Justin Dinka (© Greg Powers)

Pony Stampede Hilltop Review Nov. 11

Come inside another Pony Stampede Hilltop Review with the latest on two SMU football prospects.

2019 running back picks up first offer from SMU

By: Demetrio Teniente

For high school athletes hoping to play at the next level, few things are sweeter than picking up that first college scholarship offer.

At the end of October, 2019 Flower Mound Marcus running back Justin Dinka was pulled aside by one of his coaches and was told to expect an offer from SMU the next day.

For Dinka, a 5-10, 170 pound tailback, this is all new territory for him. Just a sophomore, Dinka is just beginning his recruiting process. And even with the heads up from his coaches, the offer from SMU was very surprising.

“It felt pretty good,” Dinka said. “I was shocked because coach came and told me they were going to offer me the day before. It was just a great experience. I feel that I’m blessed right now and I hope I can get more offers.”

The Marauders finished the season 5-5, just missing the playoffs with a 3-4 district record. Those his season ended too soon, Dinka had a productive year.

The sophomore rushed for 1,711 yards with 20 touchdowns. He also had two catches for 95 yards and another score.

“[The season] went pretty well,” he said. “I got to meet some new people and had some new experiences with my teammates. It was a great challenge to adjust to the speed of the game, but I was faster and stronger [than last year].”    

Right now the only visit Dinka has planned is one to Georgia Southern. His brother, Eric Dinka, played soccer at Georgia Southern and graduated last year. 

2018 linebacker recaps SMU visit

By: Billy Embody

2018 Rockwall (Tex.) linebacker Blake Barron took in SMU's loss to Memphis last weekend and while the outcome wasn't nearly what SMU was looking for, Barron has been impressed by SMU.

"It was great. I loved it. I think the atmosphere was good. To see a big crowd there was awesome to see. How they had everything set up for the recruits, that was cool too," Barron said.

SMU might have taken it on the chin, but the team's demeanor was positive and Barron believes in what Chad Morris is doing.

"I like the way they play defense and how well they coached them. The team has a good temperament about them even when things aren't going their way," the 6-1, 220-pound linebacker said. "I think they're heading in the right direction with everything coach Morris is doing."

Dustin Fry and Barron caught up before the game. Fry has been recruiting Barron since his sophomore season and likes SMU's offensive line coach.

"He was just telling me he was excited to see me out there," Barron said. "I like how personal he is with the recruiting process. He likes to get to know the kids before he gets into it."

While Barron doesn't have an offer just yet, teams like his ability to run sideline-to-sideline.

"My sideline-to-sideline ability and my ability to read run or pass quickly and then react from there," Barron said. "I help stop the run well and I communicate with the defensive line based on certain offensive formations."

Tulsa, North Texas, Texas State and SFA have all shown interest in Barron.

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