In college football, some schools and/or coaches become synonymous with certain positions; Penn State with linebackers, USC with running backs, Alabama with defensive backs, LSU with defensive linemen, Texas with extremely talented softies, etc. Soon, based on Briles' track record of recruiting and developing QBs, I hope we can put "Baylor with QBs" on that list, right next to "Baylor with WRs." That success in developing QBs, which will hopefully manifest itself again this year and next with Bryce Petty the same way it did in 2012 with Nick Florence, raises the question: Who's next?
In reverse order of our likely preference, the next record-breaking QB in the Art Briles machine will be:
3. Aaron Sharp / 3* DT-QB / Summer Creek HS (Humble, TX) / 6-3, 190
Baylor offered the 6-3, 190-pound track star on May 11, the day before he took home an individual gold medal in the 200m (21.19 secs) and team golds as the anchor in the 4x200m and 4x400m relays at the Texas state track meet in Austin. Twitter exploded with praise for the Summer Creek speedster following that performance, and he's seen his interest level from major programs nationwide increase correspondingly. Baylor was the third major school to offer Sharp after Utah and Houston, but we won't be close to the last. Colorado, Toledo, UTEP, and Wake Forest are also already on the board, and more are sure to follow.
Sharp visited Baylor's campus last weekend unofficially for his second such visit, hoping for assurances from our coaches about where they intended to play him. If guaranteed a chance to play QB, some thought the southpaw might pull the trigger. I can't say for sure that guarantee did or did not occur, but apparently Art Briles and his staff were forthright enough with Sharp to let him know that he is third on the board. All signs point to Sharp being very high on Baylor, and he will reportedly camp with the Bears this summer, hoping to convince our coaches that he's the one. I think he could be ours if we want him, and 247Sports' Crystal Ball agrees.
Sharp wears #10 for his high school team, a number of significant importance in the recent history of Baylor Football. Check out his HUDL highlights to see him in action.
2. Brandon Harris / 4* DT-QB / Parkway HS (Bossier City, LA) / 6-2.5, 194
Fact: If you are a major CFB program, you have either offered Brandon Harris or are about to. Baylor jumped in to the Brandon Harris Sweepstakes on April 16 when Harris had 8 major offers (as far as I can tell, in order: La Tech, Arizona State, Ark, Houston, Nebraska, North Carolina, Indiana, Kansas). He's since been offered by Texas A&M, Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Auburn, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State. I'm probably missing at least a few.
The latest updates to 247's database have Harris as the #1-ranked dual threat QB in the country, a ranking backed up by the offers I listed above. Standing 6-2.5 and weighing 194, he's eerily similar in size RGIII when he first got on campus, though he's probably a better passer now than Griffin was then. He doesn't have Sharp's speed at 4.64 in the 40, but that's still extremely fast for a high school junior.
A week ago, Harris announced a final 7 of Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Texas A&M, Ohio State, Ole Miss, and Baylor in no particular order. Tonight, he tweeted that list of schools again. Other than the list of finalists, it's hard to say where Baylor stands. I've heard rumors that Harris might visit unofficially very soon, but there's just not that much chatter there between Harris and the Bears. Almost everyone has him going to the SEC, including 247's Crystal Ball, which predicts Harris 62/38 to LSU over Texas A&M. I think the prognosticators are discounting Urban Meyer and Ohio State in that.
UPDATE (6/3): With the commitment of 4* QB Kyle Allen to the Aggies today, Harris tweeted that he was no longer considering Texas A&M in one of the classier moves I've ever seen a recruit make. That leaves six schools on his list barring any late additions, including Ohio State, where he visited this past weekend. 247's Crystal Ball, updated by many after Allen's commitment, is now 95% LSU, 5% Alabama. My vote, when I cast it tonight, will also go to LSU.
Other than his public HUDL highlights, which are impressive, you can also view the following from Parkway's spring game, courtesy of A&M's 247 site:
Harris is a huge fish in the 2014 recruiting pond. Getting him would send a shockwave through the CFB landscape, and that's probably why Art Briles is recruiting him personally.
1. Randall Cunningham II / 3* DT-QB / Bishop Gorman HS (Las Vegas, NV) / 6-5, 190
Still relatively fresh off the experience of the one and only RGIII, our coaching staff apparently has set their sights on RCII, son of the one and only Randall Cunningham. While Brandon Harris may have the edge in the recruiting services, there's little doubt our staff prefers RCII, the high-jumping phenom from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas. Our assistant coaches, primarily OC Philip Montgomery and Kendal Briles (along with ace recruiter Jeff Lebby), have been out to Las Vegas to visit him at least half a dozen times since we offered on February 13. The last time was just a few days ago.
I'll be completely honest: I can't be objective about the possibility of getting RCII. We here at ODB made his father the first honorary member of Baylor Nation, and I've pined for RCII to come on campus, fall in love with it, and commit. The buzz from his name alone would be worth it, even if he wasn't also a dynamic physical talent.
As a player, it's worth noting that RCII is the only QB offer we have this year that hasn't played all that much QB; both Sharp and Harris started for their HS teams as juniors and have a huge leg up on RCII in that regard. It says something to me that not only did Baylor offer him as a QB despite that, we offered him before either of the other two. We are not alone, however, as both LSU and Mississippi State have also made themselves known to Mr. Cunningham, as have Arizona State, Syracuse, Utah, and Yale (yes, Yale!). The last report I saw said LSU, Baylor, and Syracuse were the primary players for his services, and he plans to visit all three during the summer.
His HUDL profile lists him as #12 for his high school team, known as the Gaels, but the video shows him wearing #10. I'd be more than happy to see him don that number again in Waco, Texas. I don't why our staff prefers him to Harris, but they do, and I've learned better than to question their judgment. Let's hope they get their man.