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SMU Football Recruiting 2012: A Down Year For The Mustangs

The uncertainty surrounding June Jones future on the Hilltop may have affected SMU's recruiting, as the Mustangs finished outside of the top 50 in the recruiting rankings and behind many of their Conference USA competitors.

It's hard to say how much the turmoil surrounding June Jones tenure in SMU, with the head coach reportedly agreeing to leave for Arizona State before the Sun Devils decided to go in a different direction, affected the Mustangs 2012 recruiting class, but they weren't able to build on their third consecutive bowl appearance.

According to the national recruiting rankings, SMU finished outside of the top 50 and towards the middle of the pack in Conference USA, despite the fact that they are one of the conference's few schools with a legitimate safety boat in their admission to the Big East.

24/7 Sports had SMU at No. 72, while Scout had them at No. 66. According to Rivals, the Mustangs finished behind Houston, Marshall, Southern Miss, Memphis, East Carolina and Tulsa in Conference USA.

Unlike many of his DFW-area rivals, June Jones ventured far and wide to bring in players in 2012, perhaps a reflection of his more national roots on the coaching circuit. Only 14 of his 22 commitments came from the state of Texas, with SMU plucking players from Indiana, Michigan, Arkansas and Louisiana.

The class is headlined by 12 three-star recruits, most notably 6'3 210 WR Gehrig Dieter of South Bend, Indiana, 6'5 290 OT Seaver Myers of Friendswood, Texas and 6'3 180 QB Neal Burcham of Greenbriar, Arkansas.

However, Junes' biggest recruit won't be found on any recruiting lists, as he took in former 5-star QB Garrett Gilbert, who transferred from Texas midway through last season.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.