SMU's last eight commitments have been defensive players, but only one will play linebacker in the Mustangs’ 4-2-5 scheme. 2017 Sachse (Texas) linebacker Riko Jeffers is the true middle linebacker type that SMU has not signed under Chad Morris. He’s been an SMU target since picking up the offer in January and visiting in February.
“We talk sporadically, but we still talk,” Jeffers said. “They sell the program really well and the facilities are really nice, and they said they’re adding on to it and they have something good coming up. I’m looking into it.”
Part of SMU’s pitch is to come be a part of building a winner and start a winning tradition. It’s a pitch Jeffers can relate to.
“I want to be a part of something that’s coming up,” Jeffers said. “That’s big and I can have my name out there a lot.”
Jeffers talks with offensive line coach Dustin Fry, the area recruiter, the most among the SMU coaches. He met the entire staff when he visited with his family for a private unofficial.
“They showed me that they really buy into everything, and that’s nice to feel that,” Jeffers said.
Jeffers said he is hearing the most from Oklahoma State, Kansas and Washington State, all of which have offered. He took spring visits to Arkansas, Baylor and Texas, which have not offered. Jeffers also holds offers from Boise State, Colorado, Houston, Indiana, Fresno State, Utah State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, UTSA, Texas State, North Texas, Colorado State and New Mexico. He is a three-star prospect and Scout’s third-ranked middle linebacker in Texas.
As far as making a decision, Jeffers said he wants to commit after his spring season. Sachse’s spring game is May 24. He said he plans to commit before the season if he doesn’t commit soon after spring football. He said he doesn’t have a leader.
One of his biggest factors will be finding a family-like atmosphere.
“I want to be in a place that feels like a family, where I can call my home and enjoy my four years being there,” Jeffers said. “I don’t want to transfer, and I want to be able to enjoy my time at school.”
Even though the 6-foot-1, 236-pound Jeffers is approaching 20 offers, his spring goal was to prove he’s under recruited.
“I just want to show that I’m better than some of the other guys out there and that I work just as hard as everyone.”