What a difference one year can make.

While it might seem like a blip in time in hindsight or feel like eons away in the moment, lots can happen in the period of 12 months, and that will be evident tonight when No. 16 SMU travels to Houston.

Undefeated through seven games, the Mustangs’ high-scoring offense will be on display against a Cougars’ squad simply trying to stay afloat with a 3-4 record.

Regardless of tonight’s outcome, however, there are multiple players on each roster who were groomed under the Lone Star State’s Friday Night Lights.

A total of 40 true freshmen will suit up for tonight’s primetime contest on national television after spending last year playing for Texas high school programs. Some are from small schools and others from large programs, but each knows what a difference one year can make.

SMU

Austin Dennis, K, Boerne Geneva

Alex Sickafoose, DL, Katy St. John

Carson Welch, TE, Mansfield The Oakridge

Sam Burns, OL, Dallas Parish

Daniel Steckler, LB, Dallas Parish

Carter Foster, OL, Fort Worth All Saints

Reid Stacy, LB, Frisco Trinity

Tai Brooks, OL, Allen

Eli Furgal, LB, Southlake Carroll

Ben Furgal, LB, Southlake Carroll

Garrett Madison, LB, Katy

Devan Reck-Irvin, WR, Amarillo Tascosa

Walker French, WR, Highland Park

Luke Evans, LB, Liberty

Beau Barker, WR, Amarillo

Ben Palmer, WR, Dallas Lakehill

Tyler Lavine, RB, Cedar Park Army Prep

Ulysses Bentley IV, Houston C.E. King

TJ McDaniel, RB, Southlake Carroll

Chace Cromartie, S, Cibolo Steele

Keke Burns, WR, Pittsburgh

Calvin Wiggins, WR, Trophy Club Byron Nelson

Roderick Roberson Jr., S, Royse City

Rashee Rice, WR, North Richland Hills Richland

Terrance Gipson, QB, Houston Westfield

HOUSTON
Logan Holgorsen, QB, Houston University

Ke’Andre Street, WR, Tyler John Tyler

Ronald Nunnery, S, Pearland Shadow Creek

Deondre Dansby, CB, Dallas South Oak Cliff

James Fullbright III, RB, Waco Midway

Dylan Dixon, CB, Houston St. Thomas

Davis Beal, LS, Austin Vandergrift

Ryan Hanson, P, Taylor

Hakeem Ajijolaiya, DL, Katy Tompkins

Kyle Ramsey, K, Missouri City Ridge Point

Ken Savanah, LB, Stafford

Cam’Ron Johnson, OL, Houston Shadow Creek

Patrick Paul, OL, Houston Jersey Village

Chayse Todd, OL, Crosby

Nelson Ceaser, DL, Missouri City Ridge Point