The Hilltop Review

The Hilltop Review

Come inside for this week's Hilltop Review where we recap the latest news in the recruiting world!

Cain no longer interested in SMU

By: Omar Majzoub

The SMU coaching staff offered class of 2015 three-star athlete Desmond Cain from American Heritage HS (FL) in early February.

They were one of the first teams to offer the 5-foot-11, 183-pounder, but Cain says the Mustangs didn't attempt to build any relationship with him after that.

"I haven't been in contact with them at all really. I never really got their number or anything," Cain said. "They offered me and they never really followed up."

SMU coach Derrick Odum went to watch Cain practice in-person before extending him an offer, but the two haven't spoken since. Cain says the only person who recruited him to SMU was his former teammate, Darrion Richardson, who plays defensive back for the Mustangs.

"Darrion said he loves it there," Cain explained. "SMU also offered my cousin and teammate, Trenard Davis, when they came here. I'm close with him, but I don't think they have contacted him much either. They might have just decided to go a different route."

Cain, who now holds double-digit offers, can play wide receiver, but is being recruited as a cornerback by most schools. He plans on making his decision on National Signing Day and says he already has a few favorites.

"I have a top-five, but they aren't in any order. It just the schools I like the most," Cain said. "It's Rutgers, Illinois, Virginia, South Carolina, and Cincinnati."

Cain says those are the schools that recruited him the hardest and showed the most interest. They were also the one's Cain is most familiar with because of the national exposure they receive.

"It's mostly about a relationship with the coaching staff. Those schools really came after me and I like what they have to offer," he said. "I've also actually seen those teams play on T.V. before. I grew up watching all of them. I wasn't really familiar with SMU."

Cain says it will be difficult to wait until signing day to make his decision, but he wants to see if any other schools get in the picture late. There is one school in particular he really hopes to hear from.

"I'm attending a couple camps. Penn State is hosting one in Dayton, Florida. I'm still hoping to get an offer from them. I really like them," Cain said. "I'm also participating in UCF and FAU team camps. That's pretty much it."

Gilder Calls SMU One of his "Top Schools"

By: Adam Grosbard

SMU has been looking hard for a scorer to team up with Matt McQuaid and Sedrick Barefield in 2015.

One of the favorites to choose the Mustangs has to be Dallas Madison shooting guard Admon Gilder, a four-star recruit.

At the Pangos All-American Camp in Long Beach last week, Gilder spoke about the SMU staff, who have been trying to get him to come workout with the team this summer.

"They talked to me about coming out last week but I was actually getting ready to come here, working out with my dad and such," Gilder said. "Once I'm back in Dallas I'll probably try to get over there."

Gilder called SMU one of his "top schools" because of the chance to build up a new traditional powerhouse in college basketball.

"My interest level is probably pretty high. SMU is one of the top schools on my list right now," Gilder said. "I like that SMU wasn't a big school last year, how Larry Brown came in and turned the school around, and how far they got into the (NIT). They're looking to make a name for their selves."

Gilder plays for Tony Johnson's AAU squad, the Dallas Mustangs. Johnson coached SMU shooting guard Keith Frazier and Gilder says the two of them are friends.

"When I see him, he probably says when you gonna join but that's about it. I know he came to our tournament Memorial Day but that was the last time I saw him," Gilder said.

Gilder plans on making his decision in September.

"I want to take some officials, enjoy the recruitment process, and try to get it out of the way before the season starts," Gilder said.

Besides SMU, Gilder has been recruited by Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, Baylor, Tulsa, Vanderbilt, South Florida, Houston, Virginia Tech, and Arkansas. He is unsure where he will be taking his official visits.

SMU Offers California Running Back

By: Scott Sanford

New SMU running backs coach Steve Broussard was at it again on the west coast, this time offering 2015 Bishop Alemany running back Dominic Davis.

Broussard has only had one conversation with Davis, but he's been keeping tabs on the rising senior for quite some time.

"We have mutual friends so I would always hear about the coach (Broussard) asking about me," Davis said. "Finally we got to talk and that's when he offered me."

Davis has not heard a lot about SMU, but after talking with his stepdad about the offer, he hopes to visit Dallas sometime this summer, and if not this summer, sometime in the fall on an official visit.

Despite knowing little about the school, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound speedster loves the fact that it's located in Dallas and says the Mustangs rank "high" on his list.

