The Pony Stampede Hilltop Review 2/5

Come inside another jam-packed Hilltop Review with the latest on an SMU blueshirt and junior day visitors.

Amie talks blueshirt opportunity

By: Andrew Hattersley

SMU announced their 2016 signing class this week but there will be one more addition coming in the fall in 2016 Waskom (Tex.) athlete Chandrin Amie

“They told me I’m going to come in as an athlete and then once they see me they will kind of look at what position will be best to play,” Amie said. 

Amie is excited to get on campus and get to work as a blueshirt in the fall but is also motivated to earn a bigger role over time. 

“It just motivates me to work even harder to get to where those players are now and just continue to earn a spot,” Amie said. 

Just about every JUCO program in Texas offered Amie a chance to come play with them, however his relationship with the SMU coach Jess Loepp and current SMU wide receiver Kevin Johnson made the difference for him. 

“The coaches were great people, I haven’t met a ton of them aside from coach Loepp and coach Morris but I’m excited to meet the rest of them,” Amie said, “I really wanted to come here though and play with Kevin, he and I have always wanted to play together so it’s pretty cool.”

Amie said he has spoken with Thomas a lot about SMU and got to learn about the coaching staff and school through him. 

“He says the school is awesome, we’re from the same area so whenever he comes down I always see him and talk with him about it,” Amie said, “Me and Kevin, this is something we’ve always talked about doing.”

As for the current Stang Gang 16 recruiting class, Amie said he has talked with a couple of them and enjoyed meeting them. 

“I’ve met a couple of them, they’re pretty funny guys.” 

2017 Midland DL impressed by SMU visit

By: Matt Sanders

Midland defensive end and SMU recruit Dillon Springer attended SMU's junior day, and he and his family left impressed.

“It was an amazing experience visiting SMU,” Springer said. “My mother and my younger brother liked it.”

Springer liked what SMU had to offer and appreciated how hard the coaches worked during his visit.

“The facilities were nice and the coaches were involved,” he said. “There was a lot of information given out about the recruitment process.”

Springer was invited to junior day by coach McDaniel and talked with coach Gunn during his visit.

“He wished me safe travels and that he will see me in May when he visits.”

What stood out to Springer is how serious the coaching staff is the academic side of school.

“Coach Morris told us to don’t waste our time here if we aren’t planning on graduating,” he said.

Springer noticed how active the coaching staff is on social media, and he believes it goes a long way with branding.

“Social media shows they want to make sure the athletes represent the school well.”

Springer currently does not hold any offers, but he is hearing from schools like UNT, Army, Texas Tech, Arkansas, UL Lafayette and New Mexico.

Although Springer is frustrated with the lack of offers, he is focusing on staying patient and working hard.

“I’m gonna be really emotional when that first offer comes in,” he said. “I’m just waiting on that moment and I need to stay hungry.”

As Springer heads into his senior year, he is focusing on being a leader and being somebody the younger players can look up to.

“I want to be the best leader and lead the team to a championship,” he said. “It’s a big responsibility and you never know who’s watching.”

Springer can imagine himself on the Hilltop, and he sees himself being the hardest worker.

“If I attend SMU, I want to be a hard-working guy and give everything I got, every time I step on the field and in the weight room.”   

2018 wide receiver grabs SMU offer

By: Billy Embody

2018 Jones (Okla.) wide receiver Sean Shaw had a big-time sophomore season and SMU took notice and offered him this week.

"I was in class and my coach came and told me. He said not to let getting offers get to my head. He said this will springboard into a lot more so don't get distracted,"

Shaw talked with SMU defensive backs coach Jess Loepp on DM last week and Loepp has made a solid early impression.

"I like him. He's nice. He gave me some good advice. He told me to stay focused, don't get in trouble and to stay on top of my grades," Shaw said.

TCU, Kansas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have shown early interest too.

The 6-5, 195-pound receiver caught 67 catches for 1,076 yards and 13 touchdowns in his sophomore season. In large part because he can go get the deep ball.

Shaw heard about his first offer in school and tried to keep it low key, but he's excited.

