The Pony Stampede Hilltop Review Feb. 24

Come inside the latest edition of the Pony Stampede Hilltop Review for updates on SMU recruiting targets.

2018 DB still has SMU in a good spot

By: Patrick Engel

Brodrick Calhoun's first try at a commitment didn’t have the ending he expected.

The 2018 Mesquite (Texas) Horn corner wanted to commit to SMU in November, but was told to hold off on the move at the time. Things between him and SMU are still strong. Calhoun says he talks with the staff regularly and still has SMU in the mix.

“I talk to coach (Justin) Stepp and coach (Jess) Loepp all the time,” Calhoun said. “They’re like family to me.”

Calhoun has been a regular at SMU since last summer, when he picked up the offer. He most recently visited for a junior day in January. He came to SMU’s games last fall vs. Liberty, Memphis and Navy.

“When I got there, it always feels like home,” Calhoun said. “I’m always comfortable in that atmosphere.”

Calhoun’s most recent visits were to Baylor on Feb. 18 and Louisiana Tech on Feb. 11. Following the visit, Calhoun picked up an offer from the Bulldogs.

“They liked what they saw and they liked my film,” Calhoun said. “I like the school and the three-semester system they have academically.”

Two more visits are on the list for Calhoun: Texas State and UNLV.

At the TrueBuzz showcase last week, the 5-foot-10, 155-pound Calhoun showed off good coverage ability and instincts from the cornerback position. He has one big offseason goal: add weight.

“I want to gain about 10 to 15 pounds for next season,” Calhoun said. “I also can hit, but I want to work on my ball skills some more.”

2019 Coppell DB recaps another trip to SMU

Jonathan McGill (© Greg Powers)

By: Phil Mayer

Jonathan McGill, a 2019 defensive back out of Coppell HS visited SMU last weekend. McGill talked to coaches on both sides of the ball, as SMU views him as an athlete.

He talked to coaches Joe Craddock, Van Malone, Jess Loepp and Chad Morris. The coaches told McGill about what differentiates SMU from other schools.

“They said the networking is special,” McGill said. “As soon as you get out of college, if you don’t want to go to the NFL, finding a job is very easy. SMU people help SMU people.”

SMU’s coaches are McGill’s favorite part of the school, as he appreciates their candidness.

“The coaches are probably my favorite part of SMU… they’ll tell you one thing, then they’ll carry it out and do it,” McGill explained. “I really appreciate that the coaches are true to what they say. Even the players said the same, that the coaches are true. They’re genuine people and great coaches.”

McGill, who plays safety at Coppell, sees himself as someone who can go get the ball and make a play once he has it.   

“My ball-hawking ability and my ability to read eyes and track down a ball separates me from other players,” the 5-11, 180 pound safety said. “And when the ball is in my hands I always make a play. I always make something happen. When I get the ball in my hands, I make up my mind to get in the end zone. I’m gonna do anything I want to get in there.” 

Right now SMU is McGill’s only offer, but he is not close to committing.

“I’m waiting on my options,” McGill said. “I’m only a sophomore right now, so I’ll probably be waiting until my late junior year, or the summer going into my senior year.”

SMU’s coaches want McGill to come back for spring practice, and he plans on doing so. McGill will also visit TCU and Oklahoma State in the spring. 

2018 Houston area lineman visits SMU

By: Demetrio Teniente

Last Saturday, 2018 St. Pius X offensive lineman Matthew Morgan dropped by the Hilltop for SMU’s junior day.

Morgan has been talking with SMU offensive line coach, Dustin Fry since this past football season and they’ve stayed in touch even after the junior transferred to St Pius at the beginning of this semester.

Last weekend, Morgan got a chance to meet with Fry and many of the other SMU coaches as he and the rest of the junior recruits got a glimpse of SMU.

“[The visit] was pretty good,” Morgan said. “Coach Chad Morris has really built a great program. All the coaches’ mindsets are all about building relationships with players and I think that is big. If you are being recruited by SMU you want to make sure that you are building a good relationship with the coaches.”

Since he has been talking with Fry and SMU for some time now, he had been thinking about the school prior to his visit. Once on campus however, he realized his expectations for SMU might have been too low.

