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Chad Morris beats Power Five programs by getting OL Alan Ali

Chad Morris out dueled other big schools from getting a top offensive lineman.

Justin Ford/ USA Sports
Justin Ford/ USA Sports
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

SMU head coach Chad Morris promised things would be better next season.

Morris seems to be a man of his word by getting an early commitment from a top offensive tackle Alan Ali. Ali, a junior from Fort Worth's Timber Creek high school, is ranked 247th in the ESPN 300 ranking. He's ranked no. 39 in the country and no. 50 in the state.

SMU's offensive line needed an upgrade. In the American Athletic Conference, SMU ranked 8th on third-down conversions and total offense. SMU also had protection issues. QB Matt Davis was sacked 38 times last season.

It took a lot for Morris to convince Ali to commit to SMU because TCU, Texas A&M and Baylor all showed interest. According to ESPN.com writer Gerry Hamilton, Morris almost lost Ali to other power five programs.

"Beating power five programs for prospects in the state of Texas is a rarity for SMU," he said. "After wining out for Jordan Carmouche over Illinois and others in February, Chad Morris and staff scored the biggest win on the trail."

Ali improves the offensive line but SMU will have to improve their receiving core. SMU ranked 7th in the AAC including 7.2 yards per attempt. Sophmore Courtland Sutton returns to the Mustangs and is likely to be Davis' best target. Last season, Sutton finished with 49 rec, 862 yds and 9 TD's. No receiver earned over 1,000 yds or 10 TD's last season.