The Hilltop Review 8/21

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

2016 forward planning SMU visit

By: Andrew Hattersley

After a solid summer with Pro Skills, 2016 Klein Forest (Tex.) power forward DeAndre Williams feels he is rounding right into form for his senior year.

“It went good, it all went good, the entire thing everything was good, my handling was better, I got better with my handles, usually I lose the ball or turn it over I was tired of having it so I got tighter handles and was handling the ball better,” Williams said.

Despite a good summer, things have been quieter for Williams with only South Carolina talking to him while SMU has not spoken to him in a couple of weeks.

“I have not recently; probably the last game of the summer was the last time I spoke to them, like two weeks ago, I would say like two to three weeks,” Williams said.

Even with a quieter couple of weeks, Williams stressed SMU is very much in the picture and he plans to visit at some point.

“I’m planning to take a visit to SMU soon,” Williams said, “I don’t know yet [about South Carolina] but I know I’m taking a visit to SMU though.”

The 6’8, 195-pound forward noted there are a couple of things he will be looking at whenever he visits SMU.

“Do they make me feel at home, their environment, just treat me well and make me feel at home,” Williams said.

Williams has offers from a number of schools and hasn’t cut down his list recently, however there are already some schools that are no longer in the picture.

“I got offers from Baylor, SMU, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Houston, South Carolina, and Western Kentucky,” Williams said, “I haven’t cut my list down yet, I have way more offers but I don’t consider those schools I guess I’m going to cut my list down later on.”

That decision should be coming sometime around the middle of the high school season although he will cut down his list before.

“Probably in the middle of the high school season that’s really when I’m going to start working them down, seeing which school I want to go to like in the middle,” Williams said.

Before he makes his decision, Williams reiterated he would make a trip to SMU at some point.

“They just want me to take a visit, that’s all they’ve really said to me, they can’t just tell me much over the phone because they want me to take a visit and see how it is up there,” Williams said, “I like the coaching staff, I like coach Larry Brown, I like coach K.T Turner, they have a very good coaching staff, I consider them highly, I will be taking a visit up there I just don’t know when I will be taking a visit though.”


2016 guard sees SMU’s interest drop off

By: Andrew Hattersley

It has been a busy past couple of weeks for 2016 Seguin HS (Tex.) guard Josh Parrish (top of page) who has had his recruitment pick up with multiple schools over the last couple weeks but things have gone the other direction with SMU.

“Not really, lately they haven’t really been contacting me so I haven’t been talking to them or anything like that,” Parrish said, “I think very highly of SMU, it’s a great school, I think its good academically I like them a lot.”

Parrish said the last time he heard from SMU was probably about a month ago. Despite not hearing from SMU, Parrish has drawn a lot of interest from three other schools.

“For me its going good, recruitment for me its heading up a little bit but I’m just trying to stay grounded and just trying to make sure I make the right decision, so I’m just taking my time and going day by day with it,” Parrish said, “As of today, I have been hearing from Arkansas, VCU and TCU the most.”

For Parrish, it is appealing to see that TCU has got two strong sports to go along with a good academic reputation.

“I think highly of them too, great school, great football team and basketball team on the rise so that’s a school I think I can fit in with it, its definitely an option,” Parrish said.

Past success is also important for Parrish and that is where VCU has an unparalleled advantage.

“VCU they’re a good school, they’re a tournament team the past 5 or 6 years so that’s always good, just another program on the rise, I think highly of them as well, that’s a pretty good school,” Parrish said.

One school to keep an eye on though is Arkansas, which Parrish said has shown a lot of interest in him lately, and is also a school he thinks is a great fit.

“That’s a school I think I can fit in very well with, they get up and down, coach Anderson is a great coach in a great system,” Parrish said, “I think highly of them as well, I pretty much like them as well.”

Parrish is in no rush to make a decision as he still has a couple of official visits to take, but he plans to make a decision sometime in November.

“I plan to take officials to all three but I only have two set up right now and that’s to VCU and TCU,” Parrish said, “I plan to make a decision early November, thinks could change but as of right now I plan to make a decision early November.”


2017 wide receiver hearing from SMU

By: Billy Embody

2017 San Angelo Central wide receiver Aaron Wooten is adjusting to life in San Angelo after transferring from Marble Falls this past year.

"It's great. The team is extremely solid on and off the field. I've got great friends here," Wooten said. "Learning the offense fast and that fits with coach Dodge. Me and Brennen came in and watched a lot of film and studied extra hours and we're fitting in. We're going with the flow and it's great."

He and his brother, Brennen Wooten, have great chemistry out on the field together.

"No matter what offense we're in, it's great. We're always going to sling it around a little bit," Wooten said. "We're going to have a pretty good running game this year too. It's great. It can't be any better."

This offseason, Wooten improved every aspect of his game with another year of high school ball under his belt.

"I got a little bigger and faster this year. Just my overall experience and awareness got a lot of that and just gaining knowledge of the game. I went from outside to inside receiver."

The 6-1, 192-pound receiver said he's hearing from a few different schools. TCU, Tulsa, UTSA and SMU are both showing interest with SMU being the only school to offer still.

"Most of the colleges want to see what I can do this year because I didn't have a full season last year," Wooten said. "I keep up with them (SMU) a good bit. Just right now, I'm really busy with two-a-days, but I keep up with them."

Receivers coach Justin Stepp and offensive coordinator Joe Craddock keep up pretty regularly with Wooten as well as head coach Chad Morris.

The Wooten brothers have talked about playing together in college, but they're taking a wait-and-see approach.

"Obviously, I'd like to play with him, but he knows and understands that I'm going to do what's best for me and he's going to do what's best for him. I want to go to school with him, but right now I don't have that offer," Wooten said.

