Last year, Baylor got its 10th and 11th commits on the same day, May 24, 2013. This year, #10 popped on May 22, giving Baylor double digit commits at the earliest point ever in a recruiting cycle. A week later, we remain at 10 commits, a great number for taking a closer look at the #16 class in the country so far. In chronological order of their commitment:
Name (w/ profile link) | Commit Date | Composite Rank | Film Link | Major Offers
QB Chad President | 4/29/2013 | **** | HUDL | Texas, Texas Tech
Exactly 13 months ago, in the height of the 2014 recruiting cycle and before we'd even started the season that would end in a Big 12 Championship, Baylor received its first commitment of the 2015 class in the form of Temple QB Chad President. President, who had recently received offers from both Texas (under, obviously) and Texas Tech, was a wide receiver his first two years at Temple before rising to the spot of QB presumptive heading into 2014. Many predicted a breakout year for the 6-4 QB, and Baylor fans in particular waited with bated breath.
Alas, not all fairy tales come true, and President tore his ACL in the fourth game of Temple's season against Southlake Carroll. He's back now, though, after an extremely quick recovery for his injury, and reports are that he is at full strength once again. He'll play QB for the Wildcats this coming year before enrolling at Baylor in January in the recent trend of Art Briles QB.
Projected Position: QB
ATH Blake Lynch | 10/20/2013 | **** | HUDL | Clemson, Mississippi State, Nebraska
Baylor's second commit followed in late October in the form of Troup, TX QB Blake Lynch, another outstanding athlete and the first of several forays by the Bears into East Texas in the 2015 class. Lynch visited several times during the 2013 season after naming Baylor his leader early that summer, then shut things down in October.
I've gone back and forth a few times on where I'd like to see Lynch play, but I'm not fairly confident that the 6-3 monster will be a WR for Art Briles' Bears. Timed as fast as 4.39 in the 40 recently, Lynch has outstanding size and speed for the position. I expect his ranking, which rose recently to 94 according to 247Sports, will only go up this coming season, when he will play QB again for his HS team. Lynch is also slated to enroll early in January, following in the footsteps of another elite East Texan from the 2014 class: Davion Hall.
Projected Position: WR
WR Devontre Stricklin | 1/24/2014 | High *** | HUDL | Texas Tech, TCU
When Ahmad Dixon signed with Baylor in 2010, he was the first elite local product to choose Baylor in the Art Briles Era. Since then, Briles and company have made recruiting Central Texas a priority, and the results of that effort speak for themselves. In subsequent years, Baylor has gotten players like Beau Blackshear, Orion Stewart, Andrew Billings, and now Devontre Stricklin just from within the confines of Waco itself. Stricklin became Baylor's first commit (in this class) of the new year in January, adding yet another playmaker to Baylor's stacked receiving corps.
Listed at 6-3 by all of the major recruiting services, Stricklin is the prototypical outside WR in Briles' vertical attack. By shutting his recruitment down relatively early, Stricklin probably cost himself a few offers from schools outside the state, but make no mistake; he's a tremendous player. 247Sports bumped him up to 92 in February, placing him at #207 in their Top 247.
Projected Position: WR
OT Maurice Porter | 2/28/2014 | **** | HUDL | -----
About 17 months ago, on National Signing Day for the 2013 class, Baylor flipped then-4* Texas Tech commit Maurice Porter, who hails originally from Missouri City, Texas. He and teammate Darius Moore, a longtime Baylor commit in that class, didn't end up qualifying, so the paid enrolled at Navarro Junior College. Porter is now a Bear again after commiting in February.
My expectations for Porter are nearly as immense as he is. Listed as the #1 JUCO OT in the country per 247Sports, Porter will come in with junior eligibility and two years to play two. I expect him to put those years to good use immediately, stepping in for the graduating Troy Baker at the RT spot. Like most JUCOs, Porter will enroll this coming January and go through spring practice in 2015. It's worth remembering that as a high school senior, Porter held offers from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Oregon, in addition to Baylor and Texas Tech. We haven't had a lot of success in placing non-qualifying HS commits at the JUCO level in the past. We did with Porter.