“SMU was more than I expected,” he said. “Everything that they had set up for Junior Day—they kept it kinda small so you got some one-on-one time with the coaches.  The campus is nice and modern. The weight room is all new stuff—everything is ‘newer.’ The Whole facility itself was really nice.”

He might have just been on the Hilltop, but Morgan enjoyed his time there so much he could only stay away for a little bit. He plans on returning to SMU February 28 for one of the Mustangs’ spring practices.

“I’m excited to go back,” Morgan said. “I can’t wait to really see what SMU is all about.”

Morgan also plans on going to Tulsa on March 4 for the Golden Hurricane junior day and is working on visits to the University of Houston and Texas State.   

2018 safety continues to be on SMU's radar after visit

© Greg Powers

By: Andrew Hattersley

With the 2017 class in the books, SMU’s coaching staff turned their attention to 2018 this past weekend hosting a number of extremely talented visitors for a prospect day. One of those that made the trip up was 2018 Hightower HS (Tex.) safety Hasaan Hypolite

“It was fun I enjoyed it,” Hypolite told PonyStampede, “I like how family oriented the school and coaches are and the relationships they have with their players.” 

Hypolite got the chance to talk with coach Loepp and McDaniel extensively on the trip and loved their mindset about the program. 

“No matter who they play they don’t care who you are once you get in between those lines on the football field, that logo on the jersey it doesn’t matter against them,” Hypolite said, “I also like the direction the program is going right now.” 

Getting to meet the strength and conditioning staff was a big deal for Hypolite who came away impressed with the transformation of many of the players shown during the staff’s presentation. 

“They showed us a couple slides of the transformation of a couple players bodies from the time they stepped on campus to the present time and they transformed all types of body frames into very good looking men and that mainly caught my attention,” Hypolite said of the staff’s presentation. 

Hypolite has been talking with coach Loepp every day since the visit and plans to come back for a couple of spring practices and the spring game. 

The 6-0, 210-pound safety has paid close attention to the secondary both before and during his visit and plans to do the same when he comes back to take in a couple more practices. 

“I actually did pay attention to them when I went on my junior day, they’re all ball hawks,” Hypolite said, “Actually coach Loepp puts them in good position to go all over the field and make plays and getting picks, so that’s one of those coaches I would love to play for.” 

While the Hightower safety does not currently have any offers he has been receiving interest from Houston, LSU and Texas Tech. 

2018 West Mesquite DB's recruitment picking up steam

By: Patrick Engel

Since signing day has passed the attention has turned to 2018, West Mesquite (Texas) cornerback Dayven Coleman has been one of DFW’s hottest defensive names on the recruiting trail. He has picked up offers from Colorado, Kansas, Illinois State, Louisiana Tech, Minnesota, North Texas and Texas State since the end of January.

One school that has not offered, but has continued to keep in contact with him, is SMU.

“I’ve been talking to coach (Van) Malone, the defensive coordinator,” Coleman said. “They’re probably going to offer me in the spring. He’s been recruiting me personally ever since I did the camp in the summer and got camp MVP.”

In addition to the camp, Coleman made his way to a pair of SMU games last fall: the Sept. 17 win vs. Liberty and the Oct. 22 win vs. Houston.

“I liked it a lot,” Coleman said. “The atmosphere is crazy. They balled out. That (Houston win) changed everything for SMU. Houston had already came up, and for SMU to beat them, that was big.”

Coleman also visited LSU and Texas for games last fall. Neither has offered as of now. He made the short trip to Waco for Baylor’s Feb. 18 junior day and plans to visit Colorado unofficially in the spring with some of his TrueBuzz Group friends and seven-on-seven teammates.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Coleman is being recruited as a safety. Though he has gained about 15 pounds since the end of his sophomore season, he wants to add even more weight before he starts his senior year.

“Just keep getting big,” Coleman said. “I was about 185 last spring. So just getting bigger, faster and working on my craft every day.”

In 2016, Coleman has 40 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks and one interception for West Mesquite. He played his first two years at Skyline High School in Dallas.

2018 tight end seeing recruiting pick up

By: Billy Embody

2018 Arlington (Tex.) Oakridge School tight end Christoph Henle took in SMU junior day last weekend and came away impressed with his first visit to nearby SMU.

