sit down and make a decision then but as of right now I’m just keeping my options open and I’m just thankful to have this opportunity,” Hawkins said.

In recent weeks, Hawkins has not been in much communication with the SMU program other than getting his offer, something that caught the Bowie receiver a little off guard.

“They actually haven’t talked to me a lot except for right after I got offered, like I got offered, they spoke to me for like that next day or two, with like the itinerary with what was going on and where to go, that’s pretty much all we spoke about,” Hawkins said, “Not a lot, I think they check in but I really haven’t heard a lot from them since the offer so I was surprised.”

Hawkins had to leave the junior day early because of a track meet but the 5-11, 180-pound receiver hopes to return for SMU’s spring game to experience the full atmosphere.

“I picked up a calendar when I was there and they said they their spring game is April 18th so I think I’m going to come to spring practices and the spring game because I actually had to leave junior day early because I had a track meet,” Hawkins said, “I really want to visit again to see everything I didn’t get to see, I walked around a little bit because I was a little lost but I want to come back and see the whole campus and see how they are in pads.”

Whether Hawkins chooses to attend SMU or not is far from being determined, but one thing that is for sure is the Bowie receiver has no doubt he’d fit the SMU up tempo offense perfectly.

“It’s pretty much going to be natural because I mean they run practically the same offense as us, they run a spread offense, and I actually don’t specifically play running back or receiver I play both,” Hawkins said, “I move around the offense a lot and they have this thing called ‘Pony Up Tempo’ and that’s like our offense we’re known to be fast and I think they’re just going to be moving me around more and more.”


Lovejoy three-star quarterback visits SMU

By: Billy Embody

Lovejoy three-star quarterback Bowman Sells made the short trip to SMU for junior day and got to see the campus and visit with the coaching staff.

“They started out with a tour and they showed us around campus, where classes would be, the dorm,” Sells said. “Then went through the athletic facilities — weight room, locker room — the facilities were pretty nice. Obviously they have a new project and they’re going to put in a new facility later on, but I liked it.”

Sells didn’t get a ton of time with Chad Morris or Joe Craddock, but still enjoyed their conversation.

“I talked to them throughout the day. I didn’t really get any one-on-one time because they were pretty busy with the whole thing and getting it running,” the 6-2, 200-pound quarterback said. “We talk quite a bit so it’s no big deal.”

What stood out the most to Sells was the values the staff have.

“Not so much the physical aspect that they showed us, but throughout the day they kind of told us what they were about and that kind of stuff and I like what they’re about,” Sells said. “They’re big on academics and not just being a good football player, but a good person and they want you to grow as a person, not just a football player.”

Sells is also big on the family atmosphere, something that has really helped his relationship with Morris since he’s been back in Texas.

“We just kind of maintain the relationship. If anything it has gotten better because he’s closer now and it’s easier to communicate,” Sells said. “I think I’ve been down there more than once besides junior day so I can pretty much see him whenever I want so that’s a good thing.”

Sells is expecting to visit Texas in the future, but doesn’t have any other plans set.


Mesquite Horn wide receiver grabs SMU offer

By: Scott Sanford

Despite not taking in SMU junior day last weekend, 2016 Mesquite Horn (Tex.) wide receiver Jared Atkinson picked up his first offer from the Mustangs on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Atkinson had not even spoken with the SMU coaching staff before this week, but the wideout picked up his offer thanks to teammate Chris Robison who was at the Mustangs junior day.

Robison, Mesquite Horn’s sophomore quarterback, told the SMU coaching staff about Atkinson, which led to an unexpected phone call from SMU wide receiver coach Justin Stepp.

“I hadn’t had much contact with them, then my quarterback mentioned my name to them, they watched my film and I got contacted today (Wednesday),” Atkinson said. “He (Stepp) liked the fact I’m hard working, put the time in to get work done, and he liked the fact that I’m a two-sport athlete.”

Atkinson, who also runs track, said he does not know much about the SMU program at this point, but hopes to get to know the school and coaching staff better.

Atkinson also said, while he does not have an exact time table for a visit, he hopes take a visit to the Hilltop either for a spring practice or the game on April 18.

The Mustangs’ offer marks Atkinson’s first offer, so he knows there’s still work to be done.

Heading into his senior year, the wide receiver has his mind set on improving a few things both on and off the field.

“Class wise, I want to improve my grades,” Atkinson said. “Football wise, I would say I want to work on footwork.”

Atkinson is also receiving interest from Purdue, BYU, Oklahoma, Iowa, Iowa State and Rice.


2017 point guard talks SMU vs. Connecticut

By: Billy Embody

Keller 2017 point guard R.J. Nembhard had yet to visit Moody Coliseum until Nembhard visited for SMU vs. Connecticut and the crowd and team failed to disappoint.

“I enjoyed the game, the atmosphere,” Nembhard said. “It was amazing in the gym and everyone was all for them. The fan base is crazy. They were yelling the whole game. The dude next to me was standing, I had to stand up most of the time. They just love their basketball team.”

The 6-3, 180-pound point guard talked about what impressed him the most out of the team.

“They get after it on defense. That’s how they get a lot of their points and I love watching them because I like playing defense,” Nembhard said. “I could see myself fitting in well because they have some lengthy guys just like me. I can see myself playing defense for coach.”

Of course SMU point guard Nic Moore impressed Nembhard, but not by his scoring, but more his energy and basketball IQ.

“Nic Moore’s tenacity and the way he runs the team and gets everyone in their spots and making everyone better. They play together,” Nembhard said. “The way he stayed poised throughout the whole game and he doesn’t back down from any challenges. He was going against Boatright and that’s a tough challenge, but he doesn’t back down.”

Nembhard’s dad keeps up with SMU assistant coach, K.T. Turner, but when Nembhard sees Turner, the message is the same.

“He sees the box scores and just says, ‘keep working,’” Nembhard said.

As for coach Brown, Nembhard is getting a good impression from the Hall of Famer even without a relationship yet.

“He seems amazing. Every team he has been with, he develops players. I think that he’d be a great coach to play for and my game could really develop even more if I played for him,” Nembhard said.

Kansas is the latest school to offer along with Texas, Creighton, Kansas State among others to jump in for the DFW point guard.

Nembhard is ready for high school playoffs after finishing co-District 5-6A champions, but is trying to get back to SMU again for a visit this spring.

Keller (21-9) faced Coppell (18-11) on Wednesday with Keller taking the win, 48-46.


Kimball defensive lineman recaps SMU junior day

By: Scott Sanford

The 2016 class is shaping up to be an important one for SMU, which is why they have turned their focus to a position of need: defensive tackle.

The SMU staff has already extended offers to run stoppers such as Mike Williams (Fort Worth All Saints), Patrick Jones (Arlington Heights) Demerick Gary (Kimball) and Levi Onwuzurike (Allen), but they continue to show interest in others as well.

2016 Dallas Kimball (Tex.) defensive tackle Kelvin Harris Jr. enjoyed his time at SMU junior day with his teammate Gary, along with a handful of talented juniors and sophomores.

“It was really an amazing experience. SMU really shocked me,” Harris said. “I really feel like if I were to choose to go there for four years, I would have an amazing time every year. The atmosphere, the coaching staff, and the campus were just amazing.”

The 6-foot-1, 255-pound Harris enjoyed seeing all of the facilities around campus, and was most impressed by the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports and Dallas Hall.

Once the visitors made it to the stadium and locker room, players had the opportunity to interact with the coaching staff and Harris made the point of speaking with Coach Morris.

