SMU Football Signs 28 New Mustangs

February 2, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Marissa Belske

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 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. ranked the Mustangs incoming class at No. 1 among all non-BCS AQ schools. 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 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, 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)

SMU Puts Up a Fight: TCU 41, SMU 24

September 27, 2010 by · Comments Off 

TCU running back Ed Wesley is upended by SMU defender Taylor Reed during the first half of TCU's 41-24 victory over the Mustangs at Ford Stadium. (PHOTO BY STUART PALLEY / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Click here for a photo slideshow from the game.

By Chris Sacks

The headline for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram read “Frogs Survive Scare.” This is not too bad for a team that was 1-11 two seasons ago.

SMU is starting to take the step up to the big leagues.

June Jones said it was “exciting to see energy on campus and in the city about the game.”

SMU took the lead in the third quarter 17-14, but the Mustangs let it slip.
“TCU wore down our defense at the end,” Jones said in the post-game press conference. The Mustang defense looked very slow and worn down toward the middle of the third quarter and TCU took advantage of it.

TCU scored four touchdowns in the second half as Dalton and the TCU offense tried to salvage their argument for a BCS Bowl.

Before the defense shut down, the Mustangs were playing very well. They held the TCU offense to 183 total yards in the first half.

Ryan Smith and Sterling Moore each picked off two interceptions against Dalton who has not thrown an interception since TCU’s season opener.

Even though the defense didn’t play well in the second half, SMU is the best pass defense Andy Dalton has seen all season. The Mustangs held Dalton to a season low of 174 yards and 53.8% completion.

Kyle Padron threw 14-35 for 169 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception with a passer rating of 93.7.

“Kyle will be disappointed when he looks at film, but he played pretty well going up against the best defense in the country,” Jones said.

Padron cannot be faulted for his interception in the fourth quarter while trying to make a big, last chance, desperation play.

Zach Line set another career high rushing for 139 yards and a touchdown.

“Zach is successful in the run and shoot. He’s got quickness inside for his size and is big enough to block,” said Jones.

Darius Johnson led the receivers with five receptions for 72 yards.

“Darius is a gamer, he made plays in high school. We need to get him the ball more,” said Jones in the post-game press conference.

Aldrick Robinson also had five receptions for 61 yards, and Cole Beasley had two receptions for 20 yards.

SMU plays conference opponent Rice in Houston on Saturday with a 6 p.m. kickoff time. Although it is great to play big rivalry games on national television, the Mustangs need to shake off this loss and focus on the team goal of a conference championship and a bowl game.

Making Waves: 2009 Special Teams Picks

December 24, 2009 by · Comments Off 

First Pick: Margus Hunt
Class/Position: Freshmen Defensive End
Awards: 2009 Defensive C-USA Honorable Mention, Holds SMU record for career blocked kicks
2009 Stats: 7 blocked kicks, 1 fumble recovery, 1.5 sacks
Hunt became a threat on field goals and extra points early in the season, earning a total of 7 blocked kicks, which is second most in the NCAA for one season.

Second Pick: Sterling Moore
Class/Position: Defensive Back
2009 Stats: 1 blocked kick, 28 tackles, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery

Third Pick: Bryan McCann
Class/Position: Senior Defensive Back
Awards: 2009 Special Teams All-Conference USA Honorable Mention
2009 Stats: 2 blocked kicks returned for touchdowns, 2 forced fumbles, 808 kickoff return yards

Making Waves: 2009 Defensive Picks

December 23, 2009 by · Comments Off 

First Pick: Chase Kennemer
Class/Position: Senior Linebacker
Awards: 2009 First Team All-Conference USA,
2009 Stats: 2 Interceptions, 126 Tackles, 1 sack, 4 fumble recoveries
Kennemer averaged 10.5 tackles/game in 2009 (second best in C-USA, 13th nationally)

Second Pick: Rock Dennis
Class/Position: Senior Strong Safety
Awards: 2009 Defensive Honorable Mention All-Conference USA
2009 Stats: 4 Interceptions (1 for touchdown), 57 Tackles, 1 sack, 7 pass deflections, 1 fumble recovery

Third Pick: Bryan McCann
Class/Position: Senior Corner Back
Awards: 2009 Defensive Honorable Mention All-Conference USA
2009 Stats: 3 Interceptions, 53 tackles, 9 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles

Self Defense Program Teaches Skills for Survival

September 25, 2008 by · Comments Off 

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