The Hilltop Review

Come inside a Monday edition of The Hilltop Review for recaps from some of SMU's visitors this weekend.

Bowie offensive lineman picks up SMU offer

By: Scott Sanford

Even with spring ball officially underway, the SMU coaching staff continues to make strides on the recruiting front.

On Monday SMU running backs coach Claude Mathis and head coach Chad Morris reached out to 2016 James Bowie (Arlington, Texas) offensive lineman Tope Imade and officially extended an offer to the 6-foot-5, 300-pound junior.

Monday was Imade’s first time talking with the SMU coaching staff, and it was a brief conversation.

The two SMU coaches were impressed by Imade’s size, strength and film.

While Imade doesn’t know much about SMU right now, he hopes to continue to build on his conversation with the staff.

“I kind of got (a relationship) started with Coach Morris and Coach Mathis two days ago, so hopefully if I can go down there we can talk a little bit more,” Imade said. “(Coach Mathis) liked my film, he wants me to get down there, and he just wanted me to know that the offer was there.”

Coach Morris and Coach Mathis invited Imade down to SMU to check out the spring game, which he hopes to be able to take in. Morris also gave Imade SMU’s spring schedule and invited him to take in a spring practice in the coming weeks.

Besides SMU, Imade holds offers from Arkansas State, Nevada, San Diego State, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas State, Tulane, Washington and Illinois State.

Imade has no favorites at the moment, but his Texas Tech offer “sticks out” because they offer his intended major of petroleum engineering.

While Imade hopes to make his decision on October 26 (his birthday), he already knows what he’s looking for in a school.

“Early playing time and that the environment is, you know, cool,” Imade said.

Imade and the James Bowie football team will kick off spring practice in four weeks.

Junior Highlights


Local wide receiver has SMU right at the top

By: Billy Embody

Plano East wide receiver Adewale Omotosho took in SMU junior day and practice this weekend and loved it.

“It was great. I got to see the tempo coach has been talking about,” Omotosho said. “Got to see the coaches and see how a normal practice is at SMU. Got to see how the offense runs and how the high energy, up-tempo is.”

Omotosho talked with SMU receivers coach Justin Stepp, head coach Chad Morris, defensive backs coach Jess Loepp and others. Stepp and Omotosho talked about where he’d fit at SMU.

“The numbers at the receiver position because they only have seven and they have one leaving and the type of receivers they have and hopefully coming in and filling up that position.”

Stepp, who Omotosho said is really close with him, wasn’t pushing Omotosho for a commitment he said, but he knows he’s a top priority for the staff.

“He’s giving me my space, but he definitely wants me to have SMU in my top priorities,” Omotosho said. “I wouldn’t say (SMU is standing out) the most. I haven’t really decided that deep into the process, but they’re one of my top schools.”

Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Kansas, Iowa and Washington were also listed by Omotosho at the top for him.

Omotosho plans on visiting Oklahoma State, Ohio State and Texas Tech this spring as well. His recent visit to SMU showed him how much it has changed since his first visit.

“It was cool. All the renovations they plan on doing and the uniforms. It’s always a really good experience,” the three-star receiver said. “They’ve already taken in with the stadium they’ve already started so it was cool to see all the changes already since the last time I was there.”

After his senior season, Omotosho expects to decide on his school.

Morris’ offense is a huge selling point for Omotosho as well.

“That’s really big. He’s coached players like Sammy Watkins, who actually is my favorite player so that’d be great to be able to play in the same position and flourish like he did.”

As for competing in The Opening, Omotosho scored one of the best Sparq ratings with help from his 39-inch vertical.

“ It’s a great learning experience and a chance to compete against the best,” the 6-2, 190-pound receiver said. “There’s not a lot of camps out here like this where you get all the top recruits coming from all over to compete.”

During the spring and especially at The Opening, Omotosho was focused on refining his route running.

“Just working on my ball skills and reading DBs’ hips because I’d like to be a more prolific route runner.”


Fairfield running backs picks up SMU offer

By: Andrew Hattersley

2016 Fairfield HS (Tex.) cornerback Charles Oliver picked up an offer last week from SMU and was on campus Saturday to take in one of SMU’s spring practices, as well as, talk to the coaches.

“I liked it, the locker room was really cool and I liked the practice field and the coaches, I liked talking to the coaches, coach Morris and coach Loepp,” Oliver said, “I liked it a lot, I especially like when they separate into positions and let them work with you.”