“I actually did (speak with Coach Morris) and that’s something that I was really looking forward too,” Harris said. “Most programs, the head coaches—I don’t want to say are too busy—but he actually interacted with us the whole time we were there and that’s something you don’t get to see too much.”

Harris also chatted with Coach Wyatt, his position coach, who told him the staff is still evaluating his tape before they make a decision on whether to offer him or not.

Harris, who does not hold an offer yet but is receiving interest from Texas State, UTSA and Louisiana Tech, said he plans on attending a couple of SMU spring practices and hopefully the spring game.


DeSoto wide receiver takes in SMU junior day

By: Andrew Hattersley

2016 DeSoto HS (Tex.) wide receiver Khairi Muhammad has only spoken to SMU a couple times since the new staff put in place but made the short trip over to SMU for junior day last weekend.

“It was good, it was very good, I liked the campus, the facilities are nice, the uniforms are crazy, and the coaching staff is just amazing and great,” Muhammad said.

The 5-11, 170-pound wide receiver said it was great to see the coaching staff again after meeting him a couple times before.

“The coaches were nice, I liked the coaching staff, and their coach is a very good coach,” Muhammad said, “I experienced good things there, one thing I like about the school is it is close to home, their stadium, their facilities and just the school how you graduate and when you show places your resume and it says SMU on the resume it looks good.”

On top of everything, the DeSoto wide receiver also came away impressed with the facilities despite them being scheduled for an upgrade.

“The facilities were one of the best I’ve seen before, it was very pristine and I liked it a lot,” Muhammad said.

Muhammad does not have any offers yet but has heard from Nevada, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas State, as well as, SMU.

Muhammad said he has not talked with the coaching staff outside of their personal meetings, but the coaching staff has assured him not to worry about it in the future.

“I talked to them personally, they came to DeSoto high school like two or three times so I’ve talked to them every time they came,” Muhammad said while admitting they haven’t talked since junior day, “I haven’t talked to him yet he said he’s going to come to the school, so he’s not worried he said when he comes to the school he’ll talk to me.”


2016 DeSoto DB visits SMU for junior day

By: Patrick Engel

SMU signed only one defensive back in its 2015 class, so the position will no doubt be a priority for Chad Morris and company. About 15 defensive backs visited SMU for Feb. 21 Junior Day, and DeSoto (Texas) corner A.J. Green was among them. The easygoing atmosphere on campus drew him in right away.

“When I got there, it was a very nice and very open atmosphere, and all the coaches were really nice,” Green said. “I already knew coach Mathis, coach Malone, coach Stepp and they were all nice. I like the energy; it was really fun and it felt like home.”

Green even picked up an SMU offer last night.

Green also saw the SMU locker room and the staff’s plans for renovating it, which he said include a player lounge and increasing the overall size. The locker room tour included first-hand look at SMU’s newest uniform and helmet designs.

“I saw the blue helmet with the American flag horse on it, plus they’re getting all-black jerseys,” Green said.

Secondary coach Jess Loepp has been Green’s primary recruiter, and his former coach, Mathis, and his former teammates, Kevin Thomas and James Proche, are all at SMU as well. The DeSoto connection gives the Mustangs a boost.

“When I was up there, I think Kevin had just come from working out there,” Green said. “There’s people I already know there, so that makes it even more feel like home.”

One thing the coaches have told most recruits is that they want the players to be committed to successful lives after football. The post-football opportunities SMU will brings might be Green’s favorite part about the school overall.

“They talked about success after graduation,” Green said. “It’s easier than other schools to get a job when you graduate from SMU.”

Green has offers from Louisville, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Colorado State. The Cowboys and Red Raiders have ramped up the pursuit, and he’s been in contact with Baylor and Ohio State. He will be at Texas Tech’s junior day on March 7, and while that’s his only planned visit, he said he wants to visit TCU, LSU and Oklahoma. He’s already visit Oklahoma State.

Green said Oklahoma State and SMU appeal to him a lot, but that’s because those are the only schools he’s visited so far. He wants to get a look at more colleges before narrowing his list and making a decision, which is still a ways off.

“My mom said we’re going to talk about it, but around the beginning of next school year I want to have [made] my decision,” Green said.

DeSoto’s strong season ended early with a playoff loss to eventual state champion Allen, but Green felt his season was a huge success.

“I think it was one of my best seasons so far,” he said. “A lot of people say you’re junior season is probably your best season, and it was my best season.”

Green is 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds. He had four interceptions in 2014.


Manvel defensive end visits SMU for junior day

By: Andrew Hattersley

2016 Manvel HS (Tex.) defensive end Hasaun Glasgow met head coach Chad Morris when he was at Clemson and was back to see the old Clemson coach Saturday afternoon at SMU junior day.

“It was really nice, I liked SMU, they really showed a lot of my teammates love, the coaching staff was really good, I actually met Chad Morris when he was at Clemson, went down and saw him and did some summer camps with him,” Glasgow said.

Glasgow said one of the nicest parts of the visit was seeing the family atmosphere the coaches treated everyone with.

When we went down there he showed us the same love and just welcomed us and treated us like a family,” Glasgow said.

Coming off a down season for the SMU program, Glasgow was happy to hear the new coaching staff was targeting the facilities as an area to improve, despite already being impressed.

“I liked the facilities, when I talked to the head coach he said they had a lot of renovations, money up to make the facilities better so they can return to being a winning program,” Glasgow said, “I mean they went 1-11 like last year so they got a lot of improvements to make, and if they do a lot of this stuff they can spend the money to bring in recruits and all this stuff.”

Glasgow said the coaches see him as someone that would play a variety of positions in their defensive scheme at 6-3, 230-pounds.

“They just said that they see me in their program as a hybrid defensive end,” Glasgow.

Glasgow has an offer from Louisville, as well as, receiving interest from Washington, Arizona State, Baylor, Duke, Missouri, Oklahoma State.

Glasgow was also scheduled to visit TCU after his junior day visit to SMU but decided while at SMU he would rather stay the whole day. “I was going to go to TCU after SMU but you know I liked SMU so I just stayed there,” Glasgow said.

The Manvel defensive end will be back to visit SMU for one of their camps this summer.


Argyle tight end and Clemson commit visits SMU

By: Patrick Engel

2016 Argyle (Texas) tight end J.C. Chalk has been committed to Clemson since June, but that didn’t stop him from heading to the Hilltop for junior day to some familiar faces.

“My favorite part [of junior day] was probably just getting to see coach Morris, since I hadn’t seen him in a while,” Chalk said. “It was good to see him again.”

Morris, who recruited Chalk when he coached at Clemson, isn’t the only coach Chalk knows well. His uncle is defensive assistant Keith Gunn.

Despite the visit to SMU, Chalk cautioned not to read too much into it. He is still firmly committed to Clemson, and Morris respects that.

“He totally understands my situation at Clemson, so he’s not necessarily doing a hard job trying to get me to come to SMU,” Chalk said. “He understands that I’m committed to Clemson. It’s just one of those deals where if that doesn’t work out and something crazy happens, it’s an always-know-that-you’re-welcome here type of deal.”

Even without Morris at Clemson, Chalk has grown close with head coach Dabo Swinney, offensive coordinator Jeff Scott and especially tight ends coach Danny Pearman. He said he talks with Pearman almost every day.

“A lot of schools just are harping on you becoming a better football player,” Chalk said. “At Clemson, it’s teaching you to be a better man and a better football player.”

But Chalk couldn’t help but be impressed with the direction SMU is headed under Morris.

