January Baylor Football Recruiting Notes

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Gearing up for the biggest month yet in recruiting for the 2013 class, I'll consolidate everything related to recruiting here just like I did for December. That seemed to work well.

Decided to clean up the beginning of the post here since so much of it is out of date, particularly with the flip of OG Rami Hammad from Baylor to Texas today, January 23, 2013. I'll keep everything else.

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I mentioned someone visiting on the 18th that I thought should go up here: La HS DT Christopher Robinson. You can view his HUDL video here. He seems to be third in line for an offer (doesn't have one yet) behind Andrew Billings and Matthew Romar. He supposedly was committed to Ole Miss and then cut for grade issues. Those issues may have been resolved now, meaning his recruitment could pick up again.

-- January 11, 2013 --

Taion Sells-Warner confirmed to ESPN and BearsTruth that TCU offered him last night, saying that he's solid to Baylor and will not be taking visits.

We may or may not have one fewer spot than we thought if Jemarcus Johnson gets to stay at Baylor going forward. He was apparently having grade issues of a sort and said on twitter yesterday that he "won" some kind of appeal and will get to stay. He was rumored to be headed to EIU with Devante Davis and Jeff Lepak. Walk-on Vince Sanders is also leaving for UNT because of playing time, as is DT Donald Bryant to SFA.

-- January 14, 2013 --

QB Kenny Hill from Southlake, Texas officially visited Baylor this past weekend. Hill is committed to Texas A&M and has been for some time. I added my thoughts to the bottom of the comment section.

There was at least one other rumored recruit in town this weekend, and I can't figure out who it was supposed to be. I'm going to guess a JUCO OG of some sort, since grade issues kept Mitchell Bell from making it here as he had planned, but I don't know for sure. I'll update when I do.

-- January 16, 2013 --

Nate Willis, the JUCO CB we brought in a few weeks back that had narrowed down his list to Baylor and Kentucky, committed to Kentucky. So he's off the board. Whether that affects his JUCO teammate, OG Dionte Savage, is yet to be seen. I don't see how it could be a good thing.

The recruitment of OG Rami Hammad has taken a strange turn lately as information about his intentions begins to contradict. The latest word is that he will take two visits over the next two weekends to OU and TCU in some order. Ole Miss was rumored to be a destination for a visit and is apparently out. UT won't get one until they offer, and they won't offer until they know what another one of their targets at OG is doing, which they should in the next few days. One prominent school that doesn't seem to be in the running for an official now is Baylor, the school to which Rami is actually committed. That is a change from earlier in the week, when he told Baylor people that he would visit next weekend as scheduled.

Baylor fans have predictably responded to this news dourly, believing Rami to be all but gone already and just going through the motions with his Baylor commitment. I honestly don't know what is going on, but I would agree generally that the chances he ends up at Baylor are lower now than at any time before this writing. There's no way to sugarcoat that loss (if it happens); Rami is one of my favorite commits in this class and him getting poached would seriously piss me off.

-- January 20, 2013 --

Rami reportedly decommitted from Baylor this afternoon, opening his recruitment back up to UT, Baylor, OU, and TCU. I put up a new front-page post about it.

-- January 23, 2013 --

Rami Hammad is announcing his commitment today at 5 PM central time in a ceremony at his high school. I expect him to do the hat thing and eventually announce for Texas given the timing of his commitment and the fact that he decommitted from Baylor this weekend on the way home from his trip. It's possible that he recommits to Baylor-- I know our staff has been working hard on him the last three days-- it's just not likely. You don't often see many players commit, decommit, and then recommit to the same school in the same recruiting period. Just like he committed for a reason, he decommitted for a reason. Still, all that said, I think it's presumptuous for anyone to use the word "lock" with respect to Hammad unless they know something I don't. And that's obviously not to say that he won't end up a Longhorn; I fully expect he will at this point.

As for others, Billings is still scheduled to visit this weekend and remains the biggest fish left on our recruiting board. I can't overstate the importance of that last visit, and it gives me much more hope for our chances with the 4* DT.

As for Kenny Hill, he went on his visit to Kansas State this past weekend even after meeting in-home with Sumlin. He will now visit A&M this weekend. The ship has probably sailed with him not having decommitted yet and the visit likely to lock things up, but you never now.

Baylor's newest commit, OG Dionte Savage, is going to take his visit next weekend to West Virginia, but is saying all the right things about his commitment to Baylor. Doesn't sound like we should be worried about that since Baylor made such an impression this past weekend. I'm excited about having him in the fold for the next two years, for sure.

