The Hilltop Review

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

Skyline offensive lineman recaps junior day

By: Andrew Hattersley

Just a week after taking in Oklahoma’s junior day, 2016 Dallas Skyline (Tex.) offensive lineman Clarence Henderson was on SMU’s campus for their junior day.

“Junior Day was cool, I thought they really took us through the campus, they showed us all the aspects of the football facilities,” Henderson said, “The other side was also the academics, I thought that was pretty cool.”

Henderson especially liked one special building, despite not remembering the name, especially when he looked up at the roof of the building.

“There was a building at the end of a long walkway that when you walked into it and looked up there was a large dome and it then it had all these cool pictures and everything,” Henderson said.

The Skyline center also enjoyed getting to see the football facilities where he could potentially call home in a couple years.

“They were nice, they were nice, the academic part was nice but I enjoyed the weight room and the locker room,” Henderson said.

Henderson also holds offers from Louisiana Tech, UCLA, Washington, Arizona State, Rice and SMU.

Henderson, who visited Oklahoma the weekend before SMU has got one more junior day to attend for this semester.

“I’m going to Texas Tech this weekend, and then the weekend before junior day I went to Oklahoma, which was nice,” Henderson said.

SMU has kept in constant communication with the Skyline center, however, he is not sure yet when he will return.

“They messaged me on Twitter and I would say that was about two weeks before junior day and we’ve talked,” Henderson said.


Mineola brothers pick up SMU offers

By: Billy Embody

Mineola (Tex.) offensive lineman Riley Anderson and his brother, Austin Anderson, recently picked up SMU offers and Riley took time to talk about the feeling of adding another offer.

“I just felt great. I thank my coaches, teaches, parents and the good Lord for all I’ve been blessed with,” the 6-5, 280-pound lineman said.

SMU Offensive Line Coach Dustin Fry called Anderson to tell him the news and the pair are building a relationship.

“We’ve talked to him a few times, but we talked probably for 5-10 minutes,” the three-star prospect said. “I like him a lot. He seems like a great guy, great coach.”

The Andersons haven’t met SMU Head Coach Chad Morris just yet, but the brothers are going to try and get over to SMU during the spring, but aren’t sure yet.

The fact that SMU offered the twins doesn’t make a difference in their recruitment.

“We think it’d be fun to play together, but if he likes a school better than I like it and I like another school better, we’re just going to go separate ways and wherever we feel the best even if it’s opposite schools.”

There’s not a school that’s standing out to Riley, but he expects to begin to see where he’d like to be pretty soon.

“We’re waiting for the spring and all the junior days to be over and I’ll probably be leaning towards a few,” Anderson said. “I plan on committing by August 1st if I know where I want to go, but if not then I’ll wait until official visits and then I’ll have a good idea.”

The Andersons have visited TCU, Oklahoma State, Baylor and North Texas so far and hold offers from Houston, Kansas State, Missouri, TCU, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Cincinnati, Arkansas State, Illinois, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Northwestern, Iowa and Texas State.

So what’s the difference between the two highly-touted prospects?

“I’m a little taller and have longer arms and a little more explosive,” Anderson said. “I’d say he’ (Austin) probably quicker and has better hand placement.”

Most coaching staffs have not been recruiting Riley at a specific position.


Cinco Ranch tight end talks SMU interest

By: Andrew Hattersley

2016 Cinco Ranch HS (Tex.) tight end Corey Rau is in full baseball mode now but just before his season, the junior got a chance to take in SMU junior day and loved the experience.

“It’s pretty cool I mean it’s a great school, its like a life success, a degree from there will you get anywhere or into any building that you walk into so honestly it was just a great experience,” Rau said, “They got a bunch of new facilities that they’re adding in and the coaches were just hands down amazing, I mean they were so welcoming and it was just a great experience I wasn’t even imagining anything that they were doing to be completely honest.”

One of the most impressive aspects for Rau was how the staff treated each and every person that attended junior day.

“They were really nice, they shook everybody’s hand from what I saw and they all at the end of everything said “Pony Up” it was cool,” Rau said, “Coach Morris he’s going to change it around in my opinion, he’s a great coach and the last 4 or 5 seasons he had at Clemson he had 10+ winning seasons they all have their orange on which is cool from when they beat Ohio State in the Orange Bowl and it was just cool.”

The 6-4, 243-pound tight end does not have many offers yet but is hoping that will change in the coming months, but if it doesn’t he is more than happy to attend either of the two schools that has offered him.

“I have only two offers which are SMU and Houston but hopefully I don’t have two offers by the end of my high school career but I mean they were a good school,” Rau said, “I wouldn’t mind going there or Houston but they’re both amazing schools in my opinion and they’re both in Texas which makes it even better because they’re close to home.”

Staying in Texas is a priority for Rau and he sees it as a good decision considering the improvements that every school has been making in recent years.

“I’m trying to stay in Texas, all schools in Texas they’re making improvements and it’s getting better season by season,” Rau said.

The coaching staff has kept in constant contact with Rau about how his football is going, as well as, other aspects of his life.

