Depth at Linebacker
SMU had struggles at linebacker last season, but Chad Morris feels like the group will perform better in 2017.
"Jordon Williams, Jordan Ward, those guys are young guys that had an opportunity to redshirt and now are getting into the system a little more," Morris said. "We feel like we've got some depth. We've got to continue to grow that. And again, one of the biggest things that you see, especially going into year three, is the competition. The competition makes everybody better."
Morris also mentioned Kyran Mitchell and Anthony Rhone as players who can be leaders of this group.
Newcomers on the offensive line
Jacob Todora, Kadarius Smith, Braxton Webb, Harrison Barton and Jalen Lynch are all redshirt freshmen who could make an impact next year. Morris spoke on how important it was to redshirt those players.
"Every kid that we signed as an offensive lineman we redshirted," Morris said. "And so now we're able to see some of the fruits of that labor and hopefully see some of that pay off."
While Morris is pleased with the development of his young offensive linemen, he is not comfortable enough to say that he will redshirt all of his incoming linemen in the class of 2017.
"We'll make that final decision on redshirts right before the start of fall camp," Morris said.
Kadarius Smith is getting reps with the first team at tackle.
Evan Brown talks improvements, newcomers
Center Evan Brown spoke to the media as well today. He talked about what he needed to improve on.
"Personally, I feel that the biggest thing I need to focus on is lowering my pad level and running my hips after I make contact on my blocks," Brown said. "And as a teammate being a more vocal leader on the o-line and as a leader as a whole. And just being able to encourage our guys and get 'em going."
He also spoke on developing chemistry with the new members of the offensive line.
"It's definitely a big thing," he said. "Chemistry between the o-line is key. It's crucial. We gotta be able to trust and know what the guy is doing next to us. We're still every day rotating new guys in at guard and tackle, seeing who fits where the best, who can play, who's gonna step up and fill the position so once we get that set, whenever it happens, whoever get good, I think that will be big."
Jordan Carmouche and Patrick Jones were limited for today's practice. Carmouche is expected to remain limited throughout the spring.
Noah Spears, Chad Pursley, Xavier Castille, R.C. Cox, Mikail Onu, Michael Clark and Collin Rock were out of today's practice.
Corey Rau, D.J. Gillins and Kevin Thomas were full participants after being limited for earlier practices. Rau looked a little rusty in his return, as he dropped a couple of passes.
- Former SMU players Garrett Gilbert, Chauncey Briggs and Mike Ford were at practice today.
- Collin Rock, who SMU lists as a quarterback on their official roster, will play safety next year.
- Morris used Kevin Johnson at running back briefly last year. He wants to keep finding ways to get the ball in Johnson's hands.