Freshman players may see game time
Published: Friday, September 3, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
After last year's break-out season, SMU football is back and more high-profile prospects are taking notice.
The recruiting class of 2010 includes 16 three star Rivals.com recruits, which more than doubles the number of star recruits that SMU had in 2009 and justifies why many believe that this is the Mustangs' finest recruiting class in years.
Running back Darryl Fields (6-2, 200) is considered to be the prize of the recruiting class. Fields rushed 1,495 yards and made 25 touchdowns last year in Madill, Okla. and was selected to the Oklahoma All-State team. He had official offers from Big 12 schools, such as Oklahoma State, Kansas and Texas Tech, but opted for SMU.
Fields is expected to steal some carries from starting senior running back Chris Butler as well as a few return kicks.
"Hopefully, I'll get a few snaps throughout the game," Fields said. "Mostly in running situations."
Wide Receiver Kyle Guinyard (5-11, 205) is another recruit who turned down a couple of Big 12 schools for SMU.
"I wanted to come somewhere where I could play or have a quick start," Guinyard said. "SMU was close to home, and I wanted to be a part of the turnaround."
As a junior at Ennis High School, Guinyard was an unstoppable force, recording 110 receptions for 1,751 yards and 20 touchdowns. A torn ACL cut his senior year short, but Guinyard is now hard at work on the practice field.
"In high school, I really didn't have to do much, but in college it's more route running," he said. "I have to show up and show the coaches I can play."
SMU created more depth on offense by signing quarterback Stephen Kaiser (6-3, 215) of DeSmet, Mo. and running back Kevin Pope (5-10, 225) of Mount Enterprise, Texas.
The Mustangs also added a couple of electrifying Texas athletes with speed to burn. Der'rikk Thompson (6-0, 190) of Troup, Texas and Jeremy Johnson (6-1, 180) of Tyler, Texas both run the 40 in 4.4 seconds and can be lethal weapons on an already explosive offense.
Johnson believes some sort of "Wild Mustang" formation could be added to the playbook.
"We've been working on it during practice. In fact, today, we worked on a few plays with me at quarterback," he said. "Don't look forward to seeing it [against Texas Tech], but we'll be working on it."
Defensively, the Mustangs signed defensive tackle Michael O'Guin (6-2, 295) of Van Vleck, Texas and multi talented linebacker Randall Joyner (5-10, 210) of Carrollton, Texas to help improve an SMU defense that allowed over 27 points per game last season.
Joyner was a two-way player in high school and recorded 60 tackles and 6 interceptions to go along with 1,462 yards rushing as a senior.
"To be able to hit people, get interceptions and run for touchdowns was a blessing," Joyner said. "Right now [at SMU] I'm playing linebacker. I'm second string behind Taylor Reed. He's been a good mentor, helping me out with plays. When I get my chance, I'm going to shine."
Joyner also believes the defense is "looking really good" and "has a nose for the football."
Balancing football and academics is a tough task for freshmen, but Fields has been able to handle the pressure.
"I get my studies in when I'm not at practice, and I do my homework in study hall, so it's not as hard as it seems," he said. "It's tough when you lose sleep, but you have to get it done."
The recruiting class of 2010 will get their first taste of college football action against Texas Tech on September 5th in Lubbock.
"We should win. We just have to get out their and execute what we've been practicing," Fields said.