SMU hosted its largest group of recruiting visitors of the season for Saturday’s win vs. Houston. About 300 recruits and their families watched SMU beat Houston 38-16, the Mustangs’ first win over a ranked team since 2011. SMU hosted most of its 2017 commitments and many of its top targets for 2018. Other commits and targets who didn’t visit watched the game.
Greenhill School wide receiver Kassidy Woods is a priority target for SMU in the 2018 class at his position. He thinks SMU’s win is a momentum-builder for the team and for recruiting.
“The SMU vs. UH game was a great game, particularly for SMU,” Woods told PonyStampede. “That should give SMU a great confidence booster and let them know that they are and can be an effective and top team in the American Athletic Conference for years to come. It was a great win for the program and hopefully marks the start of a change in the program.”
Dallas Carter defensive end Jarell Cherry’s first offer came from SMU. Even though the four-star prospect has since picked up offers from Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma, among others, he’s still talking with SMU and has visited multiple times. Saturday was the latest for the junior.
“It was an amazing college game day atmosphere,” Cherry said. “If had to say, it was also the beginning of a new SMU era.”
2018 four-star Mesquite Horn wide receiver Maureese Wren made a return visit to SMU. He came twice during the summer, once during a camp in June and again for SMU’s recruiting barbecue in July. SMU is his only offer right now, and it’s standing out to him.
“If everything goes as planned, I should be there. I'm very proud of SMU. They proved all the doubters wrong and they showed a lot of people why they shouldn't be overlooked, so I'm glad they got the huge win.”
Wren’s teammate, defensive back Brodrick Calhoun, also visited for SMU’s win. He has high interest for SMU and has been close to committing before.
“It was a big win for the program, but an even bigger win for the coaching staff because if had any doubt about them being able to coach and get the best out you, that doubt has to be gone,” Calhoun said. “I really do believe that the win brought a lot of attention to the program and its ability to win. That coaching staff is amazing at what they do.”
Rockwall linebacker Alston Orji, the state’s top-ranked player at his position for 2018, returned for a visit. He and his brother, 2019 four-star safety Anfernee Orji, visited for the recruiting barbeque in the summer with their father.
After Saturday’s game, their father left impressed. He tweeted that SMU and Morris "made a believer out of a lot of us."
SMU also hosted most of its 2017 commits. All except Charlie Brewer were on unofficial visits. Brewer, who is enrolling early, took his official visit this weekend. The rest of the class will be back to take their official together on the same weekend, likely in January. The commits had a lot of positive things to say about Saturday’s win.
Timber Creek offensive tackle and SMU commit Alan Ali: “It was an amazing game with an amazing atmosphere. It just proves how great of a coach coach Morris is, this is a big moment for SMU football and the city of Dallas.”
Ridge Point cornerback and SMU commit Ar'mani Johnson: "The win against U of H sends a message from Coach Morris and his coaching staff that the dark cloud that's been over SMU football program for years, is a thing of the past. Hopefully other recruits will realize, that the program is rise and they should get on board and become a part of history as SMU makes it's come back. I trust Coach Morris and the vision he has for the program 100 percent. I'm excited about becoming a part of that vision in 2017!
Bishop Dunne linebacker and SMU commit Shaine Hailey: “I think that the win was just a like 15 second preview of what's to come in the upcoming years. It definitely made me truly believe in the process.”
Lancaster defensive end and SMU commit Noah Jones: “They played with passion and as a team.”
Terrell safety and SMU commit Elijah McQueen: “It was such a great win. Defense was locked, making plays locking down Ward, offense producing points! I wish I could have been a part of the history-making game! The upset of the year!"
Pearland cornerback and SMU commit Justin Guy-Robinson: “SMU is up to something special and it's going to take 110 players and a coaching staff to do it. We're ready to put a stamp on the game!!!!”
Arp running back and SMU commit Kayce Medlock: "I loved the game, and the atmosphere! I knew we had a shot at them, but also knew our guys had to come out in get on the early and stay in top! Defense did a heck of a job by containing Greg Ward and applying abunch of pressure to him! Our offense made huge plays when we needed them! The running backs did a great job by making huge runs to set up touchdowns! I had a great time on the #HillTop. This game made me even more ready to hurry in get here! #PonyUp."
Lake Travis quarterback and SMU commit Charlie Brewer: “Program changing win!”
Lake Travis tight end and SMU commit Cade Brewer: “This is what this program needed. A huge win and I can't be more excited to be apart of this team.”
Denton Ryan safety and SMU commit Delano Robinson: “I feel this is just the beginning of something special starting out with the big win over Houston.”
George Ranch defensive end and SMU commit Toby Ndukwe (didn’t visit but watched): “I thought it was a great win for us, defense did a great job pressuring Greg Ward. I know it meant a lot to SMU and to me.”
Pearl River C.C. quarterback and SMU commit D.J. Gillins (didn't visit): “I was happy we won. It was a huge win for the program.”
Bay City defensive lineman and SMU commit Jordan Gipson:
More of SMU’s 2018 offers and targets also sounded off on the win.
Bishop McGuinness four-star offensive tackle Owen Condon:
Prestonwood Christian defensive back Jeremiah Lewis: “They did great. It is a great win for the program and each year they keep improving. Will not be surprised if they are a elite program.”
Jones (Okla.) wide receiver/tight end Sean Shaw: “Man, going forward for SMU that's a total game changer!! They just opened a lot of eyes with that upset, everyone on that team is going to be feeling pretty good going into these next games! I’m ready to see how it goes the rest of the season now.”
Highland Park offensive guard/center Thomas Shelmire: “Absolutely astonishing, it's games like this that can fully change the swing of any program.”
Waco Midway quarterback Tanner Mordecai, a former teammate of SMU’s Ben Hicks: “Huge for SMU, love watching Ben compete.”
Lamar Consolidated quarterback Will Brown: “Give your best at everything you do and all will pay off."
West Mesquite defensive back Dayven Coleman: “Biggest upset of the year and that was a huge win for SMU, because everybody counted them out and they showed people that they can compete with the best.”
Rockdale athlete JaQuayln Crawford: "That's the first of many wins like that by coach Morris."
DeSoto defensive backs Gemon Green and German Green, with SMU wide receiver Kevin Thomas and running backs coach Claude Mathis. Thomas played at DeSoto for Mathis when he was the head coach there. Both Greens visited SMU for the barbecue.
Justin Northwest offensive tackle Darrell Simpson returned to SMU for the Houston game. He previously visited for the barbecue as well. Simpson is the state's top-ranked offensive lineman in the 2018 cycle.
Head to PonyStampede’s premium football forum for the complete visitor list from Saturday.