"I went out to play in Dallas and the whole atmosphere was amazing," Davis said. "Everyone loves football there so I'm pretty sure it'd be a good experience if I went there."

Although Davis is fond of SMU, he insists that it's still too early to call them a favorite. On his visit, he hopes to meet the coaching staff and players, and get a better feel for the school.

Thanks to coach Broussard, SMU's reputation in Southern California continues to grow.

In fact, the Mustangs offered Davis' close friend Colin Samuel and the two have discussed visiting together and playing together on the next level.

"I've known him since freshman year and he (Colin Samuel) is one of my really close friends," Davis said. "I would feel more comfortable coming in knowing he was going to be there with me so I'll definitely be talking to him about timing our visits right."

Despite holding a total of six offers from the likes of SMU, Oregon State, San Diego State, Fresno State, Colorado State and Washington State, Davis is hungry to add more before all is said and done.

Crow Impresses SMU at Camp

By: Patrick Engel

While the Beard brothers stole the show at SMU's minicamp on June 1, many other players impressed the SMU coaching staff as well. Azle High School (Azle, Tex.) linebacker Johnny Crow was one of them, and his play prompted special teams coach Carlos Barocio-Leon to take time to commend Crow for his camp performance in an email. Crow was nursing an injury during the camp that kept him out of some drills, but he felt he performed well in the drills he did participate in.

"I had a pulled groin when I went, so it wasn't my best performance, but I did pretty good," Crow said. "I didn't run my 40 but I did the individual drills."

Barocio-Leon also talked about offers with Crow. He told Crow that he could get an offer during the summer or the beginning of fall, but that it depends on the status of the other linebackers SMU has offered.

"He said that (SMU) offered all the big-time guys, like the ones who will likely go to Texas or Oklahoma. He said that (I'm) a second-tier guy, so after (the first-tier guys) all commit, they're going to be for kids like me."

The email didn't say that SMU would guarantee Crow an offer, but Crow said that it seemed like SMU was interested in offering him. He said that if SMU did not offer during the summer, a coach would go to one of his games. Crow can play both inside and outside linebacker, so the Scott brothers' commitment shouldn't sway the Mustangs from offering Crow if they feel the need to.

The SMU coaches were clearly pleased that Crow attended the camp, and Crow was glad he attended as well. He said his favorite part of it was the one-on-one drills.

"I thought I did really good on the one-one-ones, and the coaching part of it (was good too), we had some great coaching at linebackers," Crow said. He added that linebacker coach Eric Daniels and defensive coordinator Tom Mason also pulled him aside after the drills to compliment him him.

Crow does not have any offers yet, but he is planning to take a lot of visits this summer, with Abilene Christian being the first.

"I'm going to ACU (on June 7). They told me to come early and tour their campus before the camp."

Crow will also visit New Mexico, North Texas, Colorado State and TCU soon, as well as some other FCS and Division II schools. The FBS schools are in similar standing with SMU.

"They said the same thing SMU is saying: They're waiting for the big guys to commit, and then they will call me."

Cedar Hill linebacker staying in contact with SMU

By: Omar Majzoub

The SMU football staff has made it a priority to build a stronger relationship with defending 5A Division II state champion Cedar Hill High School this offseason.

Linebackers coach Eric Daniels is the new man in charge of that area and has made the short trip down to meet numerous big-time recruits throughout the spring.

One of the key prospects Daniels has spoken with and offered is class of 2015 three-star linebacker Richard Moore.

"I had a real good talk with Coach Daniels during the spring. I have been emailing him a little bit," Moore said. "I really enjoyed our talk, but I still haven't got the chance to visit them. Hopefully, I can get that situated."

Moore is listed at 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds with lighting quick speed. He holds offers from over 20 schools including Arizona State, Baylor, Colorado, Houston, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Washington.

His commitment date is set for June 20th at 11:30 a.m. in the Cedar Hill Ninth Grade Center. He says SMU is in the mix and he is "definitely" still interested.

"I haven't set my dates up for the summer yet, but I'm trying to see Nebraska, Missouri, and Iowa for out of state," Moore said. "Those are just off the top of my head, but I haven't set anything up yet. I'll have a busy summer."