“I love the coaching staff a lot,” Chalk said. “I went to SMU’s junior day last year, and the coaching staff was totally different. I was just impressed with how much all of that has changed. Recruiting for them in general has totally changed, just the way they’re treating recruits and how much more organized it was.”

Chalk’s only other junior day visit was to Clemson, but he is going to Texas for one on Feb. 28. He says Texas and Oregon are showing significant interest in him. He also has offers from Duke, Colorado State, Ole Miss, Arizona State and Texas Tech.

Argyle lost in double overtime to Navasota in the Class 4A Division I state title game, but Chalk was pleased with his team’s season.

“I was proud of how our team played. We went a lot farther than most people thought we would go,” Chalk said. “I thought we did a really good job battling adversity. I think individually it was a pretty good year. I got hurt in the second game, so I was nursing my ankle all year. But overall, I thought it was pretty good year.”

Chalk is 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds. He had 33 catches for 451 yards and six touchdowns in 2014.


Local kicker recaps SMU junior day

By: Patrick Engel

Chad Morris’ emphasis on good special teams was evident when he signed kicker Josh Williams for 2015, and it has continued into 2016, with SMU showing interest in Keller (Texas) kicker Luke Hogan. Special teams coach Daric Riley and offensive coordinator Joe Craddock have both reached out to Hogan, and he met them for the first time at SMU’s Feb. 21 junior day.

“I spoke in depth with coach Craddock, my recruiting coach, and coach Riley, my position coach. They’re really insightful, and they know what they’re talking about. I really like coach Riley’s approach to special teams, and it fit in with what I want to do…There was only one other specialist there, a long snapper, so he was basically our personal guide for the day. I could definitely see myself playing for him.”

Hogan did way more than just talk to the coaches. He took a facilities tour, saw some new equipment and even saw a poster of a famous former SMU kicker/punter, Thomas Morstead. But he also learned about the vision they have for SMU football.

“The coaches gave a great speech about SMU football and the direction they’re heading with it,” Hogan said. “They reiterated that it’s going to be a fast, up-tempo game. It’s going to be a totally different SMU football team. The staff really gels together, but I can definitely tell that they’re serious about the work and serious turning around SMU football and taking it in a great new direction.”

The junior day visitors got a campus tour too, and Hogan said that sold him on SMU as well. He thinks SMU is great for his interest in business and marketing after football.

“I just had a great feeling from there,” Hogan said. “I could definitely see myself playing football and going to school there. It’s a really pretty campus, and it would be a great place to get a degree from.”

Hogan has not visited any other schools, but he wants to visit Arizona State, Texas Tech and Houston. His two older brothers, Matt and Andrew, played at Houston, which has shown interest in him. Arizona State has just started talking to him. Even with the family history at Houston, Hogan said SMU is right at the top.

“I was just wowed with the way the coaches are running the place, and I just got a great feeling when I was on campus. I’d love to be a part of the new SMU football. I haven’t made any other visits like I did for SMU for junior day, but from what I saw that’d be a great place to go.”

Hogan is 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds. He only kicks for Keller, but has punted at summer special teams camps before.


2016 offensive lineman recaps SMU junior day

By: Andrew Hattersley

2016 San Angelo Central HS (Tex.) offensive lineman Braxton Webb was at SMU junior day and came away with a clear sense that the Mustangs were going to be one of his top schools when it comes time to make a decision.

“I can’t begin to tell you, I love the coaches, and just love the place, I could see myself being a pony,” Webb said.

Webb’s father was equally impressed with the program and the energy that each and every coach seemed to have for each player.

“We all had a really good time, that’s a really good program that is really coming along, you can feel the energy there that’s for sure,” Kenneth Webb, Braxton Webb’s father, said.

Braxton and the rest of the recruits also heard from a SMU player who immediately made the prospective recruits feel confident this program was going to turn around soon.

“I was impressed with the coach and we had a player, a SMU player, talk to us that the moment coach Morris came the whole program changed, it wasn’t going to be another 1-11 season, you can tell it’s going to be a winning season this coming football season,” said Braxton Webb.

Although the coaches certainly impressed Braxton and his entire family, the most impressive part of the visit was definitely the facilities.

“We’ve been to a few places now, we’ve been to Oklahoma State, there junior day a month ago and I’d call that an elite program, a top tier program and their facilities are top notch, can’t speak anymore highly of it,” Kenneth Webb said, “SMU is the exact same thing just on a smaller scale, just facility wise, they have it.”

The 6-5, 250-pound lineman has not received any offers yet but he attributes that largely due to the fact he lives in San Angelo and out of the spotlight many players typically enjoy.

“It’s mainly because I’m out of the city, I’m three hours from the Metroplex,” Braxton Webb said.

The Central lineman however has plenty of visits lined up including one back to SMU in just over a month.

“I’m visiting UTSA this weekend and going to the Nike opening on March 15, and I’m going to the SMU practice on the 17th of March and then I got a University of Houston junior day on March 28th,” Braxton Webb said.

Webb said he and the staff communicated a lot before junior day and have continued to have good discussions after junior day.


South Grand Prairie linebacker visits SMU for junior day

By: Billy Embody

South Grand Prairie linebacker Teon Taylor made the trip to SMU for junior day and the trip was worth his time with all Taylor found out about SMU.

“Just going around the campus, really looking through the locker room and listened to coach Tru talk about the weight room and all that,” Taylor said.

Taylor got a little time with SMU head coach Chad Morris during the visit as well.

“I talked to Chad Morris for a little bit in the locker room. We basically just talked about SMU and some of the jerseys.”

Coach Carroll really impressed Taylor with the way the team works everyday.

“The way he described the weight room and how hard they get after it each and everyday in the weight room.”

Taylor’s biggest takeaway was what SMU can do for players off the field though.

“Their training room and what the head trainer was saying about how fast they can get someone back if they had an injury and stuff they have.”

Taylor and his South Grand Prairie teammates came away impressed with SMU following the visit.

“We talked about it a lot. We had fun and everything,” the 5-11, 195-pound linebacker said. “That’s actually a good place to go for us and we wouldn’t mind committing there if that was one of our top choices.”

Taylor doesn’t have an offer at the moment. In half a season due to injury, Taylor had 51 total tackles and six sacks on the year.


Arkansas linebacker visits SMU for junior day

By: Billy Embody

Southside (Ark.) linebacker SI Kilnic made the trip to SMU for junior day this past weekend and came away impressed with SMU’s future because of the family atmosphere.

“Just the way all the coaches were joking around and some of the coaches didn’t know me, but came right up to me and made me feel welcome. They were just so attentive to everything.”

Defensive coordinator Van Malone and linebackers coach Archie McDaniel shared where Kilnic would be slotted if he were to come to SMU.

“I’ll be playing in the box, reading the guard and maybe going in for a blitz,” Kilnic said about what his role would be on defense.

Kilnic wants to major in business and couple that with the vibe from the staff and it was a great day.

“The overall vibe. Being around them the whole day and seeing how they are and the other staff members and how they talk to the kids and everything,” Kilnic said. “One of the big things was the Cox School Business. That was awesome.”

Kilnic wants to visit for SMU for spring practice as well as a summer camp.


