Matt Visinsky

The Pony Stampede Hilltop Review 12/18

Come inside the latest Pony Stampede Hilltop Review for all your SMU recruiting news.

Badejo clears his mind after big offer

By: Scott Sanford

2016 Mansfield Timberview defensive end and linebacker Michael Badejo got a surprise in-home visit from the SMU staff on December 4, as Coach Wyatt and Coach Gunn switched up their visit date to see the senior on his birthday. 

Badejo, his mother, aunt and uncle all were in attendance for the meeting, where everything from potential majors to expected playing time as a freshman and game-day schedules were discussed.  

One thing the 6-foot-3, 220-pound SMU commit appreciated during the visit was the coaches’ honesty.

“(Coach Wyatt) was being real with me,” Badejo explained.  “It’s going to be me and a sophomore next year, so he said I just have to work for my spot and outwork him basically.  I just appreciated him being real with me and not sugarcoating anything.”

Wyatt’s honesty, and the potential to see significant playing time as a freshman, are two reasons why Badejo has stayed solid to the Mustangs despite an offer from Notre Dame and interest from South Carolina.  

There was a point though when Badejo thought the right thing to do was to re-open his recruitment.

“I just received a call from a random number and it was Notre Dame and they decided to pull the trigger,” Badejo said.  “I told my dad about it, and he wants to be a part of a winning team and he knows SMU hasn’t been winning, so he told me he thought I should stay open to other schools.”

Once Badejo cleared his mind some, however, he remembered why he chose SMU in the first place.

“I started thinking about it, and I realized I want to be a true freshman (that plays),” Badejo reminded himself.  “If I go to Notre Dame, I’m not going to play as a freshman because of who they’ve already offered and the way they play the game.”

Now that he’s solid with SMU, Badejo says he will likely only take one official visit: his scheduled one to The Hilltop on January 23.

“I talked to my head coach about it and he said if I take another official visit they may offer someone else, and I know someone is dying for my spot,” Badejo said. 

2017 John Tyler defensive back grabs offer

By: Billy Embody

2017 John Tyler (Tex.) defensive back Javontavius Mosley picked up his first offer from SMU, but as of now he doesn’t know much about the school after finding out from his coach that he had an offer.

Mosley did talk with SMU head coach Chad Morris a week before and said he made a good first impression. The offer was something Mosley thought could come.

“It was great. It wasn’t really unexpected. We had talked the week before. I kind of had a feeling that they were going to offer,” Mosley said. “He (Morris) said he wanted me to come to one of the camps. It was good.”

With SMU being his first offer, it confirmed what Mosley was already thinking about his ability.

“It’s exciting for me. It just showed me that I have the talent to play at the next level,” Mosley said.

Mosley wants to stick close to home and calls it a big plus that SMU is in Dallas, but has a lot to learn about SMU and what else he wants in a college.

“I really don’t want to go too far from where I am in Tyler. I’m not trying to be too far away from my mom.”

The 6-foot, 200-pound defensive back admits he has to work on tackling, but overall, he’s a big playmaker for the Cujo defense.

“I’m a ballhawk so when the ball is in the air I can go get it.”

Texas A&M is the only other school showing interest as of now.

2018 stud offensive lineman earns SMU offer

By: Scott Sanford

One thing this SMU staff has done nicely since Chad Morris’ arrival is jump on recruits early.  

They did it again when Coach Loepp and Coach Morris offered 2018 Northwest (Tex.) 4-star offensive tackle Darrell Simpson.

Simpson, who just finished his sophomore season, already holds offers from Baylor, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State, but was excited to get his offer from the Mustangs.

“I haven’t really had the chance to tour the campus or get to know the football program, but I’ve heard it’s a good football team and a good university,” Simpson said.

Even though it was loud following the game that Loepp and Morris visited for, the 6-foot-7, 310-pound Simpson enjoyed his brief conversation with the two.

“They sound like they really are enthusiastic about the kids,” Simpson recalled.  “It’s not just about coaching with them.  It’s about the kids.”

The sophomore said all of the schools that have offered him so far are neck and neck because it’s still so early in his recruiting process.

And while Simpson knows the Mustangs have a lot of work to do after their 2-10 season, their record doesn’t deter him at all.

“Our high school team didn’t have a good season, so these bad seasons just make you want to come back next year much stronger, and I’m sure that’s how SMU will be,” Simpson said. 

Despite his Texans’ 1-9 record, Simpson’s impressive individual season turned heads along the recruiting trail.

But even after picking up a handful of big-time offers, the offensive lineman is still set on improving before next season.

“I’m going to work on just finishing more blocks and making my footwork a little cleaner,” Simpson said.

Simpson plans to visit the Hilltop at the end of January so that he can learn more about the school and it’s program.

