This picture came up when I typed "recruit" into the search box for images. I couldn't find anything better, ok? (Photo by Johannes Simon/Bongarts/Getty Images)
3 installments down, 3 to go on ODB's inaugural 2012 Recruit Impact Rankings. Today we have recruits numbered 9 through 12 on our list. We're getting into the rarefied air of Baylor Football's 2012 recruiting class, and it is really getting exciting up in here!
24. Orion Stewart -- S -- Midway, HS (Waco, TX) 23. Terrance Singleton - ATH - Memorial HS (Port Arthur, TX) 22. Kaleb Moore - WR - Cypress Fair HS (Cypress, TX 21. Lynx Hawthorne - WR - Refugio HS (Refugio, TX) 20. Devin Chafin - RB - Burkburnett HS (Burkburnett, TX) 19. Patrick Levels - CB - Roosevelt HS (Dallas, TX) 18. Terrell Burt - CB - Wylie HS (Wylie, TX) 17. Kyle Fuller - OL - Wylie HS (Wylie, TX) 16. Shamycheal Chatman - LB - Sealy HS (Sealy, TX) 15. Zorrell Ezell - DT - Humble HS (Humble, TX) 14. Rashodrick Linwood - WR/CB - Linden-Kildare HS (Linden, TX) 13. Tre'von Armstead - OT - Memorial HS (Port Arthur, TX)
Today's group features the same theme as the 2012 class in general: it is heavy on defensive players. So heavy, in fact, that it is comprised entirely of players from that side of the ball. Tonight we have 2 DEs, yet another DB, and our first JUCO player of the class. Head below the jump to find out who they are!
12. Dominique Banks – DE – Ryan HS (Denton, TX) – Teammate to the much more widely-known Mario Edwards, Jr., the 6-2, 260 lb. defensive end was quite the player in his own right this season, notching 47 tackles (18 for loss) and 8 sacks. Banks, who committed to Baylor in August, holds offers from over a dozen D1 programs including Arizona State, Arkansas, Boise, Colorado, Illinois, Mississippi State, and Virginia. Despite his size, Banks played on the weak side opposite MEJ this season and was timed at 4.60 in the 40 at the 2011 Dallas Nike SPARQ combine, where he was named to the All-Combine team. He also received an honorable mention on the 5A All-State teams for his performance this season. Putting all of those things together paints an extremely pretty picture for Banks, but it is his position and his future at Baylor that have me most excited. Like two of his recruit brethren higher up this list, Banks plays defensive end, a position that seems to be Baylor’s recruiting white whale. As long as I can remember, Baylor’s biggest defensive problem has been creating and sustaining a decent pass rush. With the added emphasis this recruiting season on the defense in general but the defensive line specifically, I hope we can begin to turn that around. The fact that Rivals ranked our DE class this year as the best in the Big XII makes me hopeful. Banks is going to help that effort immensely, and he might be able to do it fairly soon.
11. Ryan Reid – DB – Sherman HS (Sherman, TX) – Reid is just another in a long line of defensive backs in Baylor’s 2012 class on this list that will only get longer by the end. Another "Bennett CB"-- Reid stands 5-10 in shoes and weighs less than 190 pounds (186)-- Reid played both ways in high school at multiple positions (some QB, WR, CB, KR, and, according to BaylorBears.com, kicker?) but will almost certainly play CB for Baylor and play it well. In his snippet about Reid on Baylor’s official NSD page, Briles alluded to what is actually the most intriguing thing about Reid: who Baylor fought off to keep him. Rumor has it that before and after Reid committed to Baylor in August 2011, he was sought after by one of the biggest fish in our conference pond: Oklahoma. Though the Sooners never officially offered according to the various recruiting databases, their interest was widely reported. We could do a lot worse than getting and keeping a defensive back they wanted for months. If we are going to continue improving relative to the "haves" in our conference, Reid is exactly the type of guy we needed to get, and we got him. I am incredibly excited to see how Bennett and CB coach Carlton Buckels can mold his talent.
10. Jamal Palmer -- DE -- Boyd HS (McKinney, TX) -- I can't actually explain to you why Palmer is higher on the list than Banks, but they're not far apart so I'm not going to try. What I can tell you is that Briles supposedly loves this kid and considers him one of the best recruits in the class (this is secondhand information, I didn't talk to Briles about it), he plays a need position, and when I watch his videos (here is one from his junior season, all of the senior videos I can find are subscription-only) I see an explosive speed rusher that can also play the run. He may not have the same size as Banks, Palmer is "only" listed at 6-3, 230 lbs., but I could see him working his way into a rotation at DE sooner rather than later. It has been reported on one of the paid boards that the coaching staff can see that, too. He'll probably end up redshirting because the vast majority of freshman do, particularly at Baylor, but the fact that it is apparently even being discussed says something about the kid's ability. Also, pass-rushing DEs are always going to have a special place with me almost by default.
9. Eddie Lackey – LB – Riverside CC (Murrieta, CA) – The first of two JUCO players on this list, Lackey makes it this high not only because of where he plays (linebacker) and how he plays it, but also because of how soon he will do it for Baylor. With the loss of senior starter Elliot Coffey to graduation, Baylor will need an inside linebacker to step up as soon as 2012. From all indications, that could be Lackey. He has the size (6-2, 222) and speed (4.50 according to 247Sports) Bennett seems to want in his linebackers as well as the tremendous benefit of enrolling at midterm this year. He will be able to go through spring drills with the team, a head start that will no doubt prepare him for significant playing time, if not a starting role, in 2012. For the more curious, he has a highlight video available on hudl comprised of all 2011 film. It’s certainly worth taking a look at if you have the time. I think the thing that jumps out at me most is his speed; I can only hope that it allows him to be better in coverage (even with the limited responsibilities of an ILB) and pursuit than we are accustomed to having. Bennett loves speed on defense and so do I.