Pony Stampede Top Stories

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Green also saw the SMU locker room and the staff’s plans for renovating it, which he said include a player lounge and increasing the overall size. The locker room tour included first-hand look at SMU’s newest uniform and helmet designs.\r\n

“I saw the blue helmet with the American flag horse on it, plus they’re getting all-black jerseys,” Green said.\r\n

Secondary coach Jess Loepp has been Green’s primary recruiter, and his former coach, Mathis, and his former teammates, Kevin Thomas and James Proche, are all at SMU as well. The DeSoto connection gives the Mustangs a boost.\r\n

“When I was up there, I think Kevin had just come from working out there,” Green said. “There’s people I already know there, so that makes it even more feel like home.”\r\n

One thing the coaches have told most recruits is that they want the players to be committed to successful lives after football. The post-football opportunities SMU will brings might be Green’s favorite part about the school overall.\r\n

“They talked about success after graduation,” Green said. “It’s easier than other schools to get a job when you graduate from SMU.”\r\n

Green has offers from Louisville, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Colorado State. The Cowboys and Red Raiders have ramped up the pursuit, and he’s been in contact with Baylor and Ohio State. He will be at Texas Tech’s junior day on March 7, and while that’s his only planned visit, he said he wants to visit TCU, LSU and Oklahoma. He’s already visit Oklahoma State.\r\n

Green said Oklahoma State and SMU appeal to him a lot, but that’s because those are the only schools he’s visited so far. He wants to get a look at more colleges before narrowing his list and making a decision, which is still a ways off.\r\n

“My mom said we’re going to talk about it, but around the beginning of next school year I want to have [made] my decision,” Green said.\r\n

DeSoto’s strong season ended early with a playoff loss to eventual state champion Allen, but Green felt his season was a huge success.\r\n

“I think it was one of my best seasons so far,” he said. “A lot of people say you’re junior season is probably your best season, and it was my best season.”\r\n

Green is 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds. He had four interceptions in 2014.\r\n


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Manvel defensive end visits SMU for junior day

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By: Andrew Hattersley\r\n

2016 Manvel HS (Tex.) defensive end Hasaun Glasgow met head coach Chad Morris when he was at Clemson and was back to see the old Clemson coach Saturday afternoon at SMU junior day. \r\n

“It was really nice, I liked SMU, they really showed a lot of my teammates love, the coaching staff was really good, I actually met Chad Morris when he was at Clemson, went down and saw him and did some summer camps with him,” Glasgow said. \r\n

Glasgow said one of the nicest parts of the visit was seeing the family atmosphere the coaches treated everyone with. \r\n

When we went down there he showed us the same love and just welcomed us and treated us like a family,” Glasgow said. \r\n

Coming off a down season for the SMU program, Glasgow was happy to hear the new coaching staff was targeting the facilities as an area to improve, despite already being impressed. \r\n

“I liked the facilities, when I talked to the head coach he said they had a lot of renovations, money up to make the facilities better so they can return to being a winning program,” Glasgow said, “I mean they went 1-11 like last year so they got a lot of improvements to make, and if they do a lot of this stuff they can spend the money to bring in recruits and all this stuff.”\r\n

Glasgow said the coaches see him as someone that would play a variety of positions in their defensive scheme at 6-3, 230-pounds. \r\n

“They just said that they see me in their program as a hybrid defensive end,” Glasgow. \r\n

Glasgow has an offer from Louisville, as well as, receiving interest from Washington, Arizona State, Baylor, Duke, Missouri, Oklahoma State.\r\n

Glasgow was also scheduled to visit TCU after his junior day visit to SMU but decided while at SMU he would rather stay the whole day.\r\n“I was going to go to TCU after SMU but you know I liked SMU so I just stayed there,” Glasgow said. \r\n

The Manvel defensive end will be back to visit SMU for one of their camps this summer. \r\n


\r\n

Argyle tight end and Clemson commit visits SMU

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By: Patrick Engel\r\n

2016 Argyle (Texas) tight end J.C. Chalk has been committed to Clemson since June, but that didn’t stop him from heading to the Hilltop for junior day to some familiar faces. \r\n

“My favorite part [of junior day] was probably just getting to see coach Morris, since I hadn’t seen him in a while,” Chalk said. “It was good to see him again.”\r\n

Morris, who recruited Chalk when he coached at Clemson, isn’t the only coach Chalk knows well. His uncle is defensive assistant Keith Gunn. \r\n

Despite the visit to SMU, Chalk cautioned not to read too much into it. He is still firmly committed to Clemson, and Morris respects that.\r\n

“He totally understands my situation at Clemson, so he’s not necessarily doing a hard job trying to get me to come to SMU,” Chalk said. “He understands that I’m committed to Clemson. It’s just one of those deals where if that doesn’t work out and something crazy happens, it’s an always-know-that-you’re-welcome here type of deal.”\r\n

Even without Morris at Clemson, Chalk has grown close with head coach Dabo Swinney, offensive coordinator Jeff Scott and especially tight ends coach Danny Pearman. He said he talks with Pearman almost every day.\r\n

“A lot of schools just are harping on you becoming a better football player,” Chalk said. “At Clemson, it’s teaching you to be a better man and a better football player.”\r\n

But Chalk couldn’t help but be impressed with the direction SMU is headed under Morris.\r\n

“I love the coaching staff a lot,” Chalk said. “I went to SMU’s junior day last year, and the coaching staff was totally different. I was just impressed with how much all of that has changed. Recruiting for them in general has totally changed, just the way they’re treating recruits and how much more organized it was.” \r\n

Chalk’s only other junior day visit was to Clemson, but he is going to Texas for one on Feb. 28. He says Texas and Oregon are showing significant interest in him. He also has offers from Duke, Colorado State, Ole Miss, Arizona State and Texas Tech.\r\n

Argyle lost in double overtime to Navasota in the Class 4A Division I state title game, but Chalk was pleased with his team’s season.\r\n

“I was proud of how our team played. We went a lot farther than most people thought we would go,” Chalk said. “I thought we did a really good job battling adversity. I think individually it was a pretty good year. I got hurt in the second game, so I was nursing my ankle all year. But overall, I thought it was pretty good year.”\r\n

Chalk is 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds. He had 33 catches for 451 yards and six touchdowns in 2014.\r\n


\r\n

Local kicker recaps SMU junior day

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By: Patrick Engel\r\n

Chad Morris’ emphasis on good special teams was evident when he signed kicker Josh Williams for 2015, and it has continued into 2016, with SMU showing interest in Keller (Texas) kicker Luke Hogan. Special teams coach Daric Riley and offensive coordinator Joe Craddock have both reached out to Hogan, and he met them for the first time at SMU’s Feb. 21 junior day.\r\n

“I spoke in depth with coach Craddock, my recruiting coach, and coach Riley, my position coach. They’re really insightful, and they know what they’re talking about. I really like coach Riley’s approach to special teams, and it fit in with what I want to do…There was only one other specialist there, a long snapper, so he was basically our personal guide for the day. I could definitely see myself playing for him.”\r\n

Hogan did way more than just talk to the coaches. He took a facilities tour, saw some new equipment and even saw a poster of a famous former SMU kicker/punter, Thomas Morstead. But he also learned about the vision they have for SMU football.\r\n

“The coaches gave a great speech about SMU football and the direction they’re heading with it,” Hogan said. “They reiterated that it’s going to be a fast, up-tempo game. It’s going to be a totally different SMU football team. The staff really gels together, but I can definitely tell that they’re serious about the work and serious turning around SMU football and taking it in a great new direction.”\r\n

The junior day visitors got a campus tour too, and Hogan said that sold him on SMU as well. He thinks SMU is great for his interest in business and marketing after football.\r\n

“I just had a great feeling from there,” Hogan said. “I could definitely see myself playing football and going to school there. It’s a really pretty campus, and it would be a great place to get a degree from.”\r\n

