The SMU football staff picked up their 12th football commitment for the 2014 class over the weekend. The newest member, Michael Epley, is a defensive end out of Leander High School in Central Texas. He put an end to his recruiting process this weekend.
"I actually committed on Saturday night, but I told everybody on Sunday," said Epley. "I called coach Eric Daniels and told him I want to be a Mustang. Coach Bert Hill, who'll be my position coach, was the one that started recruiting me but I think they've changed areas since then."
D-1 football recruitment can be a huge burden on young student-athletes with a lot going on in their lives. Epley is no different.
"It's a huge relief. I can just focus on football and my senior year now. I'll be pushing my teammates harder and start preparing to win a state title this year."
The 6-foot-3, 246-pounder was on the Hilltop last Thursday on an unofficial visit with his father. He got some quality feedback from the SMU staff while there.
"It was my 3rd or 4th time on campus actually. I got to chat with coach Hill. He was just telling me about what kind of a lineman they were looking for and gave me an overview of their defensive scheme. He told me how much he wants me to play at SMU and that they were really excited about me."
Epley left campus thoroughly impressed with everything he experienced while in Dallas.
"I absolutely loved the campus. The academics there are amazing. I have family in Dallas actually, so if I get homesick or something I won't be too far from them. I wanted to go to a school in Texas so that my family won't have to travel all that much. And just in general I love SMU football."
Academically, the new SMU commit already knows what he wants to focus on.
"I'm leaning towards majoring in business management or sales and marketing. I wouldn't mind doing sports management either if those other two don't pan out."
Rice was the only other offer besides SMU that Epley had before he pulled the trigger and committed to the Mustang football program this weekend. Other schools were starting to take notice too.
"SMU was the first to offer me and I had the Rice offer too. Other Big 12 schools were starting to look at me more, but my mind was set on SMU."
The Austin-area native described his commitment in a few strong words.
"I'm very solid to SMU. They were the first to recruit me during my sophomore year, so that meant a lot."
The solid verbal commit also had a brief message for the Mustang football fans.
"SMU is getting a very athletic defensive end that plays hard every single down and loves to get to the quarterback."
Join us in welcoming Epley, the 12th commitment of the 2014 class, to the Hilltop.