The Pony Stampede Hilltop Review 5/20

Come inside another Pony Stampede Hilltop Review for the latest SMU recruiting updates.

Moore focused on spring football for now

By: Patrick Engel

After signing two defensive backs from Cedar Hill in 2016, SMU hasn’t been as successful with the Longhorns’ loaded 2017 class. But one player SMU is still in consistent contact with is three-star outside linebacker Dimitri Moore.

“It’s pretty consistent,” Moore said. “But if it’s not as much as they want it to be or I want it to be, it’s because I’m real focused on spring right now. I’m trying to build it for the season. We have a lot of young guys coming up, so I’m trying to built this chemistry up.”

SMU was one of Moore’s earlier offers, so he’s had longer to get know the coaches. He talks mostly with running backs coach Claude Mathis and head coach Chad Morris. The coaches sell their family atmosphere to recruits, and for Moore, it’s easier to relate to, because his team is a lot like a family.

“I see Michael (Clark) and Eric (Sutton) and they share a lot of how it’s like a family there,” Moore said. “And from the spring practice I went there, I could tell.”

Moore said he didn’t get to any other spring visits besides the SMU spring practice, although he’s planning on making a lot of summer visits. 

As Moore’s junior year ends, he’s up to nearly 20 offers. He said most of the schools that have offered are in contact consistently, but singled out Arkansas and Colorado. The 6-foot-2, 193-pound linebacker holds offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas State, Missouri, Utah, Illinois, Iowa State, SMU, Texas Tech, Rice, Tulsa, among a few others. One offer that hasn’t come is Texas A&M, where his older brother, Richard, plays.

Moore said he does not have a timeline for a decision and won’t get to thinking about it until his spring season ends. In spring ball, he’s focused on strengthening his team’s bond.

“What comes first is your brothers and the chemistry, having each other’s back,” he said. “You have to built that up and make sure it’s there.”

Hampton: "Nothing has topped SMU" 
Gabe Brooks / SCOUT

By: Billy Embody

2017 El Paso (Tex.) El Dorado wide receiver and SMU commit Tyquez Hampton has picked up some big offers from the likes of Utah and Mississippi State recently, but that doesn't mean his commitment to SMU isn't solid.

"I'm going to check back around and see what they have to offer, but nothing has topped SMU yet," Hampton said. "It's because they're building something special around that program. They're just telling me I'm the big man on campus when I get there. It's the same. They're just like my coaches I have right now."

Hampton has been impressed with the recent additions to SMU's team especially on offense too.

"We're getting a lot of good commits. You know, that one quarterback we got in Will McBride, he's a great, mobile quarterback. Then we're getting that transfer receiver from LSU so it's been going good."

Hampton says the attention from Power Five schools is great, especially since he's committed.

"It's great getting this kind of attention from those big time schools. It's something I never thought would happen with me being committed. It's great to see that schools are still interested in me even with me being committed to SMU."

While Utah and Mississippi State are unlikely to get visits, Texas and Texas Tech could end up getting visits, even though it'll be tough with his summer schedule. Hampton says he won't allow anything to affect his classes.

"Well I probably won't even have time to with me going to school year-round in the summer and me graduating early. I talked to coach Williams the other night and I talked to coach Morris about my performance at practice the other night. It's pretty good with both (Texas and Texas Tech respectively)."

As far as graduating early, Hampton says it's something he's always wanted to do to help him get a leg up.

"I always wanted to graduate early and get out of high school as quick as I can. When I actually did more research and how it benefits me, I really wanted to because I will be there early and getting going on the offense. Instead of learning the offense like the other freshmen and having to redshirt, I'd already be there a whole semester before they get there and give me a chance to get big and jump in."

This spring, Hampton has shown improved route running and that's helped him get open more and make more plays.

"I think I really stepped up on my route running. My routes have become a little more crisp. That and my patience instead of trying to rush everything."

Oregon and California are two other schools to show interest in Hampton.

SMU, Jones keeping in close contact

By: Patrick Engel

Cypress Woods (Texas) running back C.J. Jones is right near the top of SMU’s board, and he is one of many players to get a visit from the SMU coaches in the spring recruiting period. Offensive coordinator Joe Craddock and running backs coach Claude Mathis went to watch his practice and chat in person.

“They wanted to tell me that they’re still really interested in me,” Jones said. “They contact me every day just to ask me how I’m doing and have a conversation every day. I’m really impressed. My relationship with the coaches is really good. I have a better relationship with them than most of the other coaches (recruiting me).”