I never got around to posting an official list of our visitors this weekend, so here's what I put in the thread below, updated a little bit:

Maurice Porter- TT commit OT we recruited before, not sure if he has a spot, even with Hammad decommitting.
Kyle Fulks – UT made a serious run at him, and I’m glad to see him visiting this weekend here. He’s going to play CB for us.
Chris Robinson — LA HS DT who we’d take in addition to Billings, hopefully. If we don’t get him, we’d turn to Romar, but that might be out of play now that OU offered. Nobody can get in contact with Robinson post-visit.
Travon Blanchard — One of our longest commits, TT making a run. He’s solid. Will play Dixon’s spot when he gets here.
Darius Moore — Teammate of Porter, less-known than his friend. Probably one of the reasons Porter is coming in. Moore has been committed a long time.
Dionte Savage — Committed, still visiting West Virginia next week.
Tanner Thrift — One of our lesser-known recruits, never really got much attention this season because he’s all arms and legs. He’s about 6-5 and plays DE. Still not totally sure why we took him, but we did and he never wavered.
Brian Pullen — Probably a center in college, will be a preferred walk-on at Baylor, meaning he won’t get a scholarship his first year. Might greyshirt.

ONE LAST THING-- Baylor has scheduled an invitation-only Junior Day for the first weekend in February, which is actually right before NSD for the 2013 class. It's possible, if not likely, that we will have at least one commit from that day. Baylor has never done the invitation-only thing before, to my knowledge, but has an extremely impressive list of players who have confirmed they are attending. As soon as I can get a copy of that list, I will do so.

Before anyone asks, it's still entirely possible that Baylor could also bring in a recruit or two for that last weekend if we have someone we are trying to woo at the last minute. Nearly all of the current commits that have yet to take visits will do so this weekend, the weekend of the 25th, so it's not like anyone is getting bumped back. I think the intent of doing it so early was to get ahead of some of our neighboring schools and not make kids have to choose between ours and another. Getting good recruits on campus is the goal, and we seem to be making that happen.

-- Tyler Edwards Update --

The JUCO OL that was supposed to be coming in at semester this year didn't make it in and is no longer part of the 2013 recruiting class. Whether that changes anything about our priorities, I don't know. I also don't know if Edwards will attempt to enroll in the summer after missing the spring.

-- January 24, 2013 --

Baylor is bringing in a huge group for this coming weekend, including uncommitted defensive targets DT Andrew Billings, DE Taeshon Hall, and potential preferred walkons in LB Taylor Young and ATH Adrian Norwood. Young was this year's 5A Defensive Player of the Year due to his ridiculous production, but is undersized for Big 12 play and probably not as athletic as we would need to offer a scholarship. Norwood is basically Mike Hicks / Sam Holl redux and plays at Midway in Waco.

Those guys will join commits like 4/5* WR Robbie Rhodes, his QB/ATH Wesley Harris, WR Quan Jones, RB Johnny Jefferson, LBs Xavier Phillips and Raaquan Davis, and several others on campus to form a fairly large group. Let's hope they get such a spirit of camaraderie and love for Baylor Nation going that the others are swayed into our camp. Or something.

-- January 25, 2013 --

Liberty (Mo.) jumbo athlete Kolton Shindelar has reportedly picked up offers from and . Visiting this weekend.

Not totally sure what our interest would be here or why we'd offer now; there's almost no way we can sway him in the remaining time in 2013. Anyway, he's a 6-6, 252-pound TE/ATH from Missouri.

Ok, according to Todd Wills of Baylor Rivals, we are apparently expecting Shindelar to visit next weekend. If he can run, what would you guys think about pushing him over to DE?

-- January 27, 2013 --

QB Kenny Hill took his official visit to A&M this weekend, as expected. That's not the big news. The big news is that his commitment to A&M seems less definite than ever before, even after that visit. See the following tweets:

Doesn't sound "committed," does he?

Baylor is still in this, and, if rumors are true, may be leading at this point. Stay tuned. That would be a HUGE switch.

-- January 30, 2013 --

OU offered Baylor JUCO OG commit Dionte Savage last night. They are the latest to come after the fast-rising prospect and Savage will visit there this weekend rather than go to WVU. The best-case scenario for Baylor in that is the OU offer taking the shine off his Tech experience somewhat, I think, but that might be sugarcoating things. OU is apparently not offering a starting role at this point.

Now that there is a week left before NSD, I'm going to do a running stream about recruiting updates starting with a big one I plan to post tonight. We have, if everyone currently committed stays that way, five spots left in this class. Those five spots are dedicated at this point to the following people:

1A. QB Kenny Hill-- supposed to know something by "the middle of this week." Seeing as how it is Wednesday ... I guess that could be any moment.
1B. DT Andrew Billings-- announcing next Monday unless it is next Tuesday between Baylor, TCU, and UT.
3. DT (JUCO) Terrell Brooks -- visiting this weekend, was committed, could easily commit again.
4. DT Christopher Robinson-- announcing next week, should be Baylor.
5. TE/ATH Kolton Shindelar -- visiting this weekend.

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Just like last month, I'm going to update this thread as we continue through the recruiting period and more news becomes available, so you should check back periodically. I'll update the thread title when I do so you know there is something new. If you see something or hear something, post it in the comments or, if you want, shoot me an email and I'll make sure it gets up here.

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