"It made me pretty happy, but since I was in school I didn't make a big deal out of it. I was definitely happy though."

2017 North Mesquite WR takes in junior day

By: Scott Sanford

Before the Mustangs even finalized their 2016 recruitment class, the staff held their first junior day of the new year, which brought prospects from all over to the Hilltop. 

2017 North Mesquite (Tex.) wide receiver Dont’e Howell was one of those to make the short trip to SMU, and he was quite impressed by all that the Mustangs were able to offer.

“I really liked how the dorms were all close together, and how they aren’t that far from the football facilities,” Howell explained.  “They’re close to start that practice facility also with stands for family, which is really cool.”

Howell spent his time catching up with the two coaches he has been in contact with—Claude Mathis and Mark Smith.  

The relationship he has with those two is very casual, which he likes.

“They are both great guys,” Howell said.  “Coach Mathis and Coach Smith are both real easy to talk to and they know a lot about football.”

The 6-foot-3, 180-pound wideout has been hearing from the Mustangs, Purdue and TCU, among others.  But while Howell is still searching for that first offer, he isn’t worried and trusts everything will fall into place eventually.

“I’m focused on the things that I can affect,” Howell said.  “I want to do a better job of catching the ball when I’m going up against someone in traffic.”

2017 OL visits SMU

By: Matt Sanders 

Parish Episcopal offensive guard and SMU recruit Gray Davis attended SMU’s junior day and got more out of it than he expected.

“I really like it a lot more than I thought I would,” Davis said. “I liked what coach Morris and coach Malone are doing to the program and trying to rebuild it.”

During his visit, Davis spent some time talking with Malone.

“We talked about recruiting since he’s the coordinator for my high school.”

During his visit, Davis was impressed with the campus and what the athletic department had to offer.

“The campus stood out to me,” he said. “The dorms and dining halls are state of the art. They also had speed laps which not a lot of schools have.”

Davis didn’t expect to do college football, but his junior year was successful enough for him to become a factor.

“Coach Malone visited my school and he like what he saw so I got invited to junior day,” he said. “I didn’t think I’d do college football until this year.”

Davis currently has no offers, but he has been talking with schools.

“I’ve talked with UNT, Houston and Texas Tech. I visited Tulane but not much happened.”

At the moment, SMU is at the top of his list of schools various reasons.

“It’s close to home and the coaches are trying to bring back the glory days,” he said.

Davis is also interested in getting an MBA, which SMU is a great school for that.

Heading into his senior year it won’t be much of a change for Davis to have a leadership role.

“This year we only had four senior so I had to take more of a leadership role,” he said. “I’m used to getting people to focus in practice.”

The biggest challenge Davis faces for his senior year is a positive one: he’s getting better competition.

“I think the biggest challenge is that we’re moving up a division.”

For his senior year, Davis wants to maintain a good academic standing and to improve his technique, and for the rest of his junior year, Davis hopes to earn more attention from recruiters.

“I think my recruitment is going to pick up mire,” he said. “I haven’t gotten much exposure, so hopefully more people see my film. Hopefully I get some offers over the summer.”

Davis is aware of the rebuilding process on the Hilltop, but he believes that the Mustangs are headed in the right direction.

“I really think SMU is making strides,” he said. “It would be really nice to see them in a bowl game this year. If not, it would be cool to see them win five games because it shows they’re making progress.”

Allen recaps SMU junior day visit

By: Andrew Hattersley

With signing day approaching, the SMU staff turned their focus to the future welcoming a number of new faces for SMU’s first junior day this past weekend. One of those in attendance was 2018 Fort Worth Paschal (HS) running back Edwin Allen. 

“I thought it was pretty fun, I think my favorite part was getting to try on the jersey’s and the helmets, just had the chance to take pictures with the coach,” Allen said. 

Allen had the chance to talk extensively with SMU head coach Chad Morris, as well as, SMU assistant coach Keith Gunn. 

“The coach I probably enjoyed talking to the most was coach Gunn, he was pretty cool,” Allen said. 

As has been the message all along, the SMU coaches continued to stress academics, as well as, putting in maximum effort on the field over the next couple years to get ready for college. 