2017 guard visits Moody Coliseum

By: Patrick Engel

2017 Lancaster (Texas) guard T.J. Starks has been to a couple of SMU’s home basketball games this season, with the most recent one being the Mustangs’ 82-58 romp of Michigan on Dec. 8. The Moody Coliseum atmosphere has impressed him each time, especially for the Michigan game.

“It was a great experience; I like the college atmosphere,” Starks said. “It was good just to see the crowd pumped, seeing all the players involved in the game (on the bench), coaches, everybody.”

SMU’s NCAA sanctions have been well-documented, but Starks liked how the team played like it had a postseason to play for, so much so that it can dominate a nationally recognizable team like Michigan.

“It’s pretty impressive, and I liked how they came out and played with confidence and gave it their all,” Starks said. “They didn’t care about Michigan being a big-name school, they just went out and played SMU basketball.

Starks observed SMU’s system as one where individual players can play their own game and showcase their skills, but still within a set offense that maximizes passing, spreading the ball around and most importantly, finding a good shot.

SMU assistant coach K.T. Turner is Starks’ main recruiter, and Starks said the two text each other most days. He says that the relationship with Turner is one of the strongest he has with a college coach.

“He just tells me that SMU is going to take care of me and it’s the right school for me,” Starks said. “I believe it is, and I’ll really think about going there.”

Starks listed offers from Oklahoma and Southern University, but said Arizona State, TCU, New Mexico, Baylor and Nebraska have been showing interest in him, along with SMU. He has only visited SMU this year, but plans to go to TCU’s game on Sunday vs. Abilene Christian.

2017 running back talks SMU offer

By: Andrew Hattersley

2017 Arp HS (Tex.) running back Kayce Medlock was thrilled to receive the news earlier this week that he had picked up his first offer from SMU. 

“It was very special to me, I mean I was surprised when it happened, I had been waiting for it and waiting for it and it finally happened,” Medlock said, “I’m just ready to show off now for my community, my team and make everybody proud.” 

For the 5-9, 186-pound running back, having the opportunity to pick up his first offer was a dream come true that he hopes will allow more offers to come through in the coming weeks. 

“Very excited to receive that first one, it was great,” Medlock said. 

Next up for Medlock will be taking a couple of visits to SMU which he admits he doesn’t know much about yet but has been checking out their Instagram to get some background on the school. 

“I will be down there for a visit for junior day and then I will also be flying out there January 30th,” Medlock said, ““I don't know a bunch about them, I know whenever they send me letters and stuff in the mail I started looking at them on Instagram and Twitter and stuff like that, I hope soon I get to learn more about them.”

Medlock has not had the chance yet to speak with coach Morris but received his offer from coach Mathis who raved about his talent and his running style. 

“He said they were very interested in how I ran the football, they thought I would fit perfectly at SMU,” Medlock said.

SMU commit battles through injury for senior year

By: Andrew Hattersley

2016 Marble Falls HS (Tex.) athlete and SMU commit Ryan Becker has been able to catch up with the coaches a couple times over the last couple of weeks and enjoyed the opportunity to strengthen his bond with the staff.

“It’s been fun, I know the staff always says we don’t mean to bother you because we want to see you, it’s fun honestly,” Becker said, “It’s a little stressful for the parents because you got to get the house cleaned and all that type of stuff but it’s fun when they get there, we all just kind of sit down and its like family, like he’s a big uncle or something and we sit down and talk, it’s fun.” 

This family experience has been especially helpful for Becker as it’s allowed him to feel ready for college and know that he is going into a good situation. 

“It’s awesome, you’re just excited to get up there and I know it kind of comforts the parents that I’m comfortable with them and all that type of stuff,” Becker said, “It helps it’s not just daunting thinking I’m going to leave home and go spend four years up there, you’re ready to get up there when you leave and you feel like you know somebody.” 

The coaching staff, including coach Fry, talked with Becker about his future and let him know the opportunity is there to play early but he also could redshirt. 

“They kind of said they didn’t know if I was going to get redshirted or not,  they said they think I’m ready and that the best players are going to play, so if I can do that I don’t think I’m going to get redshirted,” Becker said, “I know they didn’t have the season that they wanted, nobody had the season that they wanted, and that we wanted for them, but it’s the fact that spots are going to be open and people are going to be hunting for spots next year so it’s a good feeling, obviously you wanted them to do better but it’s obviously not the worst thing in the world that they didn’t do so hot because spots are open.” 

Coming off a season in which Becker played with a broken leg most of the season, he is now healthy and ready to attack this offseason and get better in some physical areas. 

“I’ve just been working out, improving my speed, becoming more explosive, I had a broken leg all year, I got cleared two weeks ago, I got my final clearing X-rays and so I’m just trying to recover from that and regain all my strength,” Becker said. 

Becker will be on campus for a visit with many of the commits January 23rd and will try to make it up another time as well.  

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