Baylor's success in football recruiting continued this morning when it received the eighth verbal commitment of the 2013 class from OLB Raaquan Davis of Rockwall-Heath HS in Rockwall, Texas. Davis joins a LB class that already includes DJ Green (Mesquite Horn HS) and Trayvon Blanchard (Orange-Stark HS) and could potentially include standouts Paul Whitmill, Mike Mitchell, and/or Dac Shaw, all of whom have 4* rankings from one or more recruiting service. Baylor's eight commits in this class are now evenly distributed between offense and defense with four apiece.
Here's the vital information about Baylor's newest commit:
40 time: Unknown (yet)
Vertical: Unknown (yet)
Links/Ranks: Rivals (3*, 5.7, #30 LB), Scout (3*, #55 LB), 247Sports (3*, 88, #28 OLB), ESPN (4*, #20 OLB)
Major Offers: Baylor, Arizona State, Iowa, Ole Miss, Wake Forest
Videos: ESPN, HUDL (Youtube below the jump!)
SBNation Recruiting: Coverage from Wescott Eberts
As I said in the DBR a few minutes ago, I typically like to ascribe credit to whichever recruiting service "broke" the story first, but I honestly don't know which did it in this case. I saw the commit mentioned first on BearsTruth, Baylor's 247Sports site, but SicEmSports (Baylor Rivals) confirmed it on twitter before anyone else. Let's call it a tie and be happy that we got one of our primary targets at LB, a player that our coaching staff identified months ago as someone they had to have and went all-out to get.
I've posted Raaquan's highlight videos from Youtube below the jump. Watch them and then give me your thoughts about Baylor's newest commit in the comments. My first thought is that Heath (Davis's HS) seems to play a defense extremely similar to our own that relies primarily on two LBs inside with another in a nickel alignment on slot receivers/tight ends. Davis takes good angles and closely quickly on the ball-carrier while keeping his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage. Several times in the latest video (from his junior season), he is asked to fill the hole against a running back or fullback and does so without fear. His profiles list him as weighing around 200 pounds, and it definitely looks like he's bringing a load with him. He doesn't lead with the top of his helmet-- he keeps his shoulders over his hips-- and he explodes through a tackle. The only negative I saw is one play where he tried to make the big hit rather than actually wrap up like you would hope to see. He has decent speed if not great, and you don't see him covering much downfield. They call them "highlight videos" for a reason, after all.
Overall, I'm extremely excited about Baylor's eighth commitment of this class. At this point last year, I believe Baylor had 5 total before picking up steam during summer camps and evaluation periods. Maybe #9 will come shortly from Robbie Rhodes ... ?
UPDATE: I added the link for the story from SBNation Recruiting about Davis's commit. Check it out. Here's a teaser...
With the speed and size of a big safety, Davis will need to add bulk to transition to the next level, but he's a player perfectly suited for the Big 12 because of his ability to cover ground against the run or the pass, especially with his range from sideline to sideline playing the run inside out.. He's also fluid dropping into coverage.
#19 Raaquan Davis Highlights from Junior Season 2011.wmv (via heathhawksfootball)
Raaquan Davis Highlights- Sophomore Season (via 247SportsStudio)