4-star WR updates recruitment
By: Billy Embody
2017 Cedar Hill wide receiver Camron Buckley is one of the more highly sought after players in Texas and for good reason. At The Opening, Buckley didn't test, but did come out and compete with plenty of his Cedar Hill teammates.
"I'm just trying to prove I'm one of the best out here and show what I can do. I'm just out here to compete and have fun," the four-star receiver said. "My competitiveness, my route running, how I go up and get the ball, everything really (is how I'll stand out)."
Buckley hasn't taken too many visits this spring, but will visit Houston, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Miami. He hears from Ole Miss, Houston and Miami everyday plus just got back from a visit at Texas.
"They (Texas) just checked up on me. It's close to home and it's a tradition to be at Texas. It's Texas. That's all I can say."
With SMU, Buckley hears from head coach Chad Morris and running backs coach Claude Mathis everyday and is building a relationship with the nearby school.
"I talk to SMU everyday too from Coach Morris and Mathis. Grades, basics, workouts and just seeing where I'm at. It's so close to home. It's a 10-20 minute drive and that's all I can say," Buckley said. "It would mean a lot to do something for my city since I'm from here."
Buckley plans on getting to SMU later this Spring for a visit with some former teammates Michael Clark and Eric Sutton, who signed with SMU.
"It's a great atmosphere and I got two teammates headed up there, which would be nice knowing some guys. They push and they push a lot to come and join them."
Buckley said it could be end of summer when a decision comes, but if not, he'll decide on National Signing Day and take his time.
Cedar Hill RB keeping in touch with SMU
By: Billy Embody
2017 Cedar Hill running back Kaegun Williams earned an invite to The Opening in Dallas and wanted to show what he could do on one of the offseason's bigger stages.
"It's really cool because I get to see how I stand out against the rest of them so why not come compete against the best of the best?," Williams said. "Quickness and my ability to use lateral speed."
Tennessee, Stanford and California are recruiting Williams the hardest right now, but Tennessee has been the only one to offer.
Williams talks with SMU running backs coach Claude Mathis at least once a week and gets a similar message each time. Williams likes his business-like approach.
"Stay healthy and do good in school. I'll take a visit over there this spring," Williams said. "He's very stern and he's not going to let you get away with anything while you're there."
The four-star back said he's looking for a good balance of academics and relationship with the coaches at the next level.
"Which school has the best academics and which coaching staff I bond with the tightest."
Williams doesn't have a timeline yet for a decision as he expects his offer list to grow this Spring.
Hampton checks in with big day at The Opening
Gabe Brooks / SCOUT
By: Billy Embody
After a big performance at The Opening, more schools will be coming out to El Paso to watch Hampton, who was out to prove something for his hometown.
"It's great (to get invited). Without me going to the one (rating day) yesterday to be brought out here from El Paso to compete with the best of the best is a great feeling. I'm just trying to prove to everyone that El Paso has talent."
Hampton's speed, versatility and ability to go up for balls was a big reason why he stood out at The Opening and why SMU has him pegged for their 9-man position.
"Just telling me I'm going to be a good fit as that lone, outside receiver. There's going to be a lot of balls coming my way in 1-on-1s so that sounds pretty good to me. I don't have to worry about getting behind safeties or anything like that. I just get to be 1-on-1."
Hampton got over to visit SMU this week while on Spring Break and wanted to see the coaching staff in action.
"I just wanted to see their practice style and how the players like it over there with the atmosphere."
The entire SMU coaching staff keeps up with Hampton he says, which reminds him of his current coaches.
"Everything is going pretty good. They just like family. I talk to them everyday is like talking with my high school coaches. It's a great feeling and it just feels right. I just feel comfortable with them and everything is right there."
Courtland Sutton's season impressed Hampton, who wants plenty of exposure to possibly earn a shot at the next level.
"They used him a lot and that's their go-to guy right there. Get a lot of balls and more exposure, which gets me more looks from the NFL and a better chance to go to the NFL."
Oklahoma State, Oregon, Kansas, TCU and Colorado are showing interest in Hampton and Louisiana-Monroe just offered. Hampton says he's firmly committed, but did leave a chance to potentially take visits.
"I already committed, but if they offer me, I'm willing to check it out."
Spring ball is right around the corner and Hampton is ready to be back to hitting on the field.
"Ready to be back and ready for the hitting. I'm ready for Oklahomas and all that."