Projected Position: RT
ATH Louis Brown | 3/3/2014 | **** | HUDL | ND, OU, Oklahoma State, Oregon
In March, the 6-6 Brown surprised many by committing to Baylor over the likes of Notre Dame, Oregon, and Oklahoma and becoming the first member of our 2015 class likely ticketed for the defensive side of the ball. Brown is Baylor's second-highest rated commit by 247Sports at #146 in their Top247, and my guess is that he will play defensive end for the Bears when he gets to Baylor next summer. That's not a particularly hard guess to make; Baylor recruited him using Shawn Oakman as an example, and both parties seem to like the parallel.
Projected Position: DE
RB JaMycal Hasty | 3/29/2014 | **** | HUDL | Oregon, Texas, Oklahoma State, TCU
Long considered a Baylor lean (I predicted him to Baylor on Crystal Ball 9 months before his commitment), Hasty committed to the Bears in March after having lit up several camps around the state in preceding weeks. There's been some question about Hasty's eventual position, especially considering Baylor's simultaneous recruitment of, who eventually committed to Oklahoma State, but I don't think it really matters all that much. Whether it's at RB or IR, Briles and co. will get Hasty the ball. My guess is that he gets the most playing time at RB, his high school position for the Longview Lobos. Hasty is ranked #175 in the Top247.
Projected Position: RB
WR/DB John Humphrey | 4/14/14 | *** | HUDL | ND, OU, Texas, Arky, Cal
One of the fastest players in the state for the 2015 class, Humphrey is a player the Baylor staff coveted for a long time before finally securing his commitment in April. The latest word (from this very thread, no less) is that he is slated for the defensive side of the ball, giving Baylor its two CBs in this class at this point. I can definitely get behind a pairing of Humphrey and another prospect on this list.
Projected Position: CB
C Sam Tecklenburg | 4/15/14 | *** | HUDL | Texas Tech, Wake, SMU
This one came somewhat out of left field as far as most observers were aware, but our staff has been known to zero in on OL before, regardless of their rankings. We saw it with Devonte Jones and Patrick Lawrence, and we're seeing it again now with Tecklenburg.
Despite playing everything from OT to TE to DT in high school, reports from immediately after his commitment say Tecklenburg will play center in college. Great center prospects are relatively rare since the best high school linemen tend to play tackle, so we'll see how that works out together.
Projected Position: C
CB Jordan Tolbert | 5/9/2014 | *** | HUDL | Texas, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, TCU
Unlike his potential future partner-in-crime John Humphrey, there's no mystery where Tolbert will play when he gets to Baylor; the former Houston commit is a CB all the way in college. He has excellent size for the position at 5-11.5 and all the potential in the world to develop into a true lockdown corner.
It's worth noting that Tolbert tore his ACL immediately before or after (we can't be sure when) committing to Baylor and will miss his senior season. That means if you want to see the film on him, you might as well watch it now. He should be 100% by the time he gets here next summer.
Projected Position: CB
LB Breckyn Hager | 5/22/2014 | *** | HUDL | Oklahoma
Just days after receiving his offer from Baylor, this legacy recruit pulled the trigger for Phil Bennett and the defensive staff. He'll follow in his older brother Bryce's footsteps at Baylor playing MLB. Enrolling early should give him the chance to be on staff with his brother for at least a few months, since he'll be here in January as Bryce prepares for the 2015 NFL Draft. I'm excited for Breckyn not just because of his bloodlines (the Texas FB world is awash with Hagers from the father on down), but his size and speed, as well. He's played some DE in the past for Westlake HS, but I expect that MLB will his spot going forward.
Projected Position: MLB
So there you have it, Baylor's 10 commitments so far in the 2015 class. As we've talked about several times before, this class projects to be relatively small by recruiting standards with just 16 or 17 spots available. That means we've already, in May 2014, seen the majority of the commitments for a class that will sign in February 2015. Hopefully another strong season, perhaps another Big 12 Championship, will impress upon other elite recruits the value of the remaining spots.