SMU Football Signs 28 New Mustangs

February 2, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Marissa Belske
msbelske@smu.edu

SMU football’s ability to recruit keeps getting easier for SMU Head Coach June Jones after his continued success at SMU and earning consecutive bowl appearances. Through this years recruiting class, SMU is one step closer to building back the program that was once so powerful.

The Mustangs wrapped up national college football signing day by announcing a recruiting class of 28 student-athletes, 21 of which are rated three-star or above (ranked by rivals.com). This is a 30 percent increase from the 2010 recruiting class, which hosted only 16 three-star recruits.

“It’s the best recruiting class by far that I’ve had in my return to college football,” Head Coach June Jones said.

Scout.com ranked the Mustangs incoming class at No. 1 among all non-BCS AQ schools. Rivals.com ranked SMU’s recruiting class no. 50 overall. This is the highest ranked class for SMU in three decades.

The incoming class is made up of six wide receivers, five defensive backs, one quarterback (enrolled in January), one center, one running back, three offensive linesmen, two defensive linesmen, two defensive tackles, three defensive ends and four left backs.

“Next year will be the first time we’ve had depth on defense and I feel real good about that,” Jones said. “I think the quality of the athletes [is the best we’ve had].”

One new Mustang is four-star Davon Moreland (6’3, 230), the highest-rated player signed by SMU in the Rivals’ decade-plus database.

Rivals rate the linebacker from Los Angeles, California the No. 17 linebacker in the nation. Overall, Rivals rank Moreland as No. 231 in the nation and FoxSports.com ranks him at No. 239. He chose SMU over offers from USC, Oregon, Cal, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State, Washington, Texas A&M, UCLA and others.

Out of SMU’s 28 recruits, 15 of them played defense in high school.

“To be a championship team and make a BCS run, you have to be able to win the game on defense,” said Jones to ESPN DFW. “We keep adding talent and depth on the defensive side and I think that’s kind of what we wanted to do.”

The list of new recruits includes wide receiver Nyle Johnson, son of NFL player and USFL All-Star Trumaine Johnson, and Jonathan Yenga, brother of four-year starter Youri Yenga.

Of those to sign with SMU – including quarterback Conner Preston, who enrolled in classes last month –21 are labeled three-star recruits by Rivals.com, which is more than in 2007 (4), 2008 (4) and 2009 (7) combined.

From Wednesday’s 28 signees, 18 call Texas there home and 27 are joining the Mustangs out of high school.

Below is a list of the complete 28 recruits set to join the Mustangs in the fall.

Four Stars:
Davon Moreland, LB (6’3, 230)

Three Stars:
Arrius Hollesman, WR (6’3, 170)
Christian Holloway, DE (6’5, 240)
Rodney Hubert, DB (5’11, 165)
Darius Joseph, WR (6’1, 190)
Daren Kitchen, DB (6’1, 172)
Taylor Lasecki, OL (6’3, 360)
Dontae Levington, OL (6’4, 285)
Derek Longoria, LB (6’3, 205)
K.C. Nlemchi, RB (6’0, 215)
Conner Preston, QB (6’0, 200)
Taylor Reich, OL (6’7, 295)
James Richardson, DB (5’9, 175)
Jermaine Sams, WR (5’11, 177)
Stephon Sanders, DE (6’3, 230)
Ronnell Sims, WR (5’8, 170)
Cameron Smith, LB (6’2, 240)
Jarrett Spencer, DE (6’3, 240)
Kris Weeks, OL (6’5, 300)
Rishaad Wimbley, DT (6’0, 295)
Zachary Wood, DE (6’3, 260)
Darrian Wright, DT (6’2, 280)
Jonathan Yenga, LB (6’2, 200)

Two Stars:
Maurice Hood, DB (6’0, 190)
Nyle Johnson, WR (6’0, 185)
Robert Seals, DE (6’2, 220)
Mike Sparling, DB (6’2, 175)