I'll be drinking champagne today one way or another: to either celebrate the reshaping of Baylor's defensive line for the next two few years at least or to commiserate once again losing players to rival schools. In the entire 2013 recruiting season, there has been no more important a time than this.
JUCO DT Terell Brooks is up first today with his announcement scheduled to be around noon. He's a hard one to get a read on since his visit this past weekend did not yield an immediate decision either way. Did his time in Waco solidify his choice or make him yearn for South Beach? Will he end up in Manhattan (Kansas, obviously) or remain in-state for the next two seasons of college eligibility? I don't know, and I don't think anyone else does, either. The more negativity among the Baylor faithful believe him headed for Miami, a decision I could certainly understand given their past and the allure of playing for The U. The more positive don't seem to be saying much, which probably doesn't say much. You'll know shortly after I know (because it takes a moment to post), so check back. He's a huge need.
HS DT Andrew Billings is even bigger. Baylor has been on Billings from the get-go because of his proximity to campus, our own needs, and the desire from this staff to lock down Waco talent whenever it presents itself. His recruiting has since blown up considerably with offers from OU, TCU, Texas, and others, and now we sit for the next five hours (he's announcing around 3:10 on ESPN1660 in Waco, and you can listen online on their website for free) wondering if he will be a Frog, a Horn, or a Bear. For their part, the Longhorn fans appear least-hopeful at this point, something I didn't really expect to see. I don't know if that's a result of high-profile losses/misses in the last few days (DT A' , DE Frank Herron, and RB Donte Wilson) or someone actually knowing something. TCU fans, buoyed by reports that Billings wants to get away from home for college, are probably most excited at this point. Baylor Nation, in its typical "glass half-empty" approach to recruiting coverage are just ready for it to be over either way.
Overall, I think SBNation's Wescott Eberts said it best just a few minutes ago:
The only industry consensus on Andrew Billings seems to be that there's no industry consensus. Baylor, TCU, Texas decision remains mystery.— Wescott Eberts (@SBN_Wescott) February 5, 2013
Make no mistake about it-- if we got Andrew Billings in this class, we'd probably be looking at a top-20 ranking (or very close to it) from 247Sports and the best recruiting class in a generation. We might have that already, but Billings would solidify it. He's a huge mauler of a DT from the HS ranks in Waco. We need that kid to stay home. Whether he does or not, I don't know, but as with Brooks, I'll update as quickly as I can.
Today's a big day, Bears, let's hope it's a good one, too.