“I liked what they’re building over there, trying to turn the program around and how they have it set up is it’s a new way that they’re going to do things in Dallas and the players have bought into it,” Okudah said.
Okudah got some solid attention from the SMU coaching staff on the visit.
“I talked to Coach Morris and Coach Malone and Coach Loepp. They liked me, they knew who I was, they were happy to get me down on campus,” Okudah said. “I had a good relationship with Coach Mathis, from DeSoto, it wasn’t awkward, I just felt comfortable with the staff.”
Mathis, SMU’s running backs coach, has taken the lead on Okudah’s recruitment.
“Whenever I’m talking to SMU, I’m talking to Coach Mathis, he has seen me play, we’ve played against his team two years now,” Okudah said. “It’s just more comfortable and I can kind of relate to him.”
Morris talked with Okudah for a little bit and the Scout 4-star safety is impressed with Morris’ resume.
“I think he’s a great hire, he’s an offensive mastermind. Coming from Clemson, he’s coached a lot of great players, a lot of great receivers and his thing is he likes to get the ball down the field quick and take the big shots.”
In South Grand Prairie’s 4-2-5 defense, Okudah plays the “Star” position that SMU has, the hybrid linebacker/safety role and the staff talked more about the position.
“They’re looking for playmakers and people that can force turnovers. Coach Malone coached Justin Gilbert so he knows talent when he sees it,” Okudah said.
The big takeaway from the SMU junior day visit was the future outlook for SMU football.
“How committed they are to bringing back SMU to what it used to be and the coaches are already trying to change the outlook of SMU,” Okudah said. “As far as renovating the weight room, just the work place and you can tell that Coach Morris knew that he wanted to leave Clemson and come somewhere they were committed to getting back to being on top.”
Okudah visited Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas A&M, TCU this fall and spring and SMU for junior day. As of now, Okudah doesn’t have a favorite right now and is weighing all of his offers including where he’ll visit for spring practice.
“I haven’t made any plans to go to schools for the spring game yet. I’m just looking at all the schools right now,” Okudah said.
“It just means that I have to work hard to maintain these scholarships,” Okudah said. “It just really motivates me to work harder because it’s just a blessing and it can go away so quickly.”
In his sophomore season, Okudah had 19 receptions for 460 yards and six touchdowns on offense and had six forced fumbles on the year.
Okudah will compete in Nike’s The Opening in Dallas at AT&T Stadium on March 15.