"It was really good. It was my first time on campus and getting to meet the coaches," Henle told Pony Stampede. "It was great to meet the coaches, see the facilities and the campus.

SMU tight ends coach Keith Gunn, offensive coordinator Joe Craddock, linebackers coach Archie McDaniel and head coach Chad Morris all talked with the 6-4, 225-pound local tight end. Gunn made a big impression as he didn't touch too much on what SMU does on the football field, but rather what SMU can do for players after college.

"We (Henle and Gunn) really talked about tight ends and the program philosophy and just about last season. We talked about their offensive system and SMU," Henles said. "I liked him. He's an honest guy and you can go with him for whatever. More than just a coach. Talking with him, it was more than just football. It was the same thing with the entire staff. They're there to be more than football coaches and want to prepare you for life after football."

While an offer didn't come on the visit, Henle said that the staff wants to see more of him on the field, which is understandable.

"They like me in the passing game and being flexible. Not just being a tight end. Right now in my offense, I mainly do blocking and they want to see more of that. They like that they can use me more as a hybrid," Henle said. "I totally get that. It was more of a first date. They want to see my grades and see me more before seeing what happens."

Henle toured the weight room, facilities and stadium before having lunch on campus to check out the food, which is big for Henle.

"I was just impressed by the campus and how pretty it was. It was great for me because I've never been there," Henle said. "The big thing for me was how the coaches talked about academics and to graduate in 3.5 years. They also talked about summer classes and how that helps having more of a laid back fall schedule."

The Austrian native arrived in the United States after his freshman year to pursue his dream of playing football at the college level while his parents remain in Austria.

"I started playing football at 11 in Austria, but it doesn't compare to Texas high school football. My dream was to play college football," Henle said. "I know not one college team recruits Austria. I talked to my parents about letting me go play football in America and they said they'll support me in my dream."

It's been an adjustment, but Henle said being in Texas is something he loves already and would like to stay nearby his host family for college.

"I definitely fell in love with Texas. It's completely different than Austria, but I love the people and the way they do things. I feel like I'm adjusting well."

Central Michigan, Houston and Tulsa have offered and are showing the most interest to Henle, which has them standing out early. Tulsa and Houston have both gotten visits from Henle already.

Christoph Henle Junior Highlights

2018 Houston area linebacker takes in SMU visit

By: Andrew Hattersley

2018 Heights HS (Tex.) linebacker Joshua Reed had not spoken to the coaching staff aside from getting the invite before he stepped on campus for SMU’s prospect day, but felt like he immediately developed a good relationship with the staff and was impressed with how quickly it happened. 

“It was great and I liked the coaching staff,” Reed said, “I like how we built the relationship because it is my first time meeting them in person so we just broke the bar right down and talked about everything.” 

One of the 6-1, 230-pound linebacker’s favorite parts of the visit was getting to hear from the strength and conditioning staff, as well as, touring the weight room. 

“I like the weight room, I like the designs on the floor and I like how they explain things to their players and make sure it has the effect on your body,” Reed told PonyStampede, “I love to work out a lot myself so it was just great meeting the workout staff.”

On his visit, Reed mostly spoke with coach McDaniel and Van Malone. The Heights linebacker immediately clicked with SMU’s defensive coordinator and considers him a resource he can always depend on. 

“He’s actually a really cool dude,” Reed said of Van Malone, “There is never a dull moment like when I was talking with him I just built that instant relationship like I could feel comfortable fitting into the defense with him telling me the way he was going to use me.” 

One of Reed’s favorite parts of the visit was the emphasis the staff puts on academics. Reed hopes to major in Mechanical Engineering, and spent a lot of time into figuring out how players interacted with their teachers. 

“I like how they treat their players academic wise, they make sure they have good grades and make sure they graduate,” Reed said, “I just was looking into the program and seeing how life is after football, I was asking the players how is their relationship with their professors.”

Reed currently has no offers but has been hearing from Texas, Texas Tech, UTSA, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Tulsa, Houston and Oregon State. He plans to return to SMU for their spring game later this spring. 

Joshua Reed Junior Highlights

Pony Stampede Top Stories