2016 Cypress Ranch (Tex.) quarterback Collin Rock hosted SMU head coach Chad Morris, defensive coordinator Van Malone and defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt for an in-home visit a couple weeks ago that left a great impression on Rock and his family.
"They really enjoyed it. They were all at the house. They really do enjoy the family atmosphere that the coaches bring," Rock said. "I'm sure they're not happy about me going to college, but they're happy that I'm going to SMU."
Rock and the staff talked about a few final details before signing day, but talked a lot about Morris' first season and the process of turning around the program.
"It was good. It was really helpful for me for them to come down here and talk about some final things, housing and stuff like that," Rock said. "We just talked about staying with the process and coach Morris' first season in there and needing to let him get all of his recruits in there and let him do his job. That was really helpful. I realize it's not as easy as flipping a switch and coach Morris was thinking the same thing I was."
Defensively, SMU's rebuilding process is going to take a little longer than the offensive side of the ball, but they're looking to players like Rock to come in and contribute early.
"He (Malone) said obviously it wasn't the strongest thing we had this year. He just said get up this offseason and work hard. We talked about the plan for college and they still didn't have a designed thing that they want me to do," Rock said. "They told me to just get on the grass and work as a DB because that's where if they had to rank them, that'd be the first one."
While defensive back is his likely destination, athlete is a true tag for Rock. With David Moore committed, Rock won't see the field at quarterback, but the coaches made it clear that could change if Moore's status were to somehow change.
"I like DB, I like wide receiver, they even said stay available at quarterback (if something changes with David Moore). I can play everything and I'm still open to any of them," Rock said.
Rock's Cy Ranch went 9-0 in district to earn district champions, but lost to a tough Katy team in the second round of the playoffs. His attention has now turned to his official visit, which he expects to take with a large group of the 2016 commits on January 23. Rock is excited to build relationships with them over that weekend.
"I think it's going a lot better than I expected. We have that group chat and we talk everyday in there. I think it's helped out so far," Rock said. "I just want to be there with my host and get the student feel to it when I with them. That's the main thing I'm looking forward to."
Other programs have reached out like Syracuse, Boston College and Illinois, but Rock has told them he's firmly committed to SMU.