The Hilltop Review 10/30

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

"Means a lot" to Fernando to hear from SMU

By: Billy Embody

2016 Montverde Academy (Fla.) center Bruno Fernando hears from SMU, "every chance they get," and that is what means a lot to him when SMU head coach Larry Brown and assistant coach Jerry Hobbie reach out.

"It means a lot to have a chance to play for one of the greatest coaches," Fernando said.

The No. 22 ranked center in the country visited SMU over the summer and came away thoroughly impressed after meeting with the coaches and players.

"I loved it and had a great time up there," the 6-10, 222-pound center said.

While Fernando hasn't seen SMU play much, the staff told him he'd be a good fit and pointed to former SMU big man Yanick Moreira and how he developed.

"I mean I've seen him playing and I'm so proud to see how much better he got," Fernando said.

The big man wouldn't delve into a potential timeline or other schools in the mix, but Fernando is without a doubt a huge target for SMU.

Smith has new top school

By: Scott Sanford

2016 Permian (Tex.) defensive back Desmon Smith had it narrowed down to SMU and Texas State.

The three-star senior told Bobcat Illustrated, “San Marcos felt more like home,” so Smith committed Texas State.

Fast forward almost five months now, and Smith has reopened his recruitment, hearing from the likes of Texas Tech, SMU, Kansas and Houston the most.

Smith is still considering the Bobcats, but there’s a new school at the top of his list right now.

Texas Tech will get an official visit from Smith, as well as an unofficial visit October 31.

The Red Raiders are standing out to the cornerback for a number of reasons at the moment.

“Tech is at the top right now. Really, the fan base and the coaching staff (are what standout),” Smith said of Texas Tech. “I get along with the coaches real well.”

Smith also hears from the Mustangs consistently, with Coach Gunn and Coach Loepp reaching out.

“They always reach out to me and I talk to them regularly. They just check up on me and see how I’m doing,” Smith said. “They let me know about the program and what they’ve got planned for me.”

Besides his visit to Lubbock on Halloween, Smith has no other visits scheduled at the moment. His four other official visits, which he plans to take after his season, are up in the air as well.

While he plans to make a decision after his senior season, Smith admits he could commit at any time.

In the end, Smith is just looking for a place he can call home.

“Really, I just want to be comfortable,” Smith explained. “I want to have a good relationship with the coaches, and obviously, being from West Texas, I want the school to have a good fan base as well.”

Pickett keeping up with SMU coaches

By: Andrew Hattersley

After visiting a couple times earlier this season, Sam Houston HS (Tex.) running back Peytton Pickett could be on campus once again this weekend or soon for another visit.

“It’s been going pretty good, I’ve been talking with coach Morris and coach Mathis, coach Morris has been saying he would really like to see me at the game against Tulsa,” Pickett said.

Just due to weather concerns, Pickett is not sure if he will be able to make it but if he’s unable to attend, he will make sure to find a game soon after to attend.

“I should be able to depending on the weather, I don’t know if the weather will be as bad as it was,” Pickett said, “I should be able to catch another game if I can’t see this one.”

In talking with the 5-9 1/2, 188-pound running back, the focus has not been too centered on SMU’s season but rather on his own season, which has included some ups and downs of their own.

“They haven’t really talked too much about this team this season they’ve been more wanting to know how I’ve been doing, and how my season has been going,” Pickett said, “I’ve got a pretty good relationship with the coaching staff, I really talk to them a lot with coach Mathis, coach Malone, I feel pretty comfortable.”

This season has been a bit of a struggle for Pickett team wise although he has had a lot of success on his own.

“Our own season didn’t pan out how I wanted it to pan out, we’re 2-6 right now but I’ve got close to 1500 yards and 6 touchdowns so it’s kind of bittersweet,” Pickett said.

Right now, Pickett is focusing on his own season but will be taking his visits at the end of the year with one also planned with Liberty next week.

“Whenever it comes up I should be taking some visits, I have a visit set up right now for Liberty next week so other than that I haven’t planned any other visits,” Pickett said.

Among the schools Pickett has been talking to, Kansas SMU and Liberty are at the top of the list with the conversations being pretty similar at all the schools.

“When they talk to me about the school they say it’s a great school, they told me I could come in and be effective, a big piece of their offense so same thing when it came to Kansas,” Pickett said, “They said the same thing so mostly that I’m going to be a factor and contribute to the team.”

For those trying to guess which way Pickett is leaning, it’s hard to say right now with him focused on taking in all the information available to him.

“Just waiting till the end, just trying to find the perfect fit.”

2017 running back impressed with coach's visit

By: Matt Sanders

Wylie East running back and SMU target Eno Benjamin recently had a special guest at one of his football games. Head coach Chad Morris took the Tempo Copter to visit him, and Benjamin, along with the crowd, were impressed.

“It was awesome seeing him come in,” Benjamin said. “The reaction from the fans was unbelievable.”

Benjamin has had chances to speak with the coaching staff at SMU, and he hopes to have another chance when Tulsa comes to town.

“I may be at SMU this Saturday for their game,” he said.

Along with SMU, Benjamin holds offers from schools such as Iowa, Arizona State, Duke and Miami. However, he is unsure on how the rest of his recruiting process will play out.

“As of right now, I am not sure where else I will be visiting.”

Currently, Benjamin is focusing on his junior year, but he does know what he wants from whichever schools he chooses to attend.

“I want a bond with my teammates and coaches, to fit into the role in the offense and on the team and a school needs to have the degree I want.”

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