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Boise DE Sam Ukwuachu transferring to Baylor

Freshman All-American DE Sam Ukwuachu, originally from the Houston area, has decided to join Phil Bennett's defense in Waco. One year after Baylor welcomed transfer Shawn Oakman from Penn State, the Bears continue to stockpile defensive talent on the edges.

Otto Kitsinger III

The Baylor Bears are expected to announce the signing of Boise State redshirt freshman (upcoming redshirt sophomore) DE Samuel Ukwuachu today, after the transfer visited campus yesterday and gave his pledge to the Bears over Florida and Utah, among others. Ukwuachu is coming off a season in which he registered 35 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 7 tackles for loss, and 3 fumble recoveries, earning him Freshman All-American honors. He started every one of Boise's games but one, the opener against Michigan State, in a 4-2-5 Boise defense somewhat similar to our own.

It's interesting to note that Baylor offered Ukwuachu a scholarship two years ago, when he was a 3* (5.7 RR) recruit coming out of high school in Pearland. That existing connection may have played a role in bringing him back now. The interview with Rivals I linked below also indicates that Boise HC Chris Petersen may have steered Ukwuachu our way, as well. That would also be something worth remembering.

As far as eligibility goes, though he is originally from Texas, Ukwuachu is not coming home due to a family medical issue or anything else that I can see that might fall under the NCAA hardship waiver provisions, so I would expect that, if he even files such a waiver request, he will still have to sit out the requisite one year. Since he already took his redshirt year in his first year in Boise in 2011, that would give him 2 years of eligibility left at Baylor at a DE spot that suddenly looks a bit crowded. Baylor will lose both presumptive starters for this season in Terrance Lloyd and Chris McAllister, but will bring back both of their backups in former Penn State DE Shawn Oakman and Jamal Palmer. We also signed three candidates to play DE in the 2013 class including JUCO All-American Brian Nance, Kevin Smith, and Tanner Thrift. That said, the reaction of "what are we going to do with all these DEs?" may just be a result of the unfamiliarity most Baylor fans (myself included) have with actually having talented players on the outside. It should be fun to watch.

Baylor Rivals has an interview ($$$) up with Ukwuachu about his visit yesterday and what influenced his decision. If you have concerns about taking a player supposedly "dismissed" from Boise's team, I suggest you read it. Ukwuachu seems a well-rounded, intelligent player who should fit in nicely here. And from the video below, his talent is unmistakable (you might want to mute the video).