Hogan has not visited any other schools, but he wants to visit Arizona State, Texas Tech and Houston. His two older brothers, Matt and Andrew, played at Houston, which has shown interest in him. Arizona State has just started talking to him. Even with the family history at Houston, Hogan said SMU is right at the top.\r\n

“I was just wowed with the way the coaches are running the place, and I just got a great feeling when I was on campus. I’d love to be a part of the new SMU football. I haven’t made any other visits like I did for SMU for junior day, but from what I saw that’d be a great place to go.”\r\n

Hogan is 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds. He only kicks for Keller, but has punted at summer special teams camps before.\r\n


\r\n

2016 offensive lineman recaps SMU junior day

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By: Andrew Hattersley\r\n

2016 San Angelo Central HS (Tex.) offensive lineman Braxton Webb was at SMU junior day and came away with a clear sense that the Mustangs were going to be one of his top schools when it comes time to make a decision. \r\n

“I can’t begin to tell you, I love the coaches, and just love the place, I could see myself being a pony,” Webb said. \r\n

Webb’s father was equally impressed with the program and the energy that each and every coach seemed to have for each player. \r\n

“We all had a really good time, that’s a really good program that is really coming along, you can feel the energy there that’s for sure,” Kenneth Webb, Braxton Webb’s father, said. \r\n

Braxton and the rest of the recruits also heard from a SMU player who immediately made the prospective recruits feel confident this program was going to turn around soon. \r\n

“I was impressed with the coach and we had a player, a SMU player, talk to us that the moment coach Morris came the whole program changed, it wasn’t going to be another 1-11 season, you can tell it’s going to be a winning season this coming football season,” said Braxton Webb. \r\n

Although the coaches certainly impressed Braxton and his entire family, the most impressive part of the visit was definitely the facilities. \r\n

“We’ve been to a few places now, we’ve been to Oklahoma State, there junior day a month ago and I’d call that an elite program, a top tier program and their facilities are top notch, can’t speak anymore highly of it,” Kenneth Webb said, “SMU is the exact same thing just on a smaller scale, just facility wise, they have it.”\r\n

The 6-5, 250-pound lineman has not received any offers yet but he attributes that largely due to the fact he lives in San Angelo and out of the spotlight many players typically enjoy.\r\n

“It’s mainly because I’m out of the city, I’m three hours from the Metroplex,” Braxton Webb said. \r\n

The Central lineman however has plenty of visits lined up including one back to SMU in just over a month. \r\n

“I’m visiting UTSA this weekend and going to the Nike opening on March 15, and I’m going to the SMU practice on the 17th of March and then I got a University of Houston junior day on March 28th,” Braxton Webb said. \r\n

Webb said he and the staff communicated a lot before junior day and have continued to have good discussions after junior day. \r\n


\r\n

South Grand Prairie linebacker visits SMU for junior day

\r\n

By: Billy Embody\r\n

South Grand Prairie linebacker Teon Taylor made the trip to SMU for junior day and the trip was worth his time with all Taylor found out about SMU.\r\n

“Just going around the campus, really looking through the locker room and listened to coach Tru talk about the weight room and all that,” Taylor said.\r\n

Taylor got a little time with SMU head coach Chad Morris during the visit as well.\r\n

“I talked to Chad Morris for a little bit in the locker room. We basically just talked about SMU and some of the jerseys.”\r\n

Coach Carroll really impressed Taylor with the way the team works everyday.\r\n

“The way he described the weight room and how hard they get after it each and everyday in the weight room.” \r\n

Taylor’s biggest takeaway was what SMU can do for players off the field though.\r\n

“Their training room and what the head trainer was saying about how fast they can get someone back if they had an injury and stuff they have.”\r\n

Taylor and his South Grand Prairie teammates came away impressed with SMU following the visit.\r\n

“We talked about it a lot. We had fun and everything,” the 5-11, 195-pound linebacker said. “That’s actually a good place to go for us and we wouldn’t mind committing there if that was one of our top choices.”\r\n

Taylor doesn’t have an offer at the moment. In half a season due to injury, Taylor had 51 total tackles and six sacks on the year.\r\n


\r\n

Arkansas linebacker visits SMU for junior day

\r\n

By: Billy Embody\r\n

Southside (Ark.) linebacker SI Kilnic made the trip to SMU for junior day this past weekend and came away impressed with SMU’s future because of the family atmosphere.\r\n

“Just the way all the coaches were joking around and some of the coaches didn’t know me, but came right up to me and made me feel welcome. They were just so attentive to everything.”\r\n

Defensive coordinator Van Malone and linebackers coach Archie McDaniel shared where Kilnic would be slotted if he were to come to SMU. \r\n

“I’ll be playing in the box, reading the guard and maybe going in for a blitz,” Kilnic said about what his role would be on defense.\r\n

Kilnic wants to major in business and couple that with the vibe from the staff and it was a great day.\r\n

“The overall vibe. Being around them the whole day and seeing how they are and the other staff members and how they talk to the kids and everything,” Kilnic said. “One of the big things was the Cox School Business. That was awesome.”\r\n

Kilnic wants to visit for SMU for spring practice as well as a summer camp.\r\n","mobileBody":"

2016 Dallas Kimball (Tex.) defensive tackle Demerick Gary left SMU junior day with a completely different impression of the Mustangs’ football program.

“It was pretty cool,” Gary said. “I liked how they are redoing everything, the new uniforms and the new staff there, and I like what they’re trying to change SMU into.”

Gary had the opportunity to talk with Coach Morris on junior day, and the new head coach spent that time telling Gary why he wants him to be a part of SMU. Gary also had the chance to talk with his position coach, Coach Wyatt, who he has already formed a nice bond with.

“I have a good connection with Coach Wyatt,” Gary explained. “We talk almost everyday so we’ve been able to form a really nice connection.”

Not only did Gary enjoy his time with the staff, but he also enjoyed seeing the facilities and amenities SMU has to offer as a school.

“It’s just a nice campus. I’m from the other side of town in Dallas so it’s different for me, but it’s a nice place,” Gary said. “The surroundings, the mall—it’s just a great place to be around. Another thing that impressed me was Dallas Hall and all the history from that building on campus.”

While the 6-foot-3, 245-pound junior was impressed by the coaching staff, facilities and overall environment on the Hilltop, Gary left junior day with no offer from the Mustangs.

That changed on Wednesday when Gary called SMU defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt.

“I called him and we were just talking, then he said he really liked my style of play, he really liked me as a person, and he liked me as a player,” Gary said. “Coach Morris and Coach Malone were really excited about me so they were going to go ahead and offer me. It’s just a blessing.”

Gary’s SMU offer was his fourth. Arkansas State, Texas State and Stephen F. Austin have also offered Gary, and the defensive tackle is receiving interest from Rice, Houston, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Nevada, UTSA and Oklahoma State.

The Dallas native did say that he “really likes” SMU, but it is too early to say where they stand compared to the other schools that have offered him.

Now that the Mustangs have offered him, Gary, who lives just 15 minutes away from campus, plans on spending as much time as he can on campus.

“I’ll probably be at the spring game and I’ll probably be at some spring practices,” Gary said. “Coach Morris and Coach Wyatt said I can come up any time I want to so I’ll definitely be up there more.”

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Just a few weeks after receiving an offer from SMU, Bowie HS (Tex.) wide receiver Anthony Hawkins was at SMU for their junior day.

