The 2022 season isn’t close to starting but new SMU head coach Rhett Lashlee has already faced one of his biggest challenges early on in his head coaching stint in Dallas – building a new recruiting class. This week’s National Signing Day (the traditional one, not to be confused with the early signing period in December) was largely a success for the Mustangs.
One of the big name recruits signing his Letter of Intent to come to SMU is TE RJ Maryland out of Southlake Carroll HS. Maryland is a talented, three star recruit and will be staying in-state to start his collegiate football career and academic studies. Maryland is a big 6’4″, 225 pounder who hauled in passes for 1,103 yards and 14 TD’s last season in his senior year. If the last name Maryland rings a bell, you are correct. RJ Maryland is the son of former Dallas Cowboy great Russell Maryland and this connection brings even more of a local legacy story to the Mustang football program. RJ Maryland looks to make an immediate impact offensively this season and as more offensive schemes are moving towards TE’s as true receivers, Maryland may well bring some additional firepower to the Mustang receiving corps.
Another early signing accomplishment for Rhett Lashlee was the signing of kicker Collin Rogers. Rogers hails out of Prattvile, AL and bringing him out of SEC country to Dallas is a big kudos in itself. Rogers has competed in national kicking competitions and is widely regarded as being one of the very best young high school kickers in the entire country. During his senior year last season, Rogers posted a very impressive 49 out of 53 kickoffs for touchbacks, 15 for 18 field goals including a 53 yarder and three other kicks for 50 or more yards and 30/31 on extra points. In addition, Rogers is a solid punter as well and punted 34 times for a 43 yard net average including 14 punts inside opponent 20 yard lines. Rogers was heavily recruited by Georgia, Florida State and Ole Miss so his signing by SMU can be considered a solid nod towards Rhett Lashlee and his staff to bring Rogers to the Hilltop.
Joining Maryland and Rogers, along with the other December early signees are transfers linebackers Jaqwondis Burris from Minnesota and Shannon Reid from Illinois State, TE Kameron Allen from Michigan State, Virginia OL Joseph Bissinger and Texas WR Joshua Moore. Burris, Allen and Reid are already on campus, while Bissinger and Moore will be enrolling at SMU in the summer.