Billy: Zach Wood
senior defensive end was lauded by the coaching staff and his teammates for his work ethic going into the spring and it showed. Wood looked thicker, able to take on more and a leader of the team. Wood was versatile enough to be moved inside with Zelt Minor
out for the spring game and while he missed a few practices, Wood had a decent showing every time he was out on the field. Wood won't wow you with his pass rushing ability, which is probably why Robert Seals
got time as a pass rushing specialist. Wood's key contributions were in the spring workouts and stepping up as a leader along the line. Woods has an even bigger sense of focus in his work with the new staff in place. After this spring, watching Wood play solid gap responsibility and make plays was a great sign for the defensive line. Pair Wood with a healthy Minor as well as the other contributors along the line and SMU could have a front four that comes out of nowhere.
SMU used their 15 spring practices to implement Coach Morris and Coach Malone’s new offensive and defensive schemes, so this spring period was truly a learning experience. Their really weren’t many players on either side of the ball that had overly impressive springs, but there’s no question second-year receiver Courtland Sutton had the most impressive spring, which culminated with his 6 catches for 124 yards in the spring game. With Sutton’s new and improved physique, the wideout proved he does in fact deserve have the size and skill set to be one of the starting receiver spots when fall roles around.
I'm going with Matt Davis. Quarterback was an uncertainty coming into spring, but in a good way. Fans were looking forward to the battle. Davis was looking to build on his solid play at the end of last season, and true freshman Ben Hicks
came in with hype and a chance to compete right away. While this battle was one of the biggest storylines of spring ball, there would have been some bad uncertainty had both players struggled. Hicks showed that he needs more time before becoming the starter, but luckily, Davis continued to improve and looks to have a strong grasp on the starting QB spot. He looked comfortable in the new offense and continued to make strides as a passer, even behind a struggling offensive line. Davis brought stability and confidence to the game's most important position, and that only helps the offense's outlook this year even if other position groups struggle. For that, he's my MVP.
Hatts: Matt Davis
Matt Davis entered spring ball ready to earn his starting quarterback spot heading into the summer, and came out of the spring giving fans a lot of hope for the future as to what he will do in this offense. Davis will have to use his mobility throughout the summer and season to evade the rush with the offensive line still developing, but Davis showed this spring he isn’t as eager to get out of the pocket as he used to be. Davis was patient throughout spring and showed he’s been working on his footwork and being able to read the defenses much better than he was before. Another positive this spring was the emergence of the deep ball for Davis. Just during the spring game, Davis threw a couple strikes over the middle and down the sideline including a 45-yard touchdown to Courtland Sutton. Finally, the leadership Davis showed throughout spring was another huge step forward for the dual-threat QB. Davis has shown he is ready to take owner of this team and mentor those around him, as well as, continue to develop his own game in this new offense.
Although he wasn't the one to make the biggest plays, senior wide receiver Darius Joseph is the MVP for SMU's spring football season. When there is a massive change to a football program, the senior leaders' responses tell how the team has handled it. Joseph has adjusted nicely to the Chad Morris era. Over the spring, he's had a couple of big plays, including a touchdown in the spring game, and a 50-yard one-handed reception while drawing pass interference in a scrimmage. While other players made the plays that would be on the highlight reels, Joseph made the plays that kept drives alive, making him the most valuable player.