“Junior day at SMU was nice they had practically everything, they told me everything about their system, everything they had to provide, they told me about their journalism program and basically its just a good school altogether,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins was especially impressed with the facilities at SMU, including the little bit of entertainment that was provided in the locker room by SMU.

“The facilities were nice, top of the line,” Hawkins said, “They have a nice campus, they have a nice weight room and the locker room was nice, they had a personal DJ in the locker room, they let me put on a couple of uniforms and take pictures it was nice.”

Despite many prospective students being impressed with the facilities, the coaching staff has told recruits they plan to upgrade the facilities in the future. This fact was hard for Hawkins to imagine.

“The locker room was very nice, but they told me they were getting ready to rip that up and build a new facility and I was like wow how does it get any better than this,” Hawkins said.

Along with an offer from SMU, Hawkins also holds offers from Texas State and Arkansas State but says he is still open to everything despite being impressed with SMU.

“I really look to the education first, I look at what they have to offer me as a football player and I would have to sit down and make a decision then but as of right now I’m just keeping my options open and I’m just thankful to have this opportunity,” Hawkins said.

In recent weeks, Hawkins has not been in much communication with the SMU program other than getting his offer, something that caught the Bowie receiver a little off guard.

“They actually haven’t talked to me a lot except for right after I got offered, like I got offered, they spoke to me for like that next day or two, with like the itinerary with what was going on and where to go, that’s pretty much all we spoke about,” Hawkins said, “Not a lot, I think they check in but I really haven’t heard a lot from them since the offer so I was surprised.”

Hawkins had to leave the junior day early because of a track meet but the 5-11, 180-pound receiver hopes to return for SMU’s spring game to experience the full atmosphere.

“I picked up a calendar when I was there and they said they their spring game is April 18th so I think I’m going to come to spring practices and the spring game because I actually had to leave junior day early because I had a track meet,” Hawkins said, “I really want to visit again to see everything I didn’t get to see, I walked around a little bit because I was a little lost but I want to come back and see the whole campus and see how they are in pads.”

Whether Hawkins chooses to attend SMU or not is far from being determined, but one thing that is for sure is the Bowie receiver has no doubt he’d fit the SMU up tempo offense perfectly.

“It’s pretty much going to be natural because I mean they run practically the same offense as us, they run a spread offense, and I actually don’t specifically play running back or receiver I play both,” Hawkins said, “I move around the offense a lot and they have this thing called ‘Pony Up Tempo’ and that’s like our offense we’re known to be fast and I think they’re just going to be moving me around more and more.”

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Lovejoy three-star quarterback Bowman Sells made the short trip to SMU for junior day and got to see the campus and visit with the coaching staff.

“They started out with a tour and they showed us around campus, where classes would be, the dorm,” Sells said. “Then went through the athletic facilities — weight room, locker room — the facilities were pretty nice. Obviously they have a new project and they’re going to put in a new facility later on, but I liked it.”

Sells didn’t get a ton of time with Chad Morris or Joe Craddock, but still enjoyed their conversation.

“I talked to them throughout the day. I didn’t really get any one-on-one time because they were pretty busy with the whole thing and getting it running,” the 6-2, 200-pound quarterback said. “We talk quite a bit so it’s no big deal.”

What stood out the most to Sells was the values the staff have.

“Not so much the physical aspect that they showed us, but throughout the day they kind of told us what they were about and that kind of stuff and I like what they’re about,” Sells said. “They’re big on academics and not just being a good football player, but a good person and they want you to grow as a person, not just a football player.”

Sells is also big on the family atmosphere, something that has really helped his relationship with Morris since he’s been back in Texas.

“We just kind of maintain the relationship. If anything it has gotten better because he’s closer now and it’s easier to communicate,” Sells said. “I think I’ve been down there more than once besides junior day so I can pretty much see him whenever I want so that’s a good thing.”

Sells is expecting to visit Texas in the future, but doesn’t have any other plans set.

Despite not taking in SMU junior day last weekend, 2016 Mesquite Horn (Tex.) wide receiver Jared Atkinson picked up his first offer from the Mustangs on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Atkinson had not even spoken with the SMU coaching staff before this week, but the wideout picked up his offer thanks to teammate Chris Robison who was at the Mustangs junior day.

Robison, Mesquite Horn’s sophomore quarterback, told the SMU coaching staff about Atkinson, which led to an unexpected phone call from SMU wide receiver coach Justin Stepp.

“I hadn’t had much contact with them, then my quarterback mentioned my name to them, they watched my film and I got contacted today (Wednesday),” Atkinson said. “He (Stepp) liked the fact I’m hard working, put the time in to get work done, and he liked the fact that I’m a two-sport athlete.”

Atkinson, who also runs track, said he does not know much about the SMU program at this point, but hopes to get to know the school and coaching staff better.

Atkinson also said, while he does not have an exact time table for a visit, he hopes take a visit to the Hilltop either for a spring practice or the game on April 18.

The Mustangs’ offer marks Atkinson’s first offer, so he knows there’s still work to be done.

Heading into his senior year, the wide receiver has his mind set on improving a few things both on and off the field.

“Class wise, I want to improve my grades,” Atkinson said. “Football wise, I would say I want to work on footwork.”

Atkinson is also receiving interest from Purdue, BYU, Oklahoma, Iowa, Iowa State and Rice.

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Keller 2017 point guard R.J. Nembhard had yet to visit Moody Coliseum until Nembhard visited for SMU vs. Connecticut and the crowd and team failed to disappoint.

“I enjoyed the game, the atmosphere,” Nembhard said. “It was amazing in the gym and everyone was all for them. The fan base is crazy. They were yelling the whole game. The dude next to me was standing, I had to stand up most of the time. They just love their basketball team.”

The 6-3, 180-pound point guard talked about what impressed him the most out of the team.

“They get after it on defense. That’s how they get a lot of their points and I love watching them because I like playing defense,” Nembhard said. “I could see myself fitting in well because they have some lengthy guys just like me. I can see myself playing defense for coach.”

Of course SMU point guard Nic Moore impressed Nembhard, but not by his scoring, but more his energy and basketball IQ.

“Nic Moore’s tenacity and the way he runs the team and gets everyone in their spots and making everyone better. They play together,” Nembhard said. “The way he stayed poised throughout the whole game and he doesn’t back down from any challenges. He was going against Boatright and that’s a tough challenge, but he doesn’t back down.”

Nembhard’s dad keeps up with SMU assistant coach, K.T. Turner, but when Nembhard sees Turner, the message is the same.

“He sees the box scores and just says, ‘keep working,’” Nembhard said.

As for coach Brown, Nembhard is getting a good impression from the Hall of Famer even without a relationship yet.

“He seems amazing. Every team he has been with, he develops players. I think that he’d be a great coach to play for and my game could really develop even more if I played for him,” Nembhard said.

Kansas is the latest school to offer along with Texas, Creighton, Kansas State among others to jump in for the DFW point guard.

Nembhard is ready for high school playoffs after finishing co-District 5-6A champions, but is trying to get back to SMU again for a visit this spring.

Keller (21-9) faced Coppell (18-11) on Wednesday with Keller taking the win, 48-46.

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The 2016 class is shaping up to be an important one for SMU, which is why they have turned their focus to a position of need: defensive tackle.

The SMU staff has already extended offers to run stoppers such as Mike Williams (Fort Worth All Saints), Patrick Jones (Arlington Heights) Demerick Gary (Kimball) and Levi Onwuzurike (Allen), but they continue to show interest in others as well.

