Since Chad Morris was introduced as SMU’s new football coach on Dec. 1, he and his assistants have worked tirelessly on the recruiting trail, securing five commitments for 2015 and extending about 30 offers to prospects ranging from the Class of 2015 to 2017.
Morris quickly secured his first commitment. On Dec. 5, three-star tight end Hunter Herndon (Forney, Texas/North Forney HS) flipped his commitment from Rice to SMU two days after a visit from Morris. Herndon, Texas’ eighth-ranked tight end (according to Scout.com) also had offers from Oklahoma, North Texas and New Mexico.
Six days later, SMU added another offensive weapon when three-star wide receiver D’erren Wilson (Greenville, Texas/Greenville HS) pledged while on an unofficial visit. The 6-foot-3 Wilson had 730 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in 2014. He had 12 other offers but ultimately picked SMU over North Texas and Central Florida.
Morris also brought a familiar face back to the Hilltop. Defensive end Michael Scott (Irving, Texas/Nimitz HS) and his twin brother, Delontae, originally committed to SMU last June, but Michael decommitted in October amid SMU’s 1-11 season. After a big push from Morris and a few assistants, Michael recommitted on Dec. 16. Michael, who is 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, is a three-star prospect and the state’s tenth-ranked defensive end. TCU, Iowa, Minnesota, California, Colorado, Iowa State and Kansas State were among his other offers.
On Dec. 19, Morris got his biggest prize when quarterback Ben Hicks (Waco, Texas/Midway HS) committed SMU a couple days after decommitting from Houston. Scout.com rates Hicks as the 35th-best quarterback in the country. He chose SMU over Texas Tech and has already enrolled in SMU for the spring semester.
After the holidays, SMU extended an offer to then-UTEP commit Hunter Thedford (Comanche, Texas/Comanche HS). Thedford, a two-star who plays both tight end and defensive end, decommitted from UTEP, then committed to the Mustangs on Jan. 10. The 6-foot-7, 230-pounder will likely play defensive end at SMU. He collected 52 tackles and 11 sacks this season.
As per usual with coaching changes, three commits from the June Jones era have decommitted from SMU since Morris took over: two-star offensive lineman Marvis Brown (Orange, Texas/Little Cypress-Mauriceville HS), three-star quarterback Kyle Kearns (Pleasanton, Calif./Foothill HS) and wide receiver O.J. Clark (Wichita Falls, Texas/Wichita Falls HS). However, eight 2015 commits from Jones’ tenure have stayed on, which puts the class at 13 members. Look for SMU to sign a class of about 20 players, so the next three weeks until National Signing Day (Feb. 4.) will be busy.