One of the points of discussions with the coaching staff was how he would be utilized if he were to come to SMU next year.

“They were cool, coach Loepp was telling me their plans for me, how they play press coverage a lot and that’s my type of playing style,” Oliver said, “Coach Morris was telling me I could play both sides of the ball when I’m needed, which is what I want to do.”

If Oliver were to play both sides of the ball he would play running back as well after having success there in high school.

Before receiving an offer from SMU, Oliver was not very familiar with the school but is nonetheless learning more about the school as well as the coaching staff and is excited about the offer.

“I’m just thankful for and blessed about the whole situation,” Oliver said, “I love my fans and I started doing a little bit of research about the school and I see a lot that I like about it.”

After speaking with Chad Morris, Van Malone and Jess Loepp he has loved what he’s heard from the new coaches both from what they’ve said in person and over the phone.

“You don’t get to see how people really are on the phone and stuff but in real life they’re just really nice people and they expect a lot,” Oliver said, “They were telling me that football is just a little bit of life, they were really wanting to make a man instead of just a football player, which I respect a lot.”

The 6-2, 180-pound cornerback is not sure when he will be back to visit the school again but would like to come back so that he can see the rest of campus outside of the football facilities.

Oliver currently holds offers from Texas State, Tulsa and Louisiana Tech.

One of the things that could play a big role in the decision making process for Oliver and could play right into SMU’s hands is how close the Texas cornerback can stay to home.

“Staying local is one of my goals when going to college, just staying close to home and having my family come watch, and just being stable would make me feel good,” Oliver said.

Oliver has also seen time, and had success, as a running back. After his junior season, he earned second team All-District as a cornerback and as a running back.


Louisiana quarterback visits SMU, gets offer

By: Billy Embody

2016 Bossier City Parkway (La.) quarterback Keondre Wudtee took a quick trip to SMU this weekend and offensive coordinator Joe Craddock informed him he’s being offered by SMU.

“He told me while we were talking that I have an offer. We didn’t get to do that much talking because he was in his meeting and after the meeting he had to go to practice. I didn’t stay that long because I had to go back home for something.”

The chance to play in Chad Morris’ up-tempo offense has Wudtee excited.

“I was pretty excited. I was just waiting for it. Their offense is similar to my high school offense and that’s one thing I look at,” Wudtee said. “They like to move the ball fast and that’s something I could probably do for them.”

Watching the quarterbacks and Craddock for a short period of time at practice gave Wudtee enough of an impression. “From what I saw, I liked it. He’s a cool guy. He’s pretty funny to me,” Wudtee said. “(We talk) every once and a while.”

SMU head coach Chad Morris got to talk with the 6-4, 185-pound quarterback for a second as well. The pair keeps up on Twitter every now and again.

“I said a couple words to him and then he had to tend to practice,” Wudtee said.

Wudtee got a quick look at the campus and was impressed as well. It was the second weekend in a row Wudtee had been in Dallas. The weekend before, he was out competing in The Opening.

“I thought I did pretty good. I was able to compete with the best and I also got to learn from a couple people like Trent Dilfer,” the three-star quarterback said. “Coaches helped me out there with my mechanics and footwork. He told me to have my eyes and feet at the same place.”

The three-star prospect has offers from Arkansas State, Houston, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, UMass and Memphis as well and a decision could be coming soon.

“I probably plan on making a decision after spring ball. I’ve visited Texas Tech, Houston and I don’t have any other places right now,” Wudtee said. “I’m not leaning anywhere.”


DeSoto quarterback talks recruitment

By: Billy Embody

DeSoto quarterback Tristen Wallace recently opened up his recruitment after committing to Texas Tech and the reason for that was simple.

“Just making the right decision for me and seeing what every college has to offer, not cutting anybody short,” Wallace said. “I have a long way to go in this recruiting process and I want to make the right decision for me and my family.”

Wallace still lists Texas Tech in his top schools, but will also be visiting Ohio State this spring. Wallace had committed to Tech as an athlete.

“It was a funny thing. They wanted me to play quarterback initially. I actually committed as an athlete,” Wallace said. “I had gotten hurt and didn’t have a big offer list. With all these new offers coming in, I’m just trying to make the best decision.”

As for where SMU stands, they’re right there for Wallace’s signature.

“SMU is right there. Both my parents graduating from there and my former head coach being there now. It’s a good fit.”