“They tweet me a lot and send me a lot of tweet messages and keep me updated and ask me what’s going on in football and classes and how’s baseball going so they stay in touch with me a lot,” Rau said, “As a matter of fact, I called coach Buddy Wyatt the other night, I didn’t get to talk to him but I left a voicemail, they always keep in touch with me which is nice and so does Houston.”

The coaching staff is pushing for the Cinco Ranch product to attend one of their spring practices however it could be tough for him to do with baseball season in full swing.

“I don’t know about recent because of the baseball schedule and all the tournaments and games going on,” Rau said, “They have been asking me to go to some of their practices, I’m going to try to make it to them, I’m not for sure I can make it to them but I’m going to try.”


Baylor commit adds SMU offer

By: Andrew Hattersley

2016 Grandview HS (Tex.) quarterback Zach Smith is currently committed to Baylor but picked up his third offer recently from SMU.

“SMU is a good school, from what I know of, it seems like a really great school to go to and to play for,” Smith said, “It’s really a blessing, I really wouldn’t have expected it before but I’m really blessed to get an offer.”

The 6-4, 200-pound quarterback, who also holds an offer from Texas, said as of right now he is still committed to Baylor but if things were to change, SMU would definitely be in the mix.

“It’s definitely up there, I am committed to Baylor but if anything happens I will definitely look at it and we’ll take it from there,” Smith said.

One of the big reasons behind Smith’s interest in SMU is offensive coordinator Joe Craddock who has been keeping up with the Grandview quarterback in recent weeks.

“I really like the offensive coordinator, coach Craddock, I talk to him, I talk to him a lot I like him, he’s a really great guy,” Smith said.

Smith has not decided if he is going to take a visit to SMU this semester, as he is about to begin his baseball season.

“I’m not completely sure yet, I have baseball the whole rest of the year so I’m pretty committed this spring,” Smith said.

The Grandview quarterback is currently rated as a three star quarterback by scout.com and the fifth best quarterback in Texas.

In his junior season, Smith threw for 3,399 yards, 34 touchdowns and had a 67% completion percentage, while only throwing 7 interceptions.


Poteet linebacker recaps SMU junior day

By: Patrick Engel

Mesquite (Texas) Poteet linebacker Tuck Tucker has been talking to the SMU coaches for a little while, but saw firsthand the energy and devotion they have to making SMU a winner when he attended junior day in late February.

“I like the coaching staff. They’re really energetic, which is awesome,” Tucker said. “They’re very real. Nothing’s fake about them. They don’t put up a show, and you can tell that’s the way they are. The campus is gorgeous. All the facilities are really nice, and you can tell they’re building a good program.”

Tucker described his contact with SMU as “here and there”, but said he has gotten to know offensive coordinator Joe Craddock and wide receivers coach Justin Stepp. He had visited SMU a few times before Chad Morris and his staff took over, and was in awe of difference between Morris and the previous staff.

“A huge difference. Before, the coaches were very laid-back, just kind of going through the motions when we were going on a visit,” Tucker said. “But these guys are all super energetic and happy to see you. It’s a great feeling.”

The coaches left quite the impression on Tucker, but one other aspect of SMU also caught his attention.

“The strength program, the way they explained it sounds like they’re going to get a lot of good athletes,” Tucker said. “It’s a place I’d like to be.”

Tucker hasn’t taken any other visits, but has invites to Tulsa and Rice junior days. In addition to SMU, he’s heard from Tulsa, Rice, UTSA and Michigan State. He does not currently have any offers or any favorites.

But the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Tucker is generating significant interest on the baseball diamond. He pitches for Poteet’s baseball team and has an offer from Texas Tech.

Poteet went 10-2 in 2014, and Tucker thinks he played well too, especially because it was his first year on defense after converting from quarterback.

“I changed positions; I’d never played linebacker before,” Tucker said. “I think I did pretty good for the first year to ever play defense.”


Local defensive back talks SMU interest

By: Patrick Engel

Wilmer-Hutchins (Dallas) High School defensive back Diameon Brewer was one of a handful of Dallas kids to visit SMU for junior day, and he came away with a lot to like.

“I like SMU since it’s close to my house, and they got a new coaching staff,” Brewer said.

Brewer hadn’t had a lot of contact from the SMU staff before, but running backs coach Claude Mathis is a good friend of Brewer’s head coach, Elize Barnett, which helped make SMU aware of Brewer. Mathis and Brewer have been in touch since junior day, but he enjoyed getting to know all the coaches and seeing their energy.

“The head coach, coach Morris, is really cool. All of the coaches walked up to me, greeted me and spoke to me,” Brewer said.

Brewer has already visited Oklahoma State and Baylor for junior days in addition to SMU. He was scheduled to go to Texas Tech this weekend, but snow in the Dallas area postponed his trip to Lubbock. He also wants to visit Arkansas State, which is his only offer. Boise State, Kansas State and Oklahoma State and are showing the heaviest interest in him.

“[I’m looking for] a school with a nice schedules, a nice campus, good facilities and good coaches,” Brewer said.

Wilmer-Hutchins went 4-7 in 2014, but Brewer felt his play was strong.

“My season, I felt it went great,” Brewer said. “Tom Lemming said I was a junior all-American and first-team all-state defensive back with 126 total tackles and nine picks.”

Brewer is 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds.


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