Wooten is visiting New Mexico State, UTSA, Tulsa, TCU and SMU this fall for games he says.

For his junior year, Wooten is putting a lot on him and his team in his first year at Central.

"Win 16 games. I just want to have a good bit over 1,000 yards and over 80 percent catching wise. I'd like to come out healthy and get more yards after the catch."


Brennen Wooten talks SMU, TCU

By: Billy Embody

2016 San Angelo Central quarterback Brennen Wooten has seen his recruitment die down a little bit before his senior year since committing to TCU, but Wooten said it's nice to be getting ready for the season.

"It's going great. We've finally got into the swing of things and we're ready for our first game and scrimmage this weekend," Wooten said. "It's great. I feel like I've been playing for them for a long time. It's a great football team and a great fit."

Central's defense has given Central's offense a great look, which has helped Wooten diagnose new looks and get the offense moving in the right direction.

The TCU commit says he's still solid to the Horned Frogs with SMU still keeping in touch through offensive coordinator Joe Craddock.

"They want me pretty bad and I really like coach Craddock and all the coaches there. They're all first-class guys and I feel like they'll do well at SMU. I have a great relationship with all of them, but I'm solid to TCU right now."

Wooten still has a great relationship with SMU and David Moore being committed there doesn't bother him.

"They're just keeping the relationship strong. They just told me that they want me and that's all I know," Wooten said. "Nothing is planned as far as a visit. Whether there's a quarterback in the class or without one, it's still in the same place."

SMU offensive coordinator Joe Craddock actually was a big reason Clemson offered Wooten.

"I didn't get to talk with him until he got to SMU, but he was the one that put his name on the line for me at Clemson and that's how I got my offer at Clemson. I've got a really great relationship with him. Awesome guy, awesome coach and I like him a lot."

SMU head coach Chad Morris has made a strong impression on Wooten too.

"I really like coach Morris as well. He's a great guy and from Texas and that means a lot," Wooten said. "I have a great relationship with him and he's a great coach."

On the TCU side, everything is still great with the coaches there.

"It's great. I have a great relationship with coach Cumbee, who's my recruiter and coach Patterson as well," Wooten said. "It's been a really strong relationship with them since they've offered and it's been a great experience."

Wooten's goals for this season are pretty simple.

"I feel we have a pretty good team. The ultimate goal is to win a state championship and we expect to have a great year this year. It's going to be fun."


2017 wide receiver blowing up with offers

By: Patrick Engel

It’s been a successful summer for Charleston Rambo. The junior wide receiver transferred to DFW powerhouse Cedar Hill (Texas) and earned top-200 ranking nationally from Scout.com. Rambo and running back Kaegun Williams were two big offensive additions for the Longhorns, whom already had three of the state’s top offensive prospects for 2017 in quarterback Avery Davis and wide receivers Jaylon Jackson and Camron Buckley. Rambo felt the energy around the team right away, but still knew he’d have to bring his best right when fall camp opened.

“There’s a lot of competition because there’s a lot of depth at every position. I’m loving it, and the play calling is fast,” Rambo said. “There’s a lot of coaching going on at every position and a lot of excitement.

Rambo has had similar success on the recruiting front lately. He added offers from Oklahoma and BYU to an already solid list of SMU, Miami (Fla.), Texas Tech, Arizona State, Kansas and North Texas. He also said UCLA and Tennessee are talking to him a lot right now and could offer once they get to one of his games. SMU offered him in the spring, and he’s kept in regular contact with running backs coach Claude Mathis as well as visited the Hilltop a handful of times.

“I’ve been to campus about three of four times. I went for a camp, then went for a cookout,” Rambo said. “I love coach Morris, I love what he’s trying to do. He’s brought a lot of excitement to the team.”

Rambo has been to SMU more than any other school (he said he hadn’t taken any other visits), but he’s still built relationships with other coaches.

“OU, I talked to their whole offensive staff the other day. I talk to Kansas and (secondary) coach (Kenny) Perry a lot,” Rambo said. “But I haven’t gotten out to visit those schools yet. I’m definitely going to go to an SMU game, a Texas Tech game, an OU game and a Kansas game this year.”

Rambo is a four-star recruit and is ranked 127th in the 2017 Scout 300. He is 6-foot-1 and 160 pounds.


South Dakota commit talks SMU interest

By: Scott Sanford

The 2016 SMU recruiting class is almost full, but there are a few remaining open spots.

Back in June, the Mustangs picked up a string of commitments from secondary players, but there is likely space for one more.

Glenda Dawson (Tex.) cornerback Mykul Mitchell had initially put SMU in his top two after picking up an offer from the Mustangs, but recently the Pearland native verbally committed to South Dakota.

“I’m verbally committed to South Dakota as of right now, but if anything else comes around—if a greater opportunity comes a long I’ll consider that school,” Mitchell said. “I really like the coaches up there, and I really think I can make an impact on the team.”

Mitchell, who holds offers from South Dakota, SMU, Nevada and Stephen F. Austin, is still very active in his recruiting process and remains in contact with two programs in particular.

“The two schools I’ve been talking to the most are SMU and South Dakota,” Mitchell said. “For SMU, it’s something that a lot of people say about it, but it’s a good school to get a degree from. The new staff is changing a lot, and hopefully they can get a winning season going.”

Mitchell, who visited SMU unofficially this summer, does not know if he will take an official visit to SMU.

“I took a visit there not to long ago, so I’m not sure if I’m going to take an official there since I saw all that I needed to see for the most part,” Mitchell explained.

The rising senior knows he will take a visit to South Dakota in November, but that is the only visit planned up to this point.

Once the season starts, Mitchell plans to gauge the interest he’s receiving from other schools before determining where he’ll take his other official visits.


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