2017 Bishop Dunne (Tex.) linebacker Shaine Hailey went into his Friday unofficial visit knowing there was a chance he might commit to SMU.
And after the coaching staff answered questions he and his mother had about the school and application process, the 6-foot, 205-pound junior knew he had found his next home.
The school’s network is a big part of why the athlete decided to pull the trigger, but in the end, the decision was easy considering SMU checked off all the boxes for him.
“It starts with the direction the program is going. I can see the vision that they have and they are definitely going to be on the rise,” Hailey said. “It’s not just the athletic part also. The family atmosphere and the alumni there make a great family of SMU people ready to help you out after football.”
Coach Buddy Wyatt and Justin Stepp greeted Hailey, but the entire staff joined in the celebration when he told coach Morris he wanted to make things official.
“(Coach Morris) said he thinks I’m a great player, a special player, and a leader that can help the program change and make it move forward like he is trying to do,” Hailey said. “The whole coaching staff was excited.”
The linebacker’s future position coach, Archie McDaniel, was also ecstatic to hear the news, but said Hailey could realistically play a number of different positions.
“I feel like I can play anything, but I don’t really know where they will have me,” Hailey explained. “Coach McDaniel said, when I committed, that we have a nice little linebacker now, but that was it.”
With Hailey expected to grow 2-3 more inches, and put on 20-30 pounds, the North Texas native is fine with waiting to find out which position he will play.
Now that he is committed, Hailey, who holds offers from Air Force, Northern Colorado and Holy Cross, does not plan on talking to other coaches even if he picks up more offers.
He is now fully focused on getting ready for his time on the Hilltop, which starts with one thing.
“Getting bigger,” Hailey said. “I’m just trying to get to 215-220, and continue to still run like I do. When I get to the point of attack, I want it to be more of a boom than just a normal hit.”
The Mustangs now have 12 verbal commits in their 2017 class.