With just under a week left before National Signing Day in the 2013 season, it's time to look at Baylor's priorities for the remaining spots and where any new offers are likely to go. There's still quite a bit of talent out there if the Bears can finish strong.
With 20 recruits currently in the fold, Baylor has, by all accounts, 5 spots left in the 2013 recruiting class. We can't know for sure without asking them where our coaches are focusing the bulk of their efforts, but I think we can make a few educated guesses, with just about everything starting in the trenches on both sides.
Priority 1A: Waco DT Andrew Billings--
We've kept a spot open for him in the recruiting class since he was a (relatively) lowly 3* DT thought to be too short to play in the Big 12, and we're not going to stop trying until his LOI goes into the fax machine. Billings is without a doubt the biggest uncommitted target left on Baylor's recruiting board (and I don't mean by size), and the Bears appear to be right in the thick of his recruitment as it enters its final days. I've been told we have our in-home visit left to use with him, but I don't know if we're going to get the chance before he announces on either Monday or Tuesday, depending on who you believe. Billings would play at Baylor immediately on the defensive line, he's that good.
UPDATE 1/31: Baylor had its in-home visit with Billings, the last he can have, on Tuesday night. Rivals' Kevin Lonnquist reports that it went extremely well.
Priority 1B: Southlake QB Kenny Hill--
Hill is to committed recruits what Billings is to the uncommitted: our biggest target left on the board. Reportedly announcing his own decision sometime this week after having visited A&M, the school to which he is currently committed, last weekend, those around Hill have apparently shut down all communication. If someone says they know where this kid is going at this point, they're probably lying, although the smart money is still on A&M since he remains committed to the Aggies until he isn't.
Priority 3: Navarro DT Terell Brooks--
Committed to Baylor until this past weekend, Brooks is still visiting Waco this coming weekend for his last official. The Bears are trying to fend off Kansas State and Miami for the services of this JUCO DT, who would probably come in and play immediately on the defensive line next year. Getting him back in the fold would be a huge win for the staff as it is easily our area of biggest individual need. That's why there are three of them on this list, after all.
Priority 4: Shreveport DT Christopher Robinson--
I rarely make predictions in recruiting (and generally detest those that do it seemingly just so they can pander) because things move so quickly and 17-18 year old recruits are especially difficult to forecast, but I honestly believe Robinson is going to end up a Bear when he announces next week. Our coaches hope that will happen, as they apparently preferred Robinson, who visited two weeks ago and loved it in Waco, to new OU commit Matthew Romar. Robinson is an important recruit because we need bodies on the defensive line, but I think he'll be a good one in a couple of years, too. He won't have the impact Billings might, but he'll be a good player given time with Kaz and the opportunity to redshirt.
Priority 5: Missouri City OL Maurice Porter--
Shindelar's removal from the list means there is an open spot for OT Maurice Porter, someone Baylor has been on since basically the beginning of his recruitment. He's still committed to Tech and likely to stay that way, but Baylor will attempt to flip him in the coming days to fill the spot vacated by Rami Hammad. I haven't seen any updates recently describing our chances with him.
REMOVED: Liberty, MO TE Kolton Shindelar--
It seems like every year we get to the end of the recruiting season and Art Briles and his staff find someone we've never heard about to offer and bring to Waco. Last year it was a pair of smallish, lightning-fast DBs, this year it's the athletic monster Kolton Shindelar. I put him on the list because he's one of the last true outstanding offers we have to an uncommitted (to Baylor, at least) recruit, and he is visiting this weekend. We're up against Missouri and Tulsa for his services, so let's hope it goes well.
UPDATE 1/31: Shindelar will apparently not visit this weekend, preferring instead to go to Kansas State. So it seems that is that with Baylor's involvement in his recruitment.
A Couple of Other Notes
I should probably include as a priority keeping OL Dionte Savage, but I didn't because this is a list of players uncommitted to Baylor at this point. That doesn't mean Savage is any less important to our class, quite the contrary. If he spurns his latest offer-- the Oklahoma Sooners-- to remain a Bear, Savage will likely start in 2013 on the right side of the line and fill what looks now like a rather gaping hole. The fact that he's still committed is a good thing. The fact that he's visiting Oklahoma this weekend is not. You never want to go head-to-head with Bob Stoops with death, I mean recruiting, on the line.
Baylor is also one of several schools to jump in on Aggie OL commit Joas Aguilar. Since his primary recruiter, Brian Polian, left A&M to be the new head coach at Nevada, several schools have tried to sway the longtime A&M commit, but so far he's held his ground. If he changes, it's probably going to be to TCU, basically his hometown school. Baylor thinks enough of Aguilar that Briles himself visited Birdville to speak with him this week, though.
This is the first recruiting season where we have the option to do story streams, so I'm going to make one beginning with this thread and put every update of the next six days in that stream. Check back as often as you'd like for the latest I can give you about Baylor Recruiting. And try not to get too stressed out as we go along, it's much better to have guys everybody wants than the opposite.