"I told them, you know how people talk about the Pony Express, they are going to talk about you from here. I really believe that," said Coach Jones. "Ten years from now, it's going to be the Chris Parhams and the Emmanuel Sanders, instead of the other guys we always hear about."
For players like Parham and Sanders, a trip to Hawaii for their first bowl game is the proper way to finish their careers at SMU.
"It's going to sink in when I'm handing them that ticket and it says 'ching ching' and I'm walking down that ramp and getting on that plane," said Sanders. "The guys up in marketing summed up very nicely, "All Grit, No Quit." The last four years have been a roller coaster, but I'm leaving on the peak of it."
The SMU administration, fans, alumni, and players knew that Coach Junes Jones would be able to restore SMU football to the days of bowl games. They just didn't know how long it would take.
"I knew it was going to happen. When they signed Coach Jones, I knew it was coming. Even if I wasn't going to be here, I knew it was going to happen," said Sanders. "Just to be a part of it's a blessing itself. He told me last year when he got here, 'it might not work this year, but I'm not going to change my philosophy. I know what I do works.' When he told me that, I was on board."
SMU will leave for Hawaii on December 19th, giving them four days in the state before game day. For the seniors, lets hope the enjoy it.
"I told the seniors that I don't really think it's set in yet," said Jones. "They are excited and realized that a goal they set for themselves has been done, but I don't think they really get it yet."