Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Buzz

By Phil Bennett

The 2006 college football season isn’t even over yet and we’re already looking forward to 2007. Signing Day is coming up in February and Spring Practice is just around the corner. While we didn’t reach all our goals in 2006, winning six games (the most in nine years), playing meaningful November games, competing for the league championship and reaching bowl eligibility have people talking about SMU football. There’s a buzz out there surrounding the program. Whenever I’m out in the community, I’m amazed at the number of people who come up to me expressing how much they want SMU to succeed.

That buzz even extends to recruiting. Our reception level is better than ever with recruits and high school coaches. With a positive direction for our football program and all the rest that the University has to offer, coaches and players are excited about SMU. I know that some fans are concerned when they see the Top-100 lists and don’t see a lot SMU recruits, but we don’t recruit from lists. Most of the guys we recruit are guys who have come through our camps, guys we have seen year-in and year-out and guys we can project for the future. This is the same process that we used to land guys like Justin Rogers, Columbus Givens, Justin Willis and Emmanuel Sanders in the past. We’re confident that the guys we’re recruiting are the guys that can help us win Conference USA Championships.

We have three big recruiting weekends coming up – January 5th, 12th and 19th. We have the opportunity to take 18 to 22 kids for next season - including mid-year additions – and we’re excited about this class. We hope that we can redshirt most of the players we bring in for 2007 like we have with our last two classes. Being able to give guys a season to get acclimated to college and our program has been a huge asset to us over the past two years and we hope to do that again with this class. Our freshmen redshirt class from this past season is going to be an outstanding group of athletes.

In parting, let me say that I’m glad to join the blog and I’ll be back with more insight to the program. Thanks and GO MUSTANGS!


Blogger Ryan M said...

I am particularly optimistic about the future of our Mustangs. As an alum of the lean years of the mid-90's, I saw not only the low points, but also the determination of everyone on campus to get past them. The job that coach Bennett and the athletic staff has done is commendable in terms of returning SMU from an athletic black hole to a legitimate and reputable program. I had particularly high hopes for this past season, and was disappointed that we came up just short. However, progress is progress and we took some big steps, and I have no doubt that this group of players will give everything they have to get us to the next level.

All that being said, there is still one area that has been a nagging sore spot for me and all those who take pride in their experience at SMU. Despite the strides forward, the top of the line facilities, and all of the excitement that is generated on the quad on game day, I am saddened when I go to a game and see so many folks partying on the Boulevard and yet so few students sitting in seats to cheer on the guys who give every bit of their hearts and souls for their school. I understood the reluctance in my time, when the team seemed weak and we had to be bussed down to the Cotton Bowl for a home game. But given the facts that this gorgeous stadium is right on campus, tickets for students are free (as they have been for as long as I can remember), and this team truly is something to behold, my wish for the future is that our students embrace the opportunity presented and show some appreciation for these folks who give us such amazing effort. A team needs its fans, and SMU fans have a lot to get excited about. Best of luck for next season, and I hope to see you all at Ford Stadium. GO MUSTANGS!!!

8:17 AM  
Blogger Gordengekko said...

SMU you should be very lucky to have Steve Orsini. Steve did more at UCF in 2-3 years then Steve Sloan did in 10 years. While others were using the words can't be done at UCF Steve Orsini found a way to get the money to get the job done. Without Steve Orsini I doubt UCF would be building a new basketball arena and a new football stadium at the same time. I can't get our current AD to answer one e-mail or question yet Steve took the time to personally respond to the booster and the average fan. Once again SMU count your lucky stars because Steve Orsini is one of the best AD's in the business.

12:51 PM  

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