SMU Football Program Adjusts Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Mustangs thrive despite changing recruiting landscape in college football

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Sonny Dykes and the SMU Mustangs just enjoyed the school’s best football season in 35 years; their 10 wins in 2019 followed by even more important victories versus COVID-19.

“We’ve been fortunate," said Dykes.

"We don’t really know anybody that’s gotten sick and I think all of our players are safe and sound.”

But the coronavirus has turned a once bustling campus into an atmosphere Dykes doesn’t recognize.

“Typically we host a lot of kids this time of year on our campus on unofficial visits and official visits as well so it’s normally a very busy time," said Dykes.

Without those campus visits, the recruiting season has been more challenging than it’s ever been. But Dykes is on pace to land his best class ever at SMU and he says it’s a by-product of all the talent in North Texas.

“A lot of these kids have been on our campus many, many times so we built a strong relationship with a lot of the players and their parents and their coaches and that’s made this process much easier because there is a lot of familiarity,” said Dykes.

The Mustangs head coach is also proud of one of his current players.

Shane Buechele and his girlfriend raising $50,000 for COVID-19 relief in Dallas.

“You know I believe that’s our obligation," said Dykes. "We’re all blessed as coaches and as student-athletes to have a chance to go to SMU and be in such a great city and such a great university and the least we can do is try to reach out and help those who need it.”

Because in times like these, it’s easy to be reminded of just how fortunate many of us are.

“As a college football coach you don’t have that much free time and certainly not this time of the year and so it’s been great to have a chance to be with my kids every day, to be with (wife) Kate and just kind of have a chance to reflect and look back at how fortunate we are as a family and a lot of time you don’t get to do that in the day-to-day hustle and bustle that happens every day so that parts been really unique," said Dykes.

"I don’t think we’ll ever have this opportunity again the rest of our lives and so we’re trying to everything we can to make the most of it.”

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