With many of the top football talent in the region gathering at the Nike Football Training Camp last Saturday, some coaches from local high schools were in attendance, watching both their own players and the competition.
As his school was the host of the event, DeSoto head coach Claude Mathis was there walking up and down the sidelines and talking with his players.
When asked about the job SMU has done recruiting his program, Mathis said the coaching staff has been making efforts to improve.
"They've been making strides. I can't remember the guy who's been coming over here, I think it's (defensive line coach Bert) Hill, but they've been trying a bit harder," Mathis said. "I just wish they would come over more. I mean everybody else does so I don't know what happened. I couldn't tell you but I wish they would."
When asked if any of his players would be interested in SMU, Mathis responded with an emphatic, "Heck yeah!"
"They would go. That's a first-rate program. My kids just love to play football," Mathis said. "I have some receivers, a couple running backs, a cornerback, and a couple linebackers that really can play so I don't know why (SMU isn't out here more)."
Mathis compared the SMU staff to some of the other local programs.
R.J. Bond, the defensive and recruiting coordinator at South Oak Cliff, has observed an upward trajectory in SMU's recruiting efforts over the years.
"I think each year SMU has tried to get more and more into the city," Bond said. "Within the city and the surrounding areas, they just need to pluck that one and the rest will come. Just get that one and the rest will follow, whether it's a big-time DISD kid or whatever. Just the one.
(Daniel Gresham) could be one to open up the floodgates. SMU just needs to keep a lot of these DFW kids in the city to compete. It takes time. Oklahoma is here all the time, Texas is here all the time, Alabama comes around here, LSU comes around here, so they're competing with some big guys nationally. But there offering the right kids and it'll just take one and they'll be fine."
Bond said that some of his players are considering SMU.
"We got a couple kids that are interested but they haven't received an offer yet from SMU but they would be very interested," Bond said. "I know Willie Smith would be interested, he's an athlete or corner. Lamont Johnson the wide receiver (who attended the camp) would be interested. A couple of our defensive linemen would be interested if they got the offer and they'd fit the scheme. But (SMU's) efforts, you can tell, they are trying to do better in the area."