2016 Dallas Kimball (Tex.) defensive tackle Kelvin Harris Jr. enjoyed his time at SMU junior day with his teammate Gary, along with a handful of talented juniors and sophomores.

“It was really an amazing experience. SMU really shocked me,” Harris said. “I really feel like if I were to choose to go there for four years, I would have an amazing time every year. The atmosphere, the coaching staff, and the campus were just amazing.”

The 6-foot-1, 255-pound Harris enjoyed seeing all of the facilities around campus, and was most impressed by the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports and Dallas Hall.

Once the visitors made it to the stadium and locker room, players had the opportunity to interact with the coaching staff and Harris made the point of speaking with Coach Morris.

“I actually did (speak with Coach Morris) and that’s something that I was really looking forward too,” Harris said. “Most programs, the head coaches—I don’t want to say are too busy—but he actually interacted with us the whole time we were there and that’s something you don’t get to see too much.”

Harris also chatted with Coach Wyatt, his position coach, who told him the staff is still evaluating his tape before they make a decision on whether to offer him or not.

Harris, who does not hold an offer yet but is receiving interest from Texas State, UTSA and Louisiana Tech, said he plans on attending a couple of SMU spring practices and hopefully the spring game.

2016 DeSoto HS (Tex.) wide receiver Khairi Muhammad has only spoken to SMU a couple times since the new staff put in place but made the short trip over to SMU for junior day last weekend.

“It was good, it was very good, I liked the campus, the facilities are nice, the uniforms are crazy, and the coaching staff is just amazing and great,” Muhammad said.

The 5-11, 170-pound wide receiver said it was great to see the coaching staff again after meeting him a couple times before.

“The coaches were nice, I liked the coaching staff, and their coach is a very good coach,” Muhammad said, “I experienced good things there, one thing I like about the school is it is close to home, their stadium, their facilities and just the school how you graduate and when you show places your resume and it says SMU on the resume it looks good.”

On top of everything, the DeSoto wide receiver also came away impressed with the facilities despite them being scheduled for an upgrade.

“The facilities were one of the best I’ve seen before, it was very pristine and I liked it a lot,” Muhammad said.

Muhammad does not have any offers yet but has heard from Nevada, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas State, as well as, SMU.

Muhammad said he has not talked with the coaching staff outside of their personal meetings, but the coaching staff has assured him not to worry about it in the future.

“I talked to them personally, they came to DeSoto high school like two or three times so I’ve talked to them every time they came,” Muhammad said while admitting they haven’t talked since junior day, “I haven’t talked to him yet he said he’s going to come to the school, so he’s not worried he said when he comes to the school he’ll talk to me.”

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SMU signed only one defensive back in its 2015 class, so the position will no doubt be a priority for Chad Morris and company. About 15 defensive backs visited SMU for Feb. 21 Junior Day, and DeSoto (Texas) corner A.J. Green was among them. The easygoing atmosphere on campus drew him in right away.

“When I got there, it was a very nice and very open atmosphere, and all the coaches were really nice,” Green said. “I already knew coach Mathis, coach Malone, coach Stepp and they were all nice. I like the energy; it was really fun and it felt like home.”

Green even picked up an SMU offer last night.

Just picked up an offer from SMU #PonyUpTempo?? @MattClareRivals @BillyEmbody @coachcmathis pic.twitter.com/MmAYJuda33

— #WeGone? (@AjGofor6) February 27, 2015

Green also saw the SMU locker room and the staff’s plans for renovating it, which he said include a player lounge and increasing the overall size. The locker room tour included first-hand look at SMU’s newest uniform and helmet designs.

“I saw the blue helmet with the American flag horse on it, plus they’re getting all-black jerseys,” Green said.

Secondary coach Jess Loepp has been Green’s primary recruiter, and his former coach, Mathis, and his former teammates, Kevin Thomas and James Proche, are all at SMU as well. The DeSoto connection gives the Mustangs a boost.

“When I was up there, I think Kevin had just come from working out there,” Green said. “There’s people I already know there, so that makes it even more feel like home.”

One thing the coaches have told most recruits is that they want the players to be committed to successful lives after football. The post-football opportunities SMU will brings might be Green’s favorite part about the school overall.

“They talked about success after graduation,” Green said. “It’s easier than other schools to get a job when you graduate from SMU.”

Green has offers from Louisville, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Colorado State. The Cowboys and Red Raiders have ramped up the pursuit, and he’s been in contact with Baylor and Ohio State. He will be at Texas Tech’s junior day on March 7, and while that’s his only planned visit, he said he wants to visit TCU, LSU and Oklahoma. He’s already visit Oklahoma State.

Green said Oklahoma State and SMU appeal to him a lot, but that’s because those are the only schools he’s visited so far. He wants to get a look at more colleges before narrowing his list and making a decision, which is still a ways off.

“My mom said we’re going to talk about it, but around the beginning of next school year I want to have [made] my decision,” Green said.

DeSoto’s strong season ended early with a playoff loss to eventual state champion Allen, but Green felt his season was a huge success.

“I think it was one of my best seasons so far,” he said. “A lot of people say you’re junior season is probably your best season, and it was my best season.”

Green is 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds. He had four interceptions in 2014.

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2016 Manvel HS (Tex.) defensive end Hasaun Glasgow met head coach Chad Morris when he was at Clemson and was back to see the old Clemson coach Saturday afternoon at SMU junior day.

“It was really nice, I liked SMU, they really showed a lot of my teammates love, the coaching staff was really good, I actually met Chad Morris when he was at Clemson, went down and saw him and did some summer camps with him,” Glasgow said.

Glasgow said one of the nicest parts of the visit was seeing the family atmosphere the coaches treated everyone with.

When we went down there he showed us the same love and just welcomed us and treated us like a family,” Glasgow said.

Coming off a down season for the SMU program, Glasgow was happy to hear the new coaching staff was targeting the facilities as an area to improve, despite already being impressed.

“I liked the facilities, when I talked to the head coach he said they had a lot of renovations, money up to make the facilities better so they can return to being a winning program,” Glasgow said, “I mean they went 1-11 like last year so they got a lot of improvements to make, and if they do a lot of this stuff they can spend the money to bring in recruits and all this stuff.”

Glasgow said the coaches see him as someone that would play a variety of positions in their defensive scheme at 6-3, 230-pounds.

“They just said that they see me in their program as a hybrid defensive end,” Glasgow.

Glasgow has an offer from Louisville, as well as, receiving interest from Washington, Arizona State, Baylor, Duke, Missouri, Oklahoma State.

Glasgow was also scheduled to visit TCU after his junior day visit to SMU but decided while at SMU he would rather stay the whole day. “I was going to go to TCU after SMU but you know I liked SMU so I just stayed there,” Glasgow said.

The Manvel defensive end will be back to visit SMU for one of their camps this summer.

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2016 Argyle (Texas) tight end J.C. Chalk has been committed to Clemson since June, but that didn’t stop him from heading to the Hilltop for junior day to some familiar faces.

“My favorite part [of junior day] was probably just getting to see coach Morris, since I hadn’t seen him in a while,” Chalk said. “It was good to see him again.”

Morris, who recruited Chalk when he coached at Clemson, isn’t the only coach Chalk knows well. His uncle is defensive assistant Keith Gunn.

Despite the visit to SMU, Chalk cautioned not to read too much into it. He is still firmly committed to Clemson, and Morris respects that.

“He totally understands my situation at Clemson, so he’s not necessarily doing a hard job trying to get me to come to SMU,” Chalk said. “He understands that I’m committed to Clemson. It’s just one of those deals where if that doesn’t work out and something crazy happens, it’s an always-know-that-you’re-welcome here type of deal.”

