2017 OT Matthew Huhn (Courtesy Photo)

SMU Football Recruiting Board Reset: Dec. 8

SMU is expected to sign around 17 players in the 2017 cycle and has 16 committed so far. SMU is still looking to fill the final spot and is working to lock down its commits before the always-hectic month of January. Who is SMU targeting for the final spot, and where do the current commits stand? Come inside the recruiting reset for the latest.

Quarterbacks

Commits:

http://www.scout.com/player/200110-charlie-brewer?s=357

http://www.scout.com/player/168275-d-j-gillins?s=357

Available Scholarships: 0

What’s trending: SMU wanted to bring as much competition to the spot and space out the years between the two quarterbacks in the class. With a high school quarterback and junior college transfer, it did just that. Both will be on campus in January and have taken their official visits. Gillins, the former Wisconsin Badger is making a final decision on Dec. 14, which is junior college signing day. Ole Miss offered in November and is the other school in contention for him. The SMU staff visited Gillins in-home on Dec. 1 and is trying to see him again before the dead period starts Monday. Ole Miss also wants to go in-home before signing day and has a few options for its quarterback spot, Gillins among them. SMU feels it can keep him and his mom has been an advocate for SMU, but getting another in-home would help in locking him down.

Running backs

Commits:

http://www.scout.com/player/199773-kayce-medlock?s=357

Available Scholarships: 0

What’s trending: Kayce Medlock has been committed since July and is solid to SMU. His team plays in the state semifinals this weekend. With Xavier Jones, Braeden West, Ke’Mon Freeman and Aphonso Thomas all returning, SMU won’t have to rush Medlock onto the field next fall.

Wide receivers

Commits:

http://www.scout.com/player/207763-tyler-page?s=357

Available Scholarships: 0

What’s trending: Page score 50 total touchdowns and had more than 3,700 total yards as Friendswood’s quarterback, but he will start out at receiver for SMU. He’s versatile and could end up at running back or defensive back, but SMU likes his ability with the ball in space. SMU landed LSU transfer Trey Quinn in the spring and he filled the need to take another wide receiver in the class. With Quinn, SMU will have a deep group of receivers, especially if Courtland Sutton decides to stay in school.

Tight ends

Commits:

http://www.scout.com/player/204345-cade-brewer?s=357

Available Scholarships: 0

What’s Trending: Spring offers from Texas A&M and Oklahoma didn’t sway Brewer’s commitment the first time. A Texas offer adds drama, but SMU has a lot of allies on its side, including teammate Charlie Brewer and cousin Garrett Stotts. The latter is SMU's long snapper and a former teammate at Lake Travis. The relationships with the coaching staff and his current quarterback are SMU’s big advantage here. SMU can also continue to sell that he will be the only tight end in the class, while Texas is likely to take more than one. The Longhorns also have just two tight ends on the roster, though. SMU feels good about holding onto Brewer right now. With Jeremiah Gaines graduating and only Corey Rau, Mitchell Kaufman and Ryan Becker on the roster, Brewer should get his chance to play right away.

Offensive line

Commits:

http://www.scout.com/player/204625-alan-ali?s=357

http://www.scout.com/player/206845-hayden-howerton?s=357

Available Scholarships: 1

Top Targets:

http://www.scout.com/player/203852-matthew-huhn/recruiting?year=2016&s=215

What’s trending: In all the uncertainty of Chad Morris’ job status last week, SMU scored a big recruiting win when Howerton flipped from Rice. He and his parents were very impressed when they visited for the Nov. 19 game vs. South Florida, and a couple weeks later, Howerton decided he was ready to flip. He wanted to see if Rice would make a coaching change, but not two hours after the Owls announced David Bailiff was returning for another season, Howerton flipped.

The priority in the class has been offensive tackles. After missing on Kelby Wickline, Huhn is the top target now. He’s the state’s eighth-ranked offensive tackle and the No. 91 player in the Texas Hot 100. SMU has visited him at school each week since the contact period started and had great relationships with him before he committed to Houston in June. He said he will be patient with Houston’s coaching situation, but right now SMU is in a good position to get him if Houston doesn’t hang on. This recruitment could go well into January, but SMU will be right there until it ends. 

Defensive line

Commits:
http://www.scout.com/player/208939-jordan-gipson
www.scout.com/player/202357-noah-jones
http://www.scout.com/player/201718-harrison-loveless

Available Scholarships: 0

What’s trending: SMU locked up its four-man defensive line class in June. Noah Jones has still been getting some attention from Illinois, which might bear watching as signing day gets closer, but right now SMU isn’t concerned that it will lose him. He had some attention from Kansas earlier this fall too. SMU should have good depth on the line against next year, especially at end. Ndukwe can take his time recovering from a torn ACL he suffered earlier this fall. Jones won’t need to be rushed and can spend a redshirt year refining his technique. He, Loveless and Gipson give SMU some versatility with their ability to play either end or tackle. Jones projects best as an end. Should anyone defect from the class, it's unlikely SMU would seek a replacement. SMU feels it has that luxury With Nick Horton returning next year after missing all but three games due to injury. 

Linebackers

Commits:

http://www.scout.com/player/208600-delano-robinson?s=357

http://www.scout.com/player/208656-shaine-hailey?s=357

Available Scholarships: 0

What’s trending: Both the linebackers committed on the same day after an unofficial visit. They’ve given every indication of sticking to their pledge. Hailey’s team lost in the state finals in the private school league, while Robinson plays in the UIL semifinals against Highland Park this weekend. Robinson plays safety for Ryan, but SMU sees him as a star linebacker. After SMU’s linebackers struggled again this year, Hailey playing early is possible if he has a strong summer and fall camp. If SMU found an open spot for a defensive player, linebacker would be the biggest need. But SMU is happy with this defensive class.

Defensive backs

Commits:

http://www.scout.com/player/207199-ar-mani-johnson?s=357

http://www.scout.com/player/207577-justin-guy-robinson?s=357

http://www.scout.com/player/206045-elijah-mcqueen?s=357

Available Scholarships: 0

What’s trending: All the defensive back commits are staying solid. Johnson grabbed an offer from Boise State, but didn't show any interest in the Broncos. McQueen came on his official visit on Dec. 2 and will enroll in January. He's going to play safety for SMU. Guy-Robinson was clocked at 4.45 in the 40-yard dash at The Opening Houston Regional last spring. SMU loses a pair of first-team all-AAC players – corner Horace Richardson and safety Darrion Millines – but returns a lot of young defensive backs. 


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