Jones picked up the offer from SMU back in January, but didn’t get up for a visit until March 20, when he took in a spring practice. Jones liked everything he saw, but the visit impressed his mom even more. And that may be more important for SMU’s chances.

“That’s her top school for me,” Jones said. “They (my family) play a big role, just depending on how far I’m going from home.”

Fortunately for SMU, Jones said it’s close enough to home for his family’s liking. Jones also has extended family in Dallas. 

Going into the visit, his mom was focused on academics first. Jones said it left her satisfied, but not as much as the coaching staff.

“She was most impressed with the coaches,” Jones said. “The coaches, they contact me every day and are always asking me how my mom is. She met them for the first time and she loved them. She thinks they’re great people.”

The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Jones said Arkansas, Arizona State, Iowa State, Purdue SMU and Vanderbilt are showing the most interest in him. Right now, the three-star running back holds offers from Arizona State, Bowling Green, Duke, Illinois, Memphis, SMU, Tulsa, UTSA and Vanderbilt.

Jones said he doesn’t have a timeline for a decision or when he will narrow down his list. He also did not name a leader. But he knows SMU wants him. 

“They told me I was high on the board,” Jones said. “They said I’d be able to get early playing time if I were to go there.”

Louisiana linebacker grabs SMU offer

By: Demetrio Teniente

Last week, 2017 Zachary (LA) inside linebacker Donovan Perkins received an offer from SMU.

SMU graduate assistant Chris Scott has been talking with Perkins the most, but he called defensive coordinator Van Malone to receiver the good news.

“[Malone] said he liked me a lot and said that they were only taking one more linebacker and that’s why it took so long for them to evaluate me,” Perkins said. “They were making sure I was the right person and was fast enough to play outside.”

Perkins says he has liked talking with Scott, especially since they are both from Louisiana.

As far as SMU is concerned, Perkins plans on visiting soon.

“I should be getting up there next weekend,” he said. “I already saw the campus online and it is a nice campus. It reminds me of Tulane actually, but it has more of a college atmosphere to its location. I’m excited to get up there and check it out.”

He has also done his research on the team and likes the direction Chad Morris is taking the program.  

“I know they have had some good players come out of SMU,” Perkins said. “The first couple of guys are going to help get the program back on the map from before the death penalty. It would be cool to be a part of something great.”

Perkins says that the past couple weeks have been great for him as he has started to garner attention from different programs.   

“I’ve always wanted to play college football,” he said. “And getting these offers has motivated me to keep accomplishing my dreams, because this is just a start.”

SMU offers stud 2018 wide receiver
Student Sports

By: Andrew Hattersley

After not receiving an offer from SMU the first time around, it had been a goal for 2018 Yoakum HS (Tex.) wide receiver Joshua Moore to get one and that finally happened this week when he received an offer from SMU.

“It was really exciting, me and my twin brother we both went up for a visit a few months ago and they offered him but they didn’t offer me so I was kind of down but not too down because I knew I had a lot more work to put in,” Moore said, “I put in a lot of work hoping they would come down during the last period and they did and then they liked what they saw and offered me, it was just gratifying that all the hard work paid off and they liked what they saw.”

Moore admitted it was the highlight of his day largely due to the motivation he had carried with him for the last two months. 

“I was really excited, it was the highlight of my day I have been working two months for this, like I said when I went up there and didn’t get the offer and my brother did, I got to put in some work now and they came down and did so it’s a really good feeling,” Josh said. 

The 6-0, 168-pound receiver loved his visit to SMU and can’t wait to possibly spend his next four years there when the decision comes to focus in a couple of years.  

“It was great, for them to be that small they are really coming together, they are really building something special, when I went down for my visit I loved everything about it, nothing failed to impress me, I could most definitely see myself there in 3-4 years,” Moore said. 

The Yoakum receiver has developed a great relationship with the SMU staff, especially, coach Van Malone. 

“They were all cool man, all love, especially Van Malone he is all love, he was the one that gave us our tour so a lot of one on one time with him, a lot of time for us to get to know each other, so it was great,” Moore said. 

The list of interest for Moore is impressive who currently has received offers from Baylor, OU, Texas A&M, Arizona State, BYU, Colorado, Houston, Kansas, Michigan State, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Sam Houston State, UTSA, Texas Tech and Tulsa.

Despite there being a number of big name schools involved in the process, Moore was confident SMU would be right in there until the end. 

