The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Mustang football signs 25 recruits

SMU Football Head Coach Phil Bennett announced the 2005-2006 season recruits yesterday. Among the 25 recruits are five junior college players and 20 players out of high school. The class features 14 defensive players and 11 offensive players.

Coach Bennett started the press conference by thanking his coaching staff and current players for their assistance in the recruiting process.

“The coaches did a good job of evaluating and getting these guys to the campus,” he said. “I’m very appreciative to our assistant coaches.”

As for the players’ efforts, Bennett said he was “very proud of our players and the way they conducted themselves.”

Bennett started by giving his take on the five junior college players that were recruited.

Clayton Cox, a 6-foot-3-inch, 225-pound linebacker, will join the Mustangs from Garden City Community College. There, he recorded 19 quarterback pressures, seven tackles-for-less and six sacks in his sophomore season. He was also rated the nation’s No. 89 JuCo prospect by SuperPrep and a three-star recruit by

“He’s a unique guy,” Bennett said. “He’s a very effective pass rusher.”

“I think Clayton has a chance to come in and help our defense immediately.”

Another three-star recruit, according to to come to the Hilltop, is Victor Makinde. Makinde, a defensive back, transferred from Glendale Community College in Arizona. Makinde, at 6-foot-1-inch and 185 pounds, boasts an impressive 4.31 40-yard dash time. Bennett believes that Makinde gives the team some “size.”

Randall Goode, a defensive back, transferred to SMU from Navarro Junior College. In 2004, he lead Navarro with 99 tackles.

“I think Randall can [cover at] safety,” Bennett said.

The fourth of the five JuCo recruits, Adrian Haywood, recorded eight sacks, 25 tackles-for-a-loss and an interception at defensive back in 2004 while playing for the Tyler Junior College Apaches. He is a three-star recruit.

“The thing I like about Adrian is his quickness,” Bennett said. “He’s explosive off the ball.”

The last of the five JuCo recruits, Troy Therien, played as a defensive end for Sierra College. He had 11 sacks, 64 tackles and two fumble recoveries in 2004. He is a two-star recruit.

Bennett said Therien was “a naturtal pass rusher.”

Overall, Bennett said he was pleased with the JuCo recruiting.“I expect them to compete for a spot right away,” Bennett said.

Of the 20 high school recruits, 19 are from Texas with the lone exception coming from Pennsylvania.

“We were pretty excited about the kids that we got,” Bennett said. “We had them earmarked from the beginning.

“We feel like we have some kids that can project into some very good player.”

Bennett also believes that only one or two recruits will not be redshirted.

Two of the recruits Bennett is most excited about are two quarterbacks.

“I think both of them have the intangibles … that make everyone around them better,” he said. “I think they both have great potential in our system.”

Eric Johnson was quarterback for Plano West High school where he led his team to a 10-2 mark in 2004. He also became the all-time passing leader in the Plano Independent School District. In 2004, he completed 180 of 334 pass attempts for 2,886 yards and 25 scores. Additionally, he rushed for 258 yards and six touchdowns.

“I think he did as much for his team to win at Plano West than any quarterback I watched on tape this year,” Bennett said. “He has a very, very competitive nature to him.

“He has the mentality of a linebacker.”

The other quarterback recruit, Justin Willis, played at Denton Ryan High School. As a senior, he passed for almost 3,000 yards and 32 touchdowns and rushed for another 1,080 yards and 13 scores. He is a three-star recruit in addition to being rated the No. 27 dual-threat quarterback by the website.

Coach Bennett said that Willis reminds him of someone like New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady because he “makes smart decisions.”

“He’s a winner,” Bennett said.

A potential target for both of the quarterback recruits is wide receiver Columbus Givens. Givens is a three-star recruit who played quarterback for Killeen High School. In his senior year, he completed 71 of 119 pass attempts for 948 yards and eight touchdowns. He also had 140 carries for 1,149 yards.

“Every time the ball gets in his hand, something’s going to happen,” Bennett said. Right now, Bennett sees Givens fitting into the Mustangs’ offensive scheme at either wide receiver or running back.

Another potential for the quarterbacks is wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders from Bellville High School, had 66 carries for 499 yards and six touchdowns as a senior. He also hauled in 24 catches for 414 yards and a score.

Bennett said Sanders is “exactly” what the team is looking for at wideout. “He is elusive and extremely fast,” he said. “He’s a young player many I think you’re going to enjoy watching.”