SMU running backs coach Claude Mathis came over from DeSoto when Chad Morris was hired and that’s a big plus.

“I have a relationship with him and guys there like James Proche and Kevin Thomas, who are also from DeSoto.”

SMU is recruiting Wallace as a quarterback and that’s what he wants to play at the next level. Chad Morris’ expertise as a developer of quarterbacks is a big reason why SMU is near the top.

“He’s done a great job. With Deshaun Watson at Clemson, he’s a great example. Coach Morris has been coaching for a long time and has some good experience on his hands.”

Wallace would relish the chance to get into Morris’ system.

“The spread up-tempo and using the true advantages of a dual threat quarterback is everything in the college game.”

Wallace expects to visit SMU this summer some time. He was recently out at The Opening and trying to earn an Elite 11 invitation.

“I’m just trying to get the best coaching from this staff from Oregon. You can’t beat this experience and I’m just trying to come out and compete.”

Super Bowl winning quarterback Trent Dilfer leads the Elite 11 coaching staff and Wallace was looking to pick up as much as he could from Dilfer.

“Just talk to him a little bit and soak everything up like a sponge. That’s really what I’m trying to do is get tips and ideas and add them on to what I already know.”


La Vega DB talks relationship with SMU staff

By: Billy Embody

2016 La Vega defensive back Parrish Cobb recently took time before competing at The Opening to recap his SMU junior day visit.

“The surroundings were good. The coaches there they treat you right and like you’re their own,” Cobb said.

Defensive backs coach Jess Loepp has been the one Cobb has built the best relationship with so far.

“I’ve been talking to coach Loepp. I’ve been talking to him a lot. He’s a real good dude. He’s crazy,” Cobb said. “He’s real hype. He has a lot of energy and he keeps the game live.”

The visit impressed the 6-0, 180-pound Cobb and had a lot to digest.

“They gave us a lot of insight into the education and that was good. They took us in the weight room and they have a good fitness facility. They were talking like they were good on nutrition. The whole thing was really nice.”

The staff sold Cobb on the chance to play early and that was music to his ears.

“The best thing was when I went there they were telling me I was going to get a lot of playing time. They told me I have a very good chance to start my freshman year.”

Of course with SMU coming off their 1-11 season and into the first season of the Chad Morris era, playing time is ample, but does the bad season hurt SMU?

“How the good and bad the teams are doesn’t really matter. It’s how good the coaches are and the organization is,” Cobb said.

Cobb said he plans on getting back to SMU for a spring visit. The three-star prospect has been busy visiting Oklahoma, TCU, Texas and has visits planned for Oregon and Alabama as well.

At The Opening, Cobb was focused on getting a solid 40 time and working on his physicality with receivers during 1-on-1s.

“Just make sure my technique is right and don’t be intimidated by anybody. I live in the moment so if it’s hype out there, I’m going to be the hypest person on the field.”

Cobb doesn’t have a leader at this point and is thinking he’ll decide after his senior year.


Kimball defensive lineman enjoys SMU practice

By: Billy Embody

2016 Kimball defensive lineman Demerick Gary was out at SMU’s first open practice and really enjoyed the visit.

“I liked everything. I had seen everything before because I had done the junior day,” Gary said. “Actually talking to coach Malone, coach Wyatt and coach Morris after they finally offered, it was pretty cool. Them just telling me how big of an impact I could have was great.”

The No. 14 ranked defensive end in Texas really enjoyed SMU’s high-energy practice.

“Practice was live. It was different for me because I have an older high school coach and older people don’t usually like all the noise,” Gary said. “That’s the kind of environment I want to play in. I want to have fun and they were having fun.”

Defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt and Gary had some time to talk before practice.

“We just talked about a lot of stuff. He was showing me some schemes and how they want to be,” Gary said. “I was just asking him what made him offer me. We were talking about everything and not just football. He coaches with a passion and he’s going to coach you till it’s right.”

The three-star prospect really likes SMU and has thought about committing, but he wants to make sure he doesn’t have a second thought.

“It’s just kind of hard because I don’t want to commit and have second guesses,” the 6-2, 240-pound lineman said. “It’s a better choice for me for after football. Right now, I just haven’t made any decision yet.”

Houston and Texas State will get visits the next couple weeks as well as possibly SMU for their spring game.

Tristen Wallace talks recruiting with Horns Digest


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