“No definitely, like I said SMU is building something special, the size really doesn’t matter to me,” Moore said, “It’s wherever I feel like I can achieve my greatest dreams, where I can, and like I said SMU is building something special and in two years or so I really think SMU will be at the top of my list.”

2017 linebacker near the top of the 2017 board

By: Scott Sanford

It took a few months and a number of visits, but 2017 Bishop Dunne (Tex.) linebacker Shaine Hailey picked up his second overall offer last week after a visit from the SMU staff.

With the school so close to home, Hailey has been to the Hilltop a number of times, and first connected with the staff during a junior day back in February.

Three months later, and Hailey was happy to hear from his position coach, Archie McDaniel, who had some good news.

“I had been waiting for the SMU offer for a very long time,” Hailey said.  “Me and Coach McDaniel have continued to talk a bunch since we first met, which has helped the relationship.”

The coaching staff has made a big impression on Hailey, but the facilities and campus are just a couple of reasons why the Mustangs are standing out to him

“It’s close to home, the energy is great, and the staff is doing a good job of turning the program around,” Hailey said.  “The best aspect of the school though is SMU’s network.  They have one of the biggest in Dallas, so after football they can provide a good backup plan if football doesn’t work out.”

For now though, the linebacker is focused on the recruiting process and getting himself ready for the next level.

At 6-foot, 200-pounds, Hailey is on the smaller side for linebackers, but SMU likes his ability to move in space and plays smart, which are two valuable traits for a linebacker.

As for other schools, Rice, Minnesota, Holy Cross, Northern Colorado, California and Purdue are all expressing interest in the Texas native.

But even with a solid number of options, and nearly nine months until signing day, Hailey says SMU’s is “definitely” standing out.

Headed into summer, Hailey will visit SMU today (Friday), but doesn’t have any other visits planned at the moment.

Louisiana DB talks SMU offer

By: Demetrio Teniente

After about two weeks of talks, SMU decided to pull the trigger and offer 2017 Holy Cross (LA) cornerback Kyree Curington.

The 5-11, 169 pound corner has been talking to graduate assistant Chris Scott throughout the short recruiting process.

“He relates to me pretty well because he is from Louisiana,” Curington said. “We kind of understand each other.”

SMU was Curington’s first offer and as such hearing about the offer from Scott was a special moment for him.   

“It was life changing,” he said. “My hard work is starting to pay off, but I can’t stop there I got to keep working.”

Curington plans on visiting SMU this summer and will also be attending North Carolina’s camp.  

He also says that in addition to North Carolina, he is getting a lot of attention from South Alabama, LSU, North Western, and Troy.

When he is looking at all the potential schools, one thing he constantly checks and double checks is the schools educational background.

“Education is important,” he said. “You have to have a backup plan incase football doesn’t work out.”

He hasn’t seen anything in SMU that raises any flags—so far, everything has been to his liking.

“SMU has good academics from what I have heard,” he said. “The campus is really nice and I know that it is right in the middle of Dallas. 

The football team is starting to turn things around. And I like that they are working towards building the program into something. It was a pretty big offer for my first.”

2018 athlete on the rise

By: Scott Sanford

A month ago, 2018 Cypress (Tex.) athlete Taye Barber was just a sophomore with no offers.

Now, the 5-foot-10, 175 game-changer is up to four total offers, including one from Coach Buddy Wyatt and SMU.

The defensive line coach visited Barber at his high school, which is when he brought the good news that every coach wanted to extend the offer his way.

Barber hasn’t visited SMU yet, or any colleges for that matter, so his only connections to the Mustangs right now is Wyatt.

While he hasn’t met his position coach, which would give him a better idea of how he would fit in the Mustangs’ offense, he has started to form a solid bond with his area’s recruiter. 

“(Coach Wyatt) seems like a cool guy, a good coach, and someone I could be around for the next four years,” Barber said.  I was just excited that they offered me.  I was overwhelmed.”

The Mustangs offered Barber as an athlete, but Coach Wyatt says they see him as a dynamic player like his good friend Collin Rock.

The Mustangs, however, see Barber as a good fit at wide receiver.

Because the two-way play is just a sophomore, he is also just learning how the recruiting process works.

Now with offers from SMU, Oklahoma State, Houston and Fresno State, the more schools that show interest, the more questions he has to answer about where he’ll play at the next level.

“The recruiting process is enjoyable, but once everyone starts asking me where I want to go it gets hard,” Barber said.

In general though, Barber hopes to find a school that feels like home.