At running back, recruit James Mapps from Royce City rushed for 2,487 yards and 31 touchdowns on 293 carries while fumbling only once.

“He was the best player on [his] team,” Bennett said. “He reminds me of ShanDerrick Charles.”

Also on offense, tight end Mario Walker from Marshall could provide another potential target for the Mustang quarterbacks. He had 28 catches for 528 yards and eight touchdowns in his senior year.

Bennett said Walker “catches the ball very well.”

Another tight end to join the Mustangs is Jeff Brock. Brock hails from Spearman, Texas. According to, he is a two-star recruit. In his senior year, he caught 19 passes and racked up 245 receiving yards. On defense, he recorded 80 tackles, 12 sacks and three fumble recoveries.

“He’s got a tremendous upside in growth potential and catching the ball,” Bennett said.

Protecting the offensive players are four offensive line recruits.

David Allison from Humble, Texas, allowed only one sack in 2004 and is listed as a two-star recruit.

According to Bennett, Allison has a “very great passion for football.”

Another offensive lineman is Mitch Enright from Southlake, Texas. He played for Southlake Carroll where he started all four years. He played on the 2004 national championship Southlake Carroll football team. He allowed zero sacks on 475 team pass attempts in 2004. He was also ranked the No. 88 player in Texas by SuperPrep.

“He reminds me of a pit bulldog,” Bennett said. “He’s extremely strong and comes from a great program.”

The third of the four offensive linemen, Josh Hickman, played for Rowlett High School. He was an Area Top 100 selection by the Dallas Morning News and

Hickman will be “grayshirted” due to an ACL injury, but will join the squad next January.

The last offensive lineman is Ross Nigh. Nigh, from Cuero High School led his team to a 14-1 record and the state semifinals in 2004. He allowed zero sacks.

“He has very good movement,” Bennett said. “There’s great upside in his ability to move.”

Fourteen of the recruits will lineup on the defensive side of the ball.

Todd Alexander, a linebacker from North Crowley High School, was named the No. 1 linebacker in the Metroplex by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He notched 50 tackles, one interception and two fumble recoveries in just four games before undergoing shoulder surgery.

Defensive tackle Patrick Handy from Westfield H
igh School was a member of the Houston Chronicle’s Top 100 and All-Greater Houston teams.

Adrian Dizer, a defensive end from Clarksville High School notched 106 tackles last season. He also added nine sacks, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. The 6-foot-5-inch, 220-pound end also runs a 4.7 40-yard dash.

Dizer will be “grayshirted” and will join the team in January 2006.

A defensive back recruit, Bryce Hudman, played for Klein Oak where he played at running back in 2004. He racked up 1,240 yards on 142 carries. He also ran the fast 40-yard dash time of any recruit this year.“You can see his speed and his toughness,” Bennett said.

Another three-star recruit, Curtiss Powell, will play linebacker for the Mustangs. Powell is the only high school recruit from outside of Texas. He played for Fork Union in Virginia. He notched 126 stops (22 for a loss), eight sacks, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 2004.

“He reminds me a lot of Dat Nguyen,” Bennett said. “He’s really a good football player.”

Brad Lankford, a defensive tackle recruit, was selected by the Waco Tribune-Heraled as a Top 25 CenTex pick.

Bennett said his movement and toughness were obvious in camp.

Another defensive end, Chris Parham, recorded 53 tackles, eight sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 2004 while playing for North Crowley High School.

“He’s a guy that is very, very, very powerful,” Bennett said.

Emerson Settle, from Arlington, Texas., registered 79 tackles, five interceptions, seven pass breakups, three fumble recoveries and four sacks as a senior at Lamar High School. He is expected to play as a defensive back for the Mustangs.

“He’s a fast guy,” Bennett said. “He’s played wide receiver, he’s played corner and safety.”

A player that Bennett said he was “very proud to get” was Chase Smith. Smith, from Flower Mound, Texas, recorded 67 tackles, 19 quarterback pressures, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery for a touchdown as a senior.

“He’s very physical at the point of attack,” Bennett said. “Physically, he’s there.

“If he walked in today, you would think ‘Hey, this is a Division I player somewhere.’”

Overall, Bennett said he “sees a consistency” with the recruiting.

“We’ve got a lot of balance in the positions,” he said. “We wanted to be balanced and it is balanced both offensively and defensively.

“I think this is a class we can grow with.”

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