Richland Hills WR Rashee Rice (Photo: Billy Embody)

The Hilltop Review 6/16

Come inside the Pony Stampede Hilltop Review for the latest on SMU visitors and new offers.

2019 wide receiver takes in SMU camp

By: Billy Embody

One of the top performers from SMU's camp on Tuesday was 2019 Richland Hills (Tex.) wide receiver Rashee Rice, who made his first visit to SMU.

"I liked the camp a lot I felt very comfortable with the players and coaches," Rice told Scout. "I really liked SMU and the fact that it wasn't only about weight lifting or 40s and I also like that the coaches and players were on the field working with me helping with every little detail."

SMU receivers coach Justin Stepp took interest in the 6-foot, 172-pound receiver, working with him on multiple occasions during 1-on-1's.

"I like Coach Stepp a lot I like the fact that after every route I ran he had something to say to me that could make the route better and I also liked that he took time and asked me about my personal life," said the rising junior.

Courtland Sutton, the star receiver for the Mustangs, also worked with Rice, encouraging him to enjoy the experience.

"He said, ‘Yeah yeah we all want a offer but your number one thing you should be doing out here today is having fun because there are so many people wishing they could be where you are right now.’”

Rice hasn't only been to SMU, camping at Baylor and is eyeing a couple other stops.

"Yes, I was at Baylor camp and they liked me a lot I'm thinking about going to an A&M or TCU camp, but I'm not sure yet," Rice said. "I'm just going to keep working so I can get some offers."

In his sophomore campaign, Rice tallied 36 receptions for 597 yards and nine touchdowns.

2019 Oklahoma target makes a return visit to SMU

By: Phil Mayer

2019 Putnam City (Okla.) defensive end Collin Clay visited SMU last weekend, and the school quickly jumped to the top of his list. 

“SMU has stood out the most,” Clay told Scout.

While SMU was having camp that weekend, Clay did not participate in it. He came down for a visit, which he enjoyed thoroughly. 

“It was really great,” Clay said. “I love their coaching staff. Everything that they showed me around the school was really great. Coach Morris and coach Loepp showed me around the building. They all treated me like I was committed there or something. It was just a big family. And I loved the players that I met there.”

One of the aspects of the visit that Clay enjoyed was that the staff talked to him about topics other than football.

“It wasn’t just all football talk,” he said. “They took me on a cart straight to the educational side. They showed me around the campus, and they told me everything they have to offer. It was great.” 

Clay says that academics matter a lot to him when picking a school.  

“It’s really important,” he said. “I just don’t want to go there and all they do is talk about football. Yeah, I’m there to play football but education is always important first. It’s not like I’m about to play out there and my grades aren’t good.”  

Clay’s father was also very impressed with what he saw on the visit.

“He said it was a great visit,” Collin Clay said. “He was just telling me one-on-one it was probably his favorite visit. Just the way they interacted with us and talked with us, we usually don’t see that with any other visits.”

On his visit, Clay got the chance to talk one-on-one with head coach Chad Morris. He detailed what came up in their conversation.

“He was just telling me he likes what he sees in me,” Clay said. “He knows as I’m growing up that my dad’s mentored me to be a man. He would love if I was to come to SMU but he respects wherever I go.”

Morris also talked about the academic side of SMU, which impressed Clay so much, and about the coaching staff.

In addition to Morris, the 6-5 228 pound defensive end has gotten to know coaches Buddy Wyatt and Jess Loepp well. 

“Coach Loepp was actually the one who called my coach to offer me the scholarship. So I built a relationship with Coach Loepp throughout the spring when I was working out,” Clay said.

“I met coach Wyatt at the campus. He showed me around the campus and he was just a really interactive man,” he said. 

Clay and his father talked extensively with the Wyatt about SMU’s scheme on defense. The Clay family was curious about how SMU runs their fronts.

“He was saying that they run a four-down front with the four d-linemen in the front, and of course the two or three linebackers in the back. He said if I was to go there I’d really go in there.”

SMU was Clay’s first offer. Since then he has picked up offers from Arkansas State, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Tulsa. Although they have not offered him yet, Oklahoma is coming after Clay hard. He has built a strong relationship with some members of their staff, and they want him to come for a visit. He is not bothered by the recent coaching change. Clay has no other visits planned for the rest of summer yet.

2018 Duncanville DT picks up SMU offer

By: Andrew Hattersley

2018 Duncanville HS (Tex.) defensive tackle Terrance Newman had three offers before getting one from SMU earlier this week, but the offer from the Mustangs was the type of offer he has been waiting to get for quite a while. 

“It felt great getting a nice D1 offer, proving a lot of people wrong who told me I was too short and wouldn’t be able to get a nice D1 school,” Newman said, “So it just feels great.” 

Now that he has one bigger offer, Newman is hoping this leads to a few more down the road. 

“I feel like since one has come, I feel as if many more will come now and I’m just going to stay humble and just work with the process,” Newman said. 

The rising senior currently has offers from Navy, New Mexico State, North Texas and now SMU. 

Although the 6-0, 285-pound defensive tackle did not work out at SMU’s camp earlier this week, he spent some time getting to know SMU head coach Chad Morris and defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt. 

“He was a really nice coach, really energetic, I could tell he was very passionate about what he did and he just welcomed me in with a warm heart and it felt great,” Newman said. 

The Duncanville run-stopper was also impressed with how passionate and thoughtful the staff was. 

“Every coach is very involved and they’re passionate about what they do and you could tell that they took the time and they think stuff through,” Newman said. 

Entering his senior year, Newman would like to have a decision made by the first week of school and knows exactly what he is looking for. 

“First of all academics is a big thing because I want to major in Biomedical engineering so a school must have that and then athletically that would be nice,” Newman said, “Then location I would like to stay close so my parents can come to my games.”

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