“I want it to have a good coaching staff, and I want to go somewhere that will help me excel at life after football,” Barber explained.

The athlete is also receiving strong interest from TCU, Northwestern and Texas A&M, and with more schools reaching out, Barber plans to start attending camps and visiting schools this summer.

Barber says he plans to make a stop at the Hilltop at some point this summer. 

2018 wide receiver talks SMU offer

By: Andrew Hattersley

After taking a visit to SMU for their spring game, 2018 Cypress Creek HS (Tex.) wide receiver Miles Battle received an offer from SMU.

“I was surprised, I had already been up there for the spring game so I had a pretty good idea of what the campus was like,” Battle said. 

On his to SMU, Battle said the coaching staff walked over their plans for the new facility and just the overall plan with the team. 

“It was really nice, they went over their plans for the upcoming season about building new facilities and everything,” Battle said. 

The 6-4, 182-pound receiver said coach Buddy Wyatt was impressed with his film and felt like he could make a big difference on the offensive side of the ball. 

“He said that when they watched my film I could be a really big playmaker for them and that they think highly of me,” Battle said. 

The Cyrpus Creek receiver has a pretty good idea of the academic reputation of SMU after his mom got a master’s degree at SMU and had nothing but good things to say about the school. 

“Academically they’re prestigious of course, my mom got a masters from there,” Battle said. 

Battle hopes to check out the school sometime this summer during a camp but there is no rush as he is going to wait until after next season to cut down his list of schools. 

Currently Battle has offers from Michigan State, Colorado and SMU and Texas A&M and Houston have shown a lot of interest but haven’t offered yet. 

Nonetheless Battle has a good idea about what he is looking for in a school and has a good impression of SMU so far. 

“A school that has great academics and then the football that is at least pretty decent, academics does come first though,” Battle said, “When I was there he was talking about changing the attitude around there, how they are rebuilding the program and it’s on the rise.” 

2018 defensive lineman grabs SMU offer

By: Billy Embody

After picking up an offers from UTSA and Miami (Ohio), SMU was the latest to jump in the mix for Ridge Point defensive lineman Dennis Osagiede, who talked with Van Malone, who offered Osagiede.

"My head coach texted me to call coach Malone. I hadn't talked with coach Malone in a few weeks. Coach Malone told me they were going to offer me," Osagiede said. 

2017 SMU commit Ar'Mani Johnson is always talking with his 2018 teammate about SMU and Malone was also putting the full court press on him early.

"Ar'Mani always talks about SMU even before he committed there. You could tell that was the kind of school he was leaning to. I'm pretty excited about this offer, I'm not going to lie. I can really see myself going there. That may change, but right now I can really see myself going there," Osagiede said. "When I was on the phone with coach Malone, they're starting a new era and getting all these things. Basically, selling me on the school. That really grabbed my attention."

Osagiede plans to visit SMU this summer at some point to meet the staff and get a tour, but for now, is just focused on learning more about SMU.

"My mom does most of the research for me academics-wise. Football-wise, I like their schedule and everyone they play. They play like a good variety of teams so they get looks from everywhere. I like that it's in Dallas. It's not too close, but it's not too far," Osagiede said. "My mom was describing it as the Rice of Dallas. My mom is really impressed with the academics there. That's somewhere I can go. My main focus is how are they academically."

Malone has told Osagiede what he's wanting to hear about the most and his honesty has made a strong early impression.

"He's a great guy. He reminds me of one of our old coaches. He's really good and funny. When he starts talking, he doesn't stop. I remember the first time I called him, I asked him a question and he took five minutes explaining. I like how he's straight forward and when he was selling the school to me, he said they're not the best team in the world, but they could be the best team."

SMU will likely move Osagiede around based on where his body takes him at the next level.

"I was talking to coach Malone and he basically asked me where I like to play. I play defense a lot more and if I were to go there, they'd move me around from defensive end to defensive tackle because I can play both positions," the 6-1, 255-pound lineman said.

Hitting is what Osagiede loves to do and his effort separates himself from others on the field.

"I try to be humble, but I love football. Defense is my thing. I like hitting people. Even if the ball isn't coming my way, I will chase it down. I don't have the best speed, but I can beat my opponent with strength. I just love tackling people. Most of those tackles were effort tackles. This year, some schools may know not to run at my side, but that's okay because I'm still going to chase them down."

Texas A&M, Memphis, Northwestern and Washington have shown interest in Osagiede this spring.

Pony Stampede Top Stories