Heading into the weekend, most of the recruiting reports thought it likely that Baylor would add a commit or two from the first slate of summer camps. I don't know anyone who thought the first to come yesterday would be OLB/S Cordell Dorsey, or that the next today would be Blake Blackmar. The uncertainty of it is part of what makes recruiting simultaneously so exciting and nerve-wracking.
With the recent commitments of Patrick Lawrence, Josh Pelzel, Devonte Jones, and now Blackmar, Baylor has 4 slots in the 2014 class earmarked for offensive lineman. If you asked me a month ago, that's about what I would have expected for the entire group. Considering how many of our top targets are still uncommitted, I'm not so sure now. Baylor has made the latest cuts for high school guys like OT Ty Barrett, C Connor Mayes, and OT Jovan Pruitt, and we recently welcomed Blinn (JUCO) OT Frank Kee to campus, as well. Any of those guys can probably still find a home here, particularly someone like Mayes who is tailor-made to play center at the next level