Even without Morris at Clemson, Chalk has grown close with head coach Dabo Swinney, offensive coordinator Jeff Scott and especially tight ends coach Danny Pearman. He said he talks with Pearman almost every day.

“A lot of schools just are harping on you becoming a better football player,” Chalk said. “At Clemson, it’s teaching you to be a better man and a better football player.”

But Chalk couldn’t help but be impressed with the direction SMU is headed under Morris.

“I love the coaching staff a lot,” Chalk said. “I went to SMU’s junior day last year, and the coaching staff was totally different. I was just impressed with how much all of that has changed. Recruiting for them in general has totally changed, just the way they’re treating recruits and how much more organized it was.”

Chalk’s only other junior day visit was to Clemson, but he is going to Texas for one on Feb. 28. He says Texas and Oregon are showing significant interest in him. He also has offers from Duke, Colorado State, Ole Miss, Arizona State and Texas Tech.

Argyle lost in double overtime to Navasota in the Class 4A Division I state title game, but Chalk was pleased with his team’s season.

“I was proud of how our team played. We went a lot farther than most people thought we would go,” Chalk said. “I thought we did a really good job battling adversity. I think individually it was a pretty good year. I got hurt in the second game, so I was nursing my ankle all year. But overall, I thought it was pretty good year.”

Chalk is 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds. He had 33 catches for 451 yards and six touchdowns in 2014.

[MEDIA:1483409]

Chad Morris’ emphasis on good special teams was evident when he signed kicker Josh Williams for 2015, and it has continued into 2016, with SMU showing interest in Keller (Texas) kicker Luke Hogan. Special teams coach Daric Riley and offensive coordinator Joe Craddock have both reached out to Hogan, and he met them for the first time at SMU’s Feb. 21 junior day.

“I spoke in depth with coach Craddock, my recruiting coach, and coach Riley, my position coach. They’re really insightful, and they know what they’re talking about. I really like coach Riley’s approach to special teams, and it fit in with what I want to do…There was only one other specialist there, a long snapper, so he was basically our personal guide for the day. I could definitely see myself playing for him.”

Hogan did way more than just talk to the coaches. He took a facilities tour, saw some new equipment and even saw a poster of a famous former SMU kicker/punter, Thomas Morstead. But he also learned about the vision they have for SMU football.

“The coaches gave a great speech about SMU football and the direction they’re heading with it,” Hogan said. “They reiterated that it’s going to be a fast, up-tempo game. It’s going to be a totally different SMU football team. The staff really gels together, but I can definitely tell that they’re serious about the work and serious turning around SMU football and taking it in a great new direction.”

The junior day visitors got a campus tour too, and Hogan said that sold him on SMU as well. He thinks SMU is great for his interest in business and marketing after football.

“I just had a great feeling from there,” Hogan said. “I could definitely see myself playing football and going to school there. It’s a really pretty campus, and it would be a great place to get a degree from.”

Hogan has not visited any other schools, but he wants to visit Arizona State, Texas Tech and Houston. His two older brothers, Matt and Andrew, played at Houston, which has shown interest in him. Arizona State has just started talking to him. Even with the family history at Houston, Hogan said SMU is right at the top.

“I was just wowed with the way the coaches are running the place, and I just got a great feeling when I was on campus. I’d love to be a part of the new SMU football. I haven’t made any other visits like I did for SMU for junior day, but from what I saw that’d be a great place to go.”

Hogan is 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds. He only kicks for Keller, but has punted at summer special teams camps before.

[MEDIA:1486664]

2016 San Angelo Central HS (Tex.) offensive lineman Braxton Webb was at SMU junior day and came away with a clear sense that the Mustangs were going to be one of his top schools when it comes time to make a decision.

“I can’t begin to tell you, I love the coaches, and just love the place, I could see myself being a pony,” Webb said.

Webb’s father was equally impressed with the program and the energy that each and every coach seemed to have for each player.

“We all had a really good time, that’s a really good program that is really coming along, you can feel the energy there that’s for sure,” Kenneth Webb, Braxton Webb’s father, said.

Braxton and the rest of the recruits also heard from a SMU player who immediately made the prospective recruits feel confident this program was going to turn around soon.

“I was impressed with the coach and we had a player, a SMU player, talk to us that the moment coach Morris came the whole program changed, it wasn’t going to be another 1-11 season, you can tell it’s going to be a winning season this coming football season,” said Braxton Webb.

Although the coaches certainly impressed Braxton and his entire family, the most impressive part of the visit was definitely the facilities.

“We’ve been to a few places now, we’ve been to Oklahoma State, there junior day a month ago and I’d call that an elite program, a top tier program and their facilities are top notch, can’t speak anymore highly of it,” Kenneth Webb said, “SMU is the exact same thing just on a smaller scale, just facility wise, they have it.”

The 6-5, 250-pound lineman has not received any offers yet but he attributes that largely due to the fact he lives in San Angelo and out of the spotlight many players typically enjoy.

“It’s mainly because I’m out of the city, I’m three hours from the Metroplex,” Braxton Webb said.

The Central lineman however has plenty of visits lined up including one back to SMU in just over a month.

“I’m visiting UTSA this weekend and going to the Nike opening on March 15, and I’m going to the SMU practice on the 17th of March and then I got a University of Houston junior day on March 28th,” Braxton Webb said.

Webb said he and the staff communicated a lot before junior day and have continued to have good discussions after junior day.

South Grand Prairie linebacker Teon Taylor made the trip to SMU for junior day and the trip was worth his time with all Taylor found out about SMU.

“Just going around the campus, really looking through the locker room and listened to coach Tru talk about the weight room and all that,” Taylor said.

Taylor got a little time with SMU head coach Chad Morris during the visit as well.

“I talked to Chad Morris for a little bit in the locker room. We basically just talked about SMU and some of the jerseys.”

Coach Carroll really impressed Taylor with the way the team works everyday.

“The way he described the weight room and how hard they get after it each and everyday in the weight room.”

Taylor’s biggest takeaway was what SMU can do for players off the field though.

“Their training room and what the head trainer was saying about how fast they can get someone back if they had an injury and stuff they have.”

Taylor and his South Grand Prairie teammates came away impressed with SMU following the visit.

“We talked about it a lot. We had fun and everything,” the 5-11, 195-pound linebacker said. “That’s actually a good place to go for us and we wouldn’t mind committing there if that was one of our top choices.”

Taylor doesn’t have an offer at the moment. In half a season due to injury, Taylor had 51 total tackles and six sacks on the year.

Southside (Ark.) linebacker SI Kilnic made the trip to SMU for junior day this past weekend and came away impressed with SMU’s future because of the family atmosphere.

“Just the way all the coaches were joking around and some of the coaches didn’t know me, but came right up to me and made me feel welcome. They were just so attentive to everything.”

Defensive coordinator Van Malone and linebackers coach Archie McDaniel shared where Kilnic would be slotted if he were to come to SMU.

“I’ll be playing in the box, reading the guard and maybe going in for a blitz,” Kilnic said about what his role would be on defense.

Kilnic wants to major in business and couple that with the vibe from the staff and it was a great day.

“The overall vibe. Being around them the whole day and seeing how they are and the other staff members and how they talk to the kids and everything,” Kilnic said. “One of the big things was the Cox School Business. That was awesome.”

Kilnic wants to visit for SMU for spring practice as well as a summer camp. 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