El Dorado fell in the first round of the playoffs during basketball season, which Hampton starred in, but he also took notice of Sutton's ability to play for SMU's hoops squad as well.
"Some games, we beat ourselves, but that's something we can't worry about because it's in the past," Hampton said. "I thought about playing basketball too, but I know how hectic my schedule will be because I'm trying to go to school for health administration. I just know I'd be so busy if I played basketball too."
Hampton is planning to get back to SMU again later this Spring for a visit.
Garden City DT visits SMU
By: Patrick Engel
In February, SMU signed five freshmen that will play defensive line. The Mustangs are full on defensive line scholarships, but they may not be totally done adding bodies along the line for next year. SMU is looking at some preferred walk-ons, and just hosted one on Monday: Garden City (Kan.) C.C. defensive tackle Jonathan Smith. Smith toured the football facilities and academic buildings while on his visit. He noted SMU’s strong academic reputation had a major effect on him.
“The top-tier academic programs are really interesting to me,” Smith said. “To be getting a degree and having a great chance to get a job out of college is a great aspect. Numerous alumni that help the student-athletes to become successful is great on the academic side.”
On the football side, Smith saw the weight room, locker room, tried on a jersey, talked with the team’s nutritionists and learned about the planned facility upgrades that will include an indoor practice facility.
“My favorite part would have to be putting on that jersey,” Smith said. “I was getting excited about what’s to come.”
Smith had talked with defensive coordinator Van Malone for a couple months, and decided to take a trip over to SMU while in the area visiting his uncle, who lives in nearby Southlake, Texas. He visited Texas State two days before visiting SMU and has also been talking with Central Florida and Washington State and Montana. All are looking at him as a defensive tackle and nose guard. He said SMU and Texas State have offered him a preferred walk-on.
“I’m looking forward to this spring, getting some coaches to come in and watch me go,” Smith said.
A Racine (Wisc.) native, Smith will graduate from Garden City this spring. He will have four years of eligibility and can begin taking summer classes and attend fall camp at a Division I school. He redshirted his only season at Garden City and transferred from Division II St. Paul (Minn.) Concordia.
While Smith said he would be willing to take a preferred walk-on offer, he is in no hurry to commit somewhere as a walk-on, especially with an opportunity to prove himself in spring practices.
“They told me that if anyone leaves the program, I’d be next up,” Smith said. “Once I go through spring ball and show coaches my film, I believe opportunities will open up.”
Louisiana defensive lineman grabs SMU offer
By: Patrick Engel
SMU offered their second 2017 Madison Prep defensive lineman of the week in Bryan Jones and needless to say he was pleased about picking up another offer.
“I was excited to receive an offer from a school like that, I was very excited when I heard from the coach,” Jones said, “He said they loved the way I played, they loved the film it was great and they love the way I pass rush and how I can get to the quarterback.”
Jones joined his defensive line teammate Troy James as the other player to receive an offer from SMU this week and the thought of playing together after High School is very appealing.
“I know that there is a chance for me and him to play with each other, we would have a chance to play with each other again,” Jones said, “That would mean a lot because we have good chemistry on the field and off the field and like brothers who are close.”
The 6-6, 240-pound lineman doesn’t know a ton about SMU yet but has a lot of respect for the notoriety of the school and has begun researching the school.
“SMU is a very good program, I did some research and it came back pretty good I think they’re going to turn the program around and their graduation rate is high, that’s some keys I will be looking at when it comes to schools,” Jones said.
Jones is not sure yet whether he will be able to make it up for any of SMU’s spring portion but plans to find a time to visit the school eventually.
The Madison Prep lineman currently has offers from close to 30 schools including some major offers such as Baylor, Miami, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Arizona State, Colorado, Kansas State, Missouri, N.C State, Nebraska, South Carolina, West Virginia, LSU, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, SMU, UTSA, Tulane and Tulsa.
Despite his impressive list of offers, Jones does not plan to cut down his list anytime soon.
When it does come time to make a decision Jones is going to be looking at what school best prepares for life after school wherever that may be.
“Essentially, first things first is academics, great facility, feels like home, make sure me and my family are comfortable with the decision,” Jones said, “Prepare myself for life outside of football.”
Jones hasn’t gotten the chance to talk with the coaching staff much yet but does plan to talk to them soon about learning more about SMU.