Last year, it took until June 20 for Baylor to receive it's 11th commitment for the 2013 class from LB Xavier Phillips. We got our 11th for 2014 tonight, May 24, from a different LB, Jamie Jacobs. He joined TE Blake Mahon, who gave his verbal pledge to the Bears about five minutes earlier after having visited Baylor unofficially earlier in the day.
While I'm excited about both, Mahon's commitment is the more interesting to me because of both the circumstances surrounding it and the position he plays. During his visit, our coaches apparently told Mahon that although he had an offer, we were going to pursue other players at the same position. It was a sales job motivated by scarcity aimed at convincing him that if he didn't accept in time, the spot wouldn't still be there. It didn't work at first, since Mahon made it home before committing, but it worked. Now he joins Kingwood's Jordan Feuerbacher as the first pair of TE commitments Baylor has had in the same season in as long as I can remember. That in and of itself is noteworthy since ours is not an offense particularly favorable to tight ends in the past. Now we have two.
Anyway, let's look at the vitals for our two latest commits:
TE Blake Mahon / Coppell HS (Coppell, TX) / 6-5, 230 pounds / HUDL Profile
Before the Bears offered today, the relatively slender Mahon had one in-hand from Illinois. At this point, he has outstanding height at either 6-5 or 6-6 (depending on the source) and a frame that looks to be capable of handling additional weight once he gets to college. Unlike many, his HUDL profile includes stats verified by Nike at their SPARQ combines in addition to his highlight videos from this past season (his junior year), where the few passes he caught were actually thrown by his older brother, Colby.
Looking at those stats, I have to say I'm a bit concerned by the idea of a TE running a 5.03 40. His shuttle time looks good enough at 4.65, but the vertical leaves a bit to be desired, even from a taller guy. Put all those things together and it makes me wonder if Mahon might not be destined to move inside should he put on enough weight in college. I don't have any specific info to that effect, so it's total speculation, but I'm not seeing anything here that just jumps off the page to me as a TE. Maybe I'm wrong. 95% of his highlight video is blocking, anyway. He does that extremely well.
UPDATE: A friend of mine sent me a few links about Mr. Mahon, who has had quite the interesting last few years. In April 2011, Blake was thrown from a horse, breaking his back in two places. The rehab for his injuries lasted until basketball season started in November.
According to ESPN, Baylor hopes that Mahon will bulk up to the 260-pound range before he gets to campus, and if he does, we've told him that he could see playing time as a true freshman. With the only scholarship TE left on the roster after this coming season being JUCO transfer Gus Penning, who is more of a receiving threat than a blocker, it's not outside the realm of possibility.
DE/LB Jamie Jacobs / Midway HS (Waco, TX) / 6-4, 210 pounds / HUDL Profile
Since he got here, Art Briles has made a priority of keeping Waco area talent in Waco, and we've had a bit of success in that regard with guys like Ahmad Dixon and Andrew Billings. Now you can add Jamie Jacobs to the list. I believe we offered Jacobs at our second junior day in February, so this is one we've been after for a while, and when he gave his pledge today, he did so as only the second defensive recruit in our 2014 class.
Jacobs is ranked as a 3* DE by 247Sports because that's the position he'll play for Midway this season. In college, however, it's quite possible he moves back to OLB, where he played his junior year. I don't think it really matters much, since from his HUDL videos, it appears Midway is one of the rare HS teams that uses a 3-man defensive front, so even when he played OLB, he did so as basically a stand-up rush end. Think Demarcus Ware for the Cowboys (I'm not making a comparison).
With 11 commitments now, Baylor is ranked 16th overall by 247Sports, one spot ahead of Texas Tech. That puts us in second place in the Big 12 behind only Texas, who is second in the country. I think it's safe to say we won't be taking any more tight ends, barring something crazy happening, so that's one position where we can reasonably say we're full. And we're down to probably 13 or 14 spots left in the class before the summer has even really started, so things could get interesting. Might we have basically a full class before the season is over? It's possible.