Several 2017 prospects attended SMU’s first spring practice of the season, Fort Worth (Texas) Timber Creek offensive tackle Alan Ali among them. Ali committed to SMU after practice and his visit, citing the SMU staff’s long-standing relationship with him as a big reason.
“They were the first team to offer me, so that was the biggest thing,” Ali said. “They treated me like family from the beginning and it left a great impression in my mind.”
Ali’s recruiter is offensive line coach Dustin Fry, with whom he is in frequent contact has a strong relationship.
“I call him about once a week and I’ve always had great conversations with him. I got to meet his wife and kid today (at practice),” Ali said.
Ali had visited SMU for junior day on Feb. 20, but his return trip to the Hilltop allowed him to get an up-close look at the coaches’ coaching. That was the one area he wanted to see before he made a decision, and it impressed him.
“The way they talk to the players, there’s no screaming and yelling because it’s all positive reinforcement,” Ali said. “They weren’t yelling in anyone’s face and I liked the way they coached overall.”
The Scout three-star prospect had just returned from visits to Nebraska and Iowa State in the last week and, but he decided to commit to SMU anyway and said he is shutting down his recruitment.
“It’s early in the recruiting process, so I’m hoping my commitment brings a lot of top recruits here and we can get a really great class signed,” Ali said.
Timber Creek starts spring practice shortly, Ali’s last spring as a high school football player. He’d like to improve his strength, specifically his squat max.
“It’s at 430 pounds right now. I want to hit 500 before the season,” he said. “I’d like to be more explosive on the field off the ball too.”
The 6-foot5, 275-pound Ali’s offer list included Arizona State, California, Colorado State, Iowa State, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Texas, Tulsa and Virginia. He is Scout’s 67th-ranked offensive tackle in the country. He joins wide receivers Trestan Ebner and Tyquez Hampton in SMU’s 2017 class.