SMU TJ McDaniel

If you were to think about the death penalty, most people relate that to the justice system. In college football, it’s related to one program — SMU. 

Since 1984, sub .500 has been the normality of a program that suffered the harshest penalty ever given out by the NCAA. 

Enter coach Sonny Dykes, and the newly operational NCAA transfer portal. 

Since his arrival in 2017, Dykes is 20-13 overall largely due to a surprising 8-0 start to his 2019 season, which is being aided by the talent acquired through the transfer portal and the new focus on recruiting local talent from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

Is the NCAA Transfer Portal good or bad? 

Prior to the start of the season, SMU was able to attract nine former high school standouts, and eight out of those nine are from the DFW area and recruited away only to find their way back home. 

The most notable of the transfers is quarterback Shane Buechele from Arlington Lamar. 

Buechele brought leadership, consistency and a rocket arm to the position, making defenses stay honest against him and opening up the run game led by senior Xavier Jones, of Spring.

When you look at the incredible coaching staff, facilities and the direction of the Mustangs’ program, it’s no longer a mystery why SMU is becoming a major destination for transfers wanting to come back home. 

For schools like SMU, the transfer portal has been heaven sent. 

Billboard’s Tell The Story

#PonyUp is more than just a clever marketing hashtag. It has become the new theme of keeping the area’s top talent close to home. 

From Mesquite to Fort Worth, these billboards can be seen all over DFW telling the story to aspiring college recruits to simply stay home. 

Having an 8-0 start to this new approach of recruiting locally certainly helps. Having former 3- through 5-star recruits turn down offers from power conferences to stay home and #PonyUp further signifies Dykes and his team is ready for the spotlight. 

It’s very clear that SMU’s strategy is to recruit the areas top talent and keep them local.