The Pony Stampede Hilltop Review 7/22

Come inside Pony Stampede's Hilltop Review for the latest SMU scoops and news.

Let's breakdown Big 12 expansion and SMU

By: Billy Embody

A lot seems to have already happened with Big 12 expansion after Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced that he is going to look at expansion candidates at the request of the Big 12 board. Here's what we know from sources about SMU's effort and tidbits related to other schools' efforts (mainly Houston).

  • Houston's recent run to the top of the leaderboard with public support from the University of Texas and the governor's office doesn't mean they've jumped anyone. If anything, the public begging is beginning to wear a little bit. I'm also not in the clubhouse that thinks UT is actually worried about their massive landgrab in Houston. Every major public university has satellite campuses.
  • BYU would still be No. 1, but not hearing that will happen at this point. If there's one school that's playing their hand as close to the vest as SMU, it's BYU.
  • West Virginia has been made promises about finding someone out east to be a travel partner. They're owed either Memphis, Cincinnati or even Connecticut. If it's a 2-team add, a source I talked to said it'll be Cincinnati - no doubt. If it's two, Memphis will come into the picture, but watch Connecticut as they could make some noise there. Memphis is about as desperate as Houston right now (even though everyone is desperate.)
  • Big 12 is not looking at poaching schools.
  • Schools outside of the state view Houston as a threat and they also bring nothing to the table academically, which is why it'll be tougher than you think for them to get in. If Texas is actually in support of Houston getting in, it could become an OU/Texas battle to rally support. SMU has great relationships at Oklahoma and fully expect them to be in support when the time comes around.
  • Speaking of support for SMU, TCU and Texas Tech are on board with SMU to the Big 12. That's great for SMU because even though they're not UT/OU, they were previously viewed as obstacles to gaining admittance.
  • Now as to what SMU will be doing, the big money donors are now getting heavily involved and it's priority No. 1 for president Turner. As one source puts it, "once he gets his eyes set on something, it gets done." Turner wants to be remembered as the greatest SMU president ever.
  • SMU is going to forego all TV revenue from the Big 12 for a period of time. The program will be run by revenue SMU gets from games and then anything else will be written off by the boosters.
  • SMU is using their contacts to get to all the major companies in the DFW area — AT&T, Frito-Lay, Toyota, State Farm, American Airlines — to show support for SMU and guarantee a revenue stream from these companies for sponsorship. Even if these companies don't step up, the guarantee will be there and SMU will help match what is promised.
  • Expect SMU to announce the massive project of the athletics master plan relatively soon. SMU will lay it out in three parts: 1. look at what we've already done (Moody, tennis, golf, swimming, etc.), 2. announce the immediate plans which is the indoor/soccer and 3. announce phase three, which is the expansion of Loyd. Loyd is a bigger deal than people give it credit for. It'd make SMU's football areas among the nicest in the country. Nowadays though, if you don't have the IPF, it's noticed. The expansion of Loyd would be priority No. 1 if not for that. This is key and will give SMU a massive PR boost that doesn't just look like begging, it's progress. No timeline on that, but soon (ya, ya I know).
  • The amount of money that Houston/SMU brings to the Texas economy is massive as well. SMU will have support of legislature as well, but it's just not public.
  • SMU has already had plenty of meetings with presidents and the commissioner. The talks continue and expect more formal pitches this fall. No exact timeline though.
  • SMU is focused on the Big 12 - no other options right now. It's not the right time for those other options.

JUCO quarterback updates recruitment, SMU interest

By: Patrick Engel

SMU is still searching for another quarterback in its 2017 recruiting class, but is has one target that is expected to be on campus this weekend for an unofficial visit: Pearl River C.C. (Miss.) quarterback D.J. Gillins.

Gillins said SMU is one of the schools recruiting him the hardest, along with Troy, New Mexico and Ole Miss. All but Ole Miss have offered him. SMU offered him in March and sees him as a great fit in Chad Morris’ scheme.

“I’m a dual-threat guy and I come from a Division I program, so I know what to expect,” Gillins said. “And I can tell they are really interested. They’re really honest. They tell me straight up what’s going to happen and how I can come in and make a change.”

