Let's get right to it-- DB Zack Sanchez of Keller Central HS tweeted a few minutes ago (right after 4:30 CST) that he has switched his commitment to Oklahoma after OU offered him a scholarship and he visited the school this weekend. Before his decommitment, Sanchez was one of my favorite commits in this class not only because of his future at Baylor, but also because of his past. The real story with Sanchez and Baylor is how he got here in the first place and that story shouldn't be lost simply because Sanchez decided to go with the dream school of his childhood rather than stick with Baylor.
Sanchez came to Baylor's camps last summer in search of an offer. At the time of the first camp, the University of Houston was the only school really "on" him and it was far from a sure thing that he would get a Baylor offer at all. There was even some talk that he had only been invited to the camp to ensure the presence of his best friend and teammate Simon Goines, an offensive lineman Baylor targeted heavily early in the recruiting process. Sanchez worked hard at the first camp, however, earning praise from Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett, and then returned for another camp to show how far he had come. Baylor's coaching staff was so impressed by his drive and desire to earn a scholarship that they rewarded him after camp with an offer from none other than Phil Bennett himself. He accepted immediately and gushed about Baylor continuously thereafter.
Flash forward from the summer time to recently and you have a situation where, as often happens in recruiting, the Oklahoma Sooners have lost a few DB recruits and badly need a cornerback. They reach out to a few committed players, as schools constantly do, and Sanchez apparently responds favorably. He decides to take an official visit, gets the scholarship offer he probably never thought would come and certainly couldn't have expected to get even six months ago, and accepts today. He'll now be a Sooner.
I've said it before and I'll say it again-- I can't be mad at these kids for decisions like this. People on message boards get on their high horses and say things like "you should never commit until you're committed!" or "these kids don't know the meaning of the word!" or "I don't want that kid anyway if that's how he's going to be!" Stop it. You sound ridiculous. You're talking about a 17 or 18-year-old making the biggest decision of his life. To this point he's worked on one set of information that has now changed entirely. Some kids like Ryan Perrilloux game the system to get attention, screw with people through the entire process, and deserve some level of scorn, but most don't. Most are just athletes trying to find the place they fit. We wanted the kid before he made his decision and we probably want him after; changing his mind about something doesn't make him a bad person, an unsavory character, or worthy of our outright ridicule.
Baylor has stolen recruits in the past (one of particular note won the Heisman Trophy this year, will go down as our best football player ever, and was a Houston Cougar commit for months before switching to Baylor) and will do it in the future. We actually just did it last week with Rashodrick Linwood, a commit we're all excited about now that he's ours. It would be immensely hypocritical for us to beat our chests in anger when someone does it to us. Yes it hurts to see kids we've invested in (as fans, mind you) decide to go somewhere else and spurn the school we love, but it's their choice to make. As we continue to build our program it will no doubt continue to happen, if not happen even more frequently. The better our recruits become, the more schools will want to poach them from us.
I can't tell you or anyone else how to think or feel about this process, but I can tell you that's how the process works. If you want to work yourself into a frenzy every time this happens, be my guest. That won't change the fact that it will happen and we just have to deal with it. We move on to other recruits, ones "that actually want to be here!" as so many message board commandos demand we find. Maybe we even turn around and try to steal a recruit from someone else.
On that note, Baylor moved on from Sanchez a few minutes before his announcement (probably as our coaches got the word from him about his intentions, and good on him to let them know beforehand) by offering and receiving the commitment of Orion Stewart, a safety from Midway HS in Waco, Texas. I know little about Orion other than that he's 6'1", 175 pounds, plays basketball for Midway, and is relatively new to football. Our coaching staff must believe they've found a diamond in the rough. I don't know if he's a grayshirt candidate or if he will come in with the 2012 class, but I assume we'll find out as time goes on.