Moore is high school teammates with DaMarkus Lodge and Justin McMillan who he has been taking multiple visits with recently. However, Moore says their decision won't play into his.

"Not at all. They will never effect my decision. We all talk, but we don't really talk about recruiting that much at all," Moore said. "We know that we are boys and we have always been with each other, so we don't want to influence one another in that way. "

Moore described himself as an "all-around linebacker" who has the ability to do a little bit of everything on the field. He believes he will be able to make an impact on a college defense and play immediately.

"I play sideline to sideline well. I'm great in coverage. Right now, in 7-on-7 I have been playing a lot of safety and been bumped back. That's really what I do well. I cover well," Moore said. "I can play inside the box or outside the box. To be honest, I feel I can do it all. I can run, I can hit, I can play sideline to sideline, and I can cover."

Moore had 182 tackles last season including 31 behind the line of scrimmage. He says finding the right system and coaching staff will be key, but he also wants a school with a good business program so he can major in accounting.

"I'm going to give SMU a good look as I make my decision this summer," Moore said. "I'm interested. Right now, my interest levels all across are high. I'm trying to explore all my options."

Moore says he is most looking forward to playing in the state 7-on-7 tournament this summer. He also has set himself and his teammates very lofty goals for next season.

"I want to win another state championship," Moore said. "That's really it."

Norvell Talks SMU Early in Recruitment

By: Adam Grosbard

Looking ahead at the class of 2016 for basketball, SMU has done a good job getting in early in the process for a number of top recruits.

One of these players, four-star shooting guard Zach Norvell, described his interest in the Ponies as "really high."

"I like the new commit Emmanuel Mudiay. Also I like that they got a commit from Chicago, Crandall Head," Norvell said. "But right now I can't talk to the coaches yet so my dad handles all of that."

Norvell also described SMU small forward Sterling Brown as "a friend" from their time together on the Mac Irvin Fire.

Norvell plays high school ball for Simeon, better known now as Jabari Parker's high school. However, Norvell missed when Larry Brown came out to visit the school.

"The day that he came, I was absent. I didn't come to school," Norvell said. "So he came out and talked to D.J. Williams (now committed to Illinois) and Edward Morrow (planning on taking official visit to SMU) but I didn't get to meet him."

Norvell has been recruited hard by Illinois, DePaul, and UIC but also has received interest from Creighton, Kansas, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Minnesota. He holds only one offer, from SMU's American Conference rival Memphis.

Norvell, who stands at 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds, just participated at the Pangos All-American Camp. There the shooting guard made some ridiculously long three-pointers. Sometimes he looked uncomfortable without the ball in his hand, not running any plays and just calling for the ball handler to pass to him.

Norvell says he is working on improving his offensive game this summer.

"Just my variety of scoring, being able to score in a number of ways. Also my stamina, being able to play a whole game and staying healthy as well," Norvell said.

Weeks Still Interested in SMU

By: Billy Embody

SMU had a solid class of 2014 for the offensive line and is looking to add depth in 2015. The staff offered and has been targeting Tyler Lee (Tex.) offensive tackle Matthew Weeks.

SMU defensive line coach Bert Hill has done a solid job keeping up with Weeks, who has also been listed as a tight end prospect by some services.

"I've kept in contact with Coach Hill. He was the first to offer me, so we have a really good relationship," Weeks said. "When we last talked, he just asked me how spring went and things like that. We haven't talked exactly about where I can fit in (TE or OT) though."

Wherever Weeks fits in, SMU is at the top of his list because of the other great attributes it has.

"SMU seems like a pretty good school. The education is great, and they've got really good facilities," the 6-6, 275 pound prospect said. "I really like the environment over there, and it seems like a good place to play football, so my interest in SMU is definitely high."

SMU is Weeks' only offer right now, but Navy and Stephen F. Austin stopped by this spring. Weeks is also camping at SMU, Texas A&M and Texas Tech, but it wouldn't be the first time he visited the Hilltop.

"I went down there for their junior day a few months ago. I really liked everything down there," Weeks said. "All the facilities were really nice, and the campus was really beautiful. I had a great time."

Weeks is also excited about his Tyler Lee team that is going through some changes.

"I think our team is going to be pretty good. We're installing a new offense, so we're just getting accustomed to that. Some of my goals are to just be a better player and help my team compete in district. I think we're going to make the playoffs for sure."

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