The former Wisconsin quarterback enrolled at Pearl River in January. He has yet to play in a game there but has spent all spring and summer working out and taking classes.

“I’ve just been working out, preparing for the season and making sure our team is right for the first game,” Gillins said.

Gillins is a Jacksonville, Fla. native and a former top-50 quarterback out of high school. Originally a Texas Tech commit, he signed with Wisconsin in 2014. He redshirted 2014 and moved to wide receiver in 2015 before transferring. He will play this season at the JUCO level, enroll in Division I school in January and have two seasons of eligibility left.

The SMU visit will be Gillins’ first of the summer. He has one big factor in mind when looking at a school and his fit there.

“I just want the opportunity to play,” he said.

Gillins does not have any other visits planned before the season and does not have a time frame for a decision.

2017 big man talks SMU offer

By: Demetrio Teniente

Last weekend Great American Shoot-Out was a resounding success for 2017 Union City High School Power Forward Ethan Chargois.

Not only did he get to showcase his talents in front of a number of scouts,by the time he got home he had picked up another Division 1 offer.

“I was at the Great American Shoot-Out  in Texas this past weekend and coach K.T. Turner actually texted me Sunday night,” Chargois said. “And then on Monday, coach Tim Jankovich called me and said he wanted to offer me. I was pretty excited.”

Chargois can put his offer from SMU next to programs like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Tulsa.  

“I’m blessed to get all these offers and opportunities,” he said. “I have a lot of choices to make, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Before Turner’s text, Chargois hadn’t really spoken to anybody from SMU so he’s been pretty busy trying to find out as much about the Mustangs as he can.

“We had a couple good conversations since then,” Chargois said. “I’ve just been asking a lot of questions—trying to get to know the program a little bit better. As far as first impressions—it sounds like a good school. I’m probably going to come down and visit in August.”

Chargois also pointed out that he is friends with SMU sophomore guard Shake Milton, an Owasso High School product. Chargois says Milton talks to him all the time about how great SMU is.

And even though SMU is transitioning out of the Larry Brown era and into the Jankovich era,  Chargois is looking at the Mustangs’ future positively.

“Honestly [the coaching change] doesn’t really affect me,” he said. “They didn’t start recruiting me until he was already gone. So I didn’t have a relationship with [coach Brown].  Coach Jankovich sounded very optimistic when we talked. He was telling me how they are looking forward to moving past the suspensions and how they could [potentially] play in the tournament this year. I’d like to think they are headed in a good direction because nothing is really telling me they aren’t because [Brown] left.”

Again, Chargois mentioned he intends to visit SMU sometime in August, and also plans on making a couple more stops to a few of the schools that have shown interest in him.

“I really don’t know how it will all break down in terms of ‘official’ and ‘unofficial,’” he said. “But I am going to visit Colorado, Kansas State, Memphis, Houston, and probably Oklahoma State.”

Carthage LB set to visit SMU

By: Andrew Hattersley

Things have been slow for 2018 Carthage HS (Tex.) linebacker Mykel Gates but he is looking to turn some heads this weekend at SMU’s camp on Sunday.  

“I think that’s a good chance to be there and show them how I play and how I operate,” Gates said, “I think it will be a great opportunity for me to get better, different coaching styles and seeing if I can adapt to them and see what I can learn from them to get me better going into the season.” 

Gates doesn’t know much about SMU yet, but has high praise for SMU’s coaching staff who he termed an up and coming staff. 

“I know that it’s an upcoming program that’s been on the rise and so I know the coaching staff is all pretty good from here on out just tailor the program to be better and better,” Gates said. 

While he doesn’t have any offers yet, Gates has been hearing from a couple big name schools. 

“I guess you could say it’s okay, slow but it’s fine,” Gates said, “I’ve been hearing the most from Texas Tech and Texas A&M.” 

The 6-0, 220-pound linebacker has been working on his agility in hopes of recovering from an up and down season. 

“I think last season I had an early injury,” Gates said, “After that it was a pretty good season on out I wish we could have gone to state and won it but it’s just something I got to learn from and this year will be bigger and better.”

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