“Really just keep up with your grades, being a football player won’t be for very long but your education will be there forever pretty much,” Allen said. 

The 5-10, 184-pound running back, also got to see a few of the facilities and felt right at home as he went through

“I felt like I was a part of the team walking around there,” Allen said.

Allen hadn’t got the chance to talk with the coaches much before arriving at SMU 

“I hadn’t really talked to them before,” Allen said, “I didn’t really talk to them before the things.”

In the future, Allen plans to come back to SMU for one of their summer camps and possibly a spring practice as well. 

Overall, Allen has been impressed with the academic reputation SMU has and is excited to continue learning about the school. 

“I think it’s cool, I still want to learn more about it, personally I want to learn more about it because I want to be a train driver and so I’m not sure I just want to learn more about it,” Allen said, “It’s a nice school, great people.” 

Allen does not have any other visits planned for right now, however he has also taken a visit to TCU. 

SMU gets visit from 2018 DL

By: Andrew Hattersley

This past weekend, SMU took the chance to welcome a number of 2017, 2018 and even a few 2019 kids to the Hilltop, one of those in attendance was 2018 Paschal HS (Tex.) defensive lineman Parker DuBose. 

“It was great, the campus is beautiful and the facilities are really nice, it was definitely a great opportunity to see all that, and get to talk to the coaches and build a little bit of a relationship,” DuBose said.

The day served as a chance for DuBose to catch up with SMU assistant coach Keith Gunn who is his regional recruiter and has been down a couple times before. 

“I got to talk to coach Gunn, he’s the regional recruiting guy for our area and has come down a couple times so he was the guy I got to talk to the most,” DuBose said, “I also talked with coach Riley, the special teams coach.” 

Both coaches spoke of the positive future SMU has with new facilities on the way and a team getting better each year. 

“They were just telling me how positive the future is for SMU, they are about to get a lot of improvements done like an indoor facility and some improvements to the facilities,” DuBose said, “They were just telling me how the future is bright and it’s going to be a good couple of years in the future.” 

The only coach that DuBose had spoken to before he got to SMU was coach Gunn and he is looking forward to talking with him more in the future. 

“I talked with coach Gunn, he had come to Paschal my high school a couple of times so I’ve spoken to him a few times before this.” 

DuBose was impressed with the visit but even more than that was impressed with the coaches and the way they welcomed the players in. 

“I thought the coaches were really hospitable when they had us today, they did a really good job reaching to you and they’re really personable so I’ve had a great experience so far,” DuBose said.  

Adding to the experience was DuBose getting to visit with one of his best friends Ethan Wiley. 

“It was really great getting to visit with him because we’ve kind of grown up playing together so honestly we really at home hanging out there together so it was a really cool experience,” DuBose said. 

DuBose is planning to be back on the Hilltop soon for a couple of spring practices, as well as, the spring game in April.

The 6-1, 235-pound defensive end hasn’t spoken to many schools yet aside from SMU and Columbia. 

2017 linebacker talks junior day visit

By: Scott Sanford

2017 Grapevine (Tex.) linebacker Brennon Davis took in his first-ever junior day on the Hilltop last weekend, and the entire experience was enjoyable for the junior.  

Not only did Davis get to see the new plans for the Mustangs’ indoor practice facility, but he also got to explore the campus for the first time.

“They had it planned out very well so I liked how it was,” Davis said.  “We toured the campus, walked around, checked out the football facilities, and I thought everything was really nice.”

Last weekend was Davis’ first time meeting the staff, but they all still made him feel at home. 

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Davis spent his time getting to know defensive assistant Keith Gunn, and from talking to Gunn, Davis could see why this SMU team is close to turning it around. 

“I think the coaching staff is really invested, and it’s about time they started finally turning things around there,” Davis said. 

While Davis has only attended one junior day before, he has started to hear from a number of schools already including Oklahoma State, Texas State, Northwestern, Missouri, UTEP and Utah State. 

The outside linebacker is still searching for the first offer, but he believes some time in the weight room and work on the practice field this spring could change that.

Specifically, Davis hopes to improve his pass coverage while maintaining his athleticism. 

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