Matt Visinsky

The Pony Stampede Hilltop Review 4/29

Come inside another Pony Stampede Hilltop Review with the latest SMU recruiting news.

SMU offers 2017 Friendswood quarterback

By: Billy Embody

2017 Friendswood quarterback Tyler Page recently picked up an SMU offer a couple weeks after checking SMU out for a junior day and came away impressed following the visit when he met SMU's coaching staff.

"I got to see the campus and talk with the coaches and see what they were all about. Then a couple weeks ago, I got an offer from them. I called coach McDaniel and he put me on the phone with coach Morris. He said initially, SMU was looking at me at safety, but now they're looking at me on offense now. He thinks I can play anywhere though. Now, I've been continuously talking with them and they're supposed to come watch me this week at practice."

SMU assistant coach Archie McDaniel has been taking the lead on Page's recruitment and is building a good relationship. Page has also been impressed Chad Morris.

"He's a pretty cool guy. He messaged me on Easter and seems like a really nice guy. I haven't talked to him too indepth, but so far, it's all going good," Page said. "I really like coach Morris too. I know he coached at Lake Travis before he got this coaching job before he took SMU and I know he had a winning record and a few state championships at Lake Travis."

Page visited for SMU junior day and liked the facilities, but says his decision will be about much more than that.

"I liked the campus and the facilities. They're pretty nice, but I'm not going to go to college for the facilities. I like the campus and the setup," Page said. "I'm looking at everything, but I'm going to get an education. Not many people make it to the NFL so I'm going to get a good education. It's about the coaches too and if they're going to stay there the entire time too. The last thing on my list is being close to home so my family can come watch me."

SMU has Page set to be on offense, but could eventually play on either side of the ball.

"I do want to be on offense. I think I can play slot or quarterback. It depends on the school because some schools I could fit at quarterback and others I might be a slot. I could play whatever they need me as. They like my playmaking abilities and that's what most schools like about me. They're all talking about how to get me the ball."

Page's competitiveness separates himself from other players out on the field, where his shiftiness stands out on film.

"I'm really, really competitive. At the end of the close games, I want the ball and I just want to make plays and give 100% effort. Can't always win, but I always give my best effort and 100% all the time."

Page hasn't decided on a timeline right now and wants to see more colleges before he does. If a decision can be made by football season, Page would like to have it done, but if not, he'll take his time.

2017 linebacker checks out SMU

By: Andrew Hattersley

The run of spring visits was in full force for 2017 Tatum HS (Tex.) outside linebacker D'Torian Smith the past couple of weeks and one of his more enjoyable ones was to SMU for one of their spring practices. 

“When we first got there, looking at the stadium and everything surrounding the stadium and how it’s deep in the heart of Dallas,” Smith said, “I like the city so that first shot for me was impressive and then looked at some of the facilities and of course I liked that too and after that I got to communicate with the coaches and watch one of their spring practices and I liked how intense it was.” 

After getting to talk with the coaches briefly, Smith came away extremely impressed with the staff’s attitude on life outside of football and some common values.  

“They told me they were pretty close to offering me and to just come to the camp and they will very likely offer me there, that’s pretty much where they stand right there,” Smith said, “They talked about how pretty much every one of their football players came to at least one camp so I’m definitely going to go to their camp and continue to hit up coach Loepp and coach Malone.” 

Smith was also impressed with the current facilities at SMU but is excited to see what changes are coming in the future. 

“I liked them as they were, especially the field the field was really nice,” Smith said, “Everything was fantastic.” 

Currently Smith just has an offer from UTSA but stressed his plan is to stay close to home and chose a staff that plans to be with the team long-term. 

SMU checks in on 2018 wide receiver

By: Patrick Engel

With the spring recruiting period underway, SMU coaches are hitting the road to recruit all over Texas. One of the many stops through two weeks of the spring eval period was San Angelo (Texas) Central, where defensive backs coach Jess Loepp watched 2017 wide receiver/tight end Adam West on Wednesday.

“He said he liked what he saw and was going to go back and talk to the wide receiver coach (Justin Stepp),” West said.

Loepp’s visit to San Angelo came a few weeks after West visited SMU for a junior day and spring scrimmage on April 2. West toured the football facilities, campus, met with the entire staff and watched the scrimmage. Head coach Chad Morris told the visitors about the plans for facilities upgrades that include a new indoor practice facility. Of all the actual parts of the visit, that stuck with West the most. But the program’s culture stood out even after getting the tour.

“Their morals, I like the way they’re family-oriented,” West said. “(It stuck out) whenever coach Morris talked to us in the meeting room.”

Besides SMU, West visited Texas State in March for a junior day, and is planning trips up to Harvard, Penn, Brown and Yale for summer camps. Texas State and Holy Cross are his only offers, but Harvard is showing a lot of interest of late, West said.

The 6-foot-7, 215-pound West picked up the Texas State offer after his visit, and that’s the coaching staff he says he has the best relationship with.

“Texas State, they’re very personal and they send me a lot of handwritten mail,” West said. “They have me call them every week or so just to touch base.”

West said Loepp is his primary contact on the SMU staff, but the two haven’t talked a lot. West said that could be because SMU had two committed receivers, but with Trestan Ebner’s decommitment, that’s changed a bit.

“He (Ebner) decommitted, so he’s been talking to me more recently,” West said.

SMU is recruiting West as a wide receiver, but Texas State has offered him as a tight end and most other schools are looking at him as a tight end.

Allen linebacker visits for junior day

By: Billy Embody

2017 Allen (Tex.) linebacker James Tupou recently checked out SMU for junior day and had a great time seeing everything for the first time.

"I liked it a lot because of all the new stuff they're getting. The campus is beautiful and I like the coaching staff. They're really cool and welcoming."

Chad Morris' rebuilding efforts aren't lost on Tupou, who says the family atmosphere is a big positive for him.

"I love what he's doing a lot because he's trying to make his players more like family instead of a team. He's making it a team too, but he's really trying to bring them together."

The 5-11, 220-pound linebacker is looking for that first offer, but nothing has come yet. If it does come from SMU, he'll be high on them right off the bat.

"I'm trying to get offered, but my interest level in them is like 85-90 percent. I like them a lot."

Tulsa is the other team to show interest in Topou.

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