Kolby Peel (Billy Embody)

The Pony Stampede Hilltop Review 4/21

Come inside the Pony Stampede Hilltop Review for the latest SMU recruiting news and notes.

2018 safety taking recruiting process slow

By: Phil Mayer

2018 A&M Consolidated (Tex.) safety Kolby Peel visited SMU for the spring game, and he liked what he saw. 

“Guys seem to have fun,” Peel said. “They look like they enjoy playing with one another. I saw them out there messing with coaches and it looked like they enjoy the team that they play with.”


On his visit, Peel saw coaches Jess Loepp and Justin Stepp, two coaches who he has relationships with. He also chatted with Chad Morris. The staff introduced themselves to Peel’s father for the first time. 

“That was the first time that my father had been down to campus,” Peel said. “They talked to him about what they believe in at SMU and about me being a high priority and just the fact that they’d love to have me down there.”

SMU’s coaching staff makes the university stand out to the Peel family. 

“My parents have said that they feel like they can trust them with me,” Peel said. “They feel comfortable letting me be there and knowing that the coaching staff is looking over me. I’ve got a good relationship with those coaches up there.” 

Peel also dished on what it was about the coaching staff that impressed his parents. 

“They’re transparent. What you hear is what you get,” he said. 

Peel befriended standout freshman Elijah McQueen during his visit, after a recommendation from Loepp. 

“Coach Loepp told me that he was a player to look out for,” Peel said. “He kinda took me in and introduced me to some of the guys.” 

Loepp and Peel had a lengthy discussion about how the 6-0, 195 pound safety would fit in to SMU’s defense. Loepp told Peel to look out for McQueen in the spring game, saying that’s where he would slide in to SMU’s defense. Loepp also gave Peel a more specific description of his potential fit. 

“What coach Loepp was telling me is that he sees me as a boundary safety,” Peel said. “A guy that comes down and plays the run and has to be physical. He said that he likes the fact that I can make plays.” 

Peel’s went to Oklahoma State this past weekend for their spring game. He currently has offers from Oklahoma State, SMU, Minnesota, Kansas, Cincinnati, Texas State and UTSA, but he’s not anywhere near a decision. 

“I’m keeping my options open,” Peel said. “There’s no top ten or anything like that. I’m just enjoying the whole recruiting process.”

Q&A: Sophomore defensive back ready for bigger role

SMU CB Eric Sutton (Billy Embody)

By: Billy Embody

Sophomore defensive back Eric Sutton saw limited playing time as a freshman, but now as he's bigger and more experienced, he's ready to help SMU keep the momentum going from the improvements in 2016.

Q: Spring is done. Where do you feel like you progressed the most?
A: "I feel like I progressed the most in my press technique. I feel like I had to come in and work on my press technique the most because that's what I struggled with the most last season. I feel like I really progressed with that."

Q: What were your goals coming into spring practices?
A: "The main goal was to come in and earn a starting spot. That's obviously the main goal, but really help my teammates. My biggest goal is to help my teammates out and help everybody get better. Just keep us our standard, which is the best."

Q: Where do you feel like you progressed the most from when you came in as a freshman?
A: "I feel like I progressed the most in my maturity. I've gotten more mature and I really say my weight. I came in at 155 and I'm about 170 so over the summer, I hope to gain about 15 more so it should be a real big summer."

Q: What's the next big step for you heading into fall camp?
A: "They expect me to have a big year. We lost two great defensive backs that are probably going to play in the NFL and really just come out and make a big impact. Take the American Athletic Conference by storm."

Q: What's it like for your class to begin that takeover of the secondary?
A: "It's real exciting because we pictured it happening before we even got here so to see it just unfold is real exciting and we appreciate the opportunity."

Q: Who do you look up to now in the secondary?
A: "Even though he's gone, I still look up to Horace Richardson because he was a big mentor to me this past season. I didn't get to play a lot of reps at corner, but I was on special teams and just looking at him the way he plays and getting my techniques from him, he's been a big part. Jordan Wyatt has been the best player to me all spring and it's just real big to look at him and what he does as a player."

Q: What have they pushed on you guys as a secondary to accomplish next year?
A: "Really they want us to get even more turnovers. That's the funny thing. They feel like the turnovers we got this year were good, but it's not the best. We definitely left some out on the table. We feel like we could have led the nation in interceptions. We feel like we could have led the nation. We're putting ourself on a high standard because we feel we can be so much better."

SMU offers 2018 offensive lineman after visit

By: Billy Embody

SMU recently offered 2018 Yoakum (Tex.) offensive lineman Silas Robinson, who stopped into Dallas for a quick visit to the Hilltop before heading on to Tulsa and Oklahoma State.

"We visited and coach Fry wanted to offer me. They said they wanted to be the first in the conference to offer me," Robinson said. "I really like coach Fry. He's someone I really like and I'm really interested in SMU."


Offensive line coach Dustin Fry's days of playing at Clemson and in the NFL stand out to Robinson, who also likes him as a person too.

"I like that he played. I could tell from being in there that they're player's coaches," Robinson told Scout. "They're real friendly and he's a Christian guy. I just really liked him. I like his personality."

As far as what he's looking for at the next level, Robinson wants the right mix between school and football.

"The staff and academics part. I want to go somewhere that I'll be comfortable for four years, enjoy the coaches and then get a career after college," Robinson said. "I just want to have a staff I'm comfortable with and will be there my four years."

With this being his first season at offensive line, having played quarterback at times since seventh grade, Robinson believes he understands the game well, having played so many positions.

"We're a smaller school. I play every snap and both ways. I understand the game since my dad is the head coach at Yoakum. My grandpa was a head coach for 40 years and he's in the Texas Hall of Fame. I'm a student of the game."

Robinson visited Tulsa, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State recently as well, but didn't have too much time to tour around SMU so he plans to make a return trip this summer. Robinson's dad played at Texas, but that won't factor into his decision as he wants to go somewhere he's comfortable.

BYU, Rice, Tulsa, Texas Tech, Oregon State and Virginia are some of the schools recruited Robinson the hardest right now. Rice and Texas have also gotten visits from the two-way lineman this spring. Army, Virginia and Yale have offered in addition to SMU.

The 6-5, 285 doesn't have a timeframe on his commitment as he wants it to be final when it comes to making that decision.

"Whenever I commit it's going to be final. I'm not going to change unless coaching staff changes or something drastic with my family happens. I'm going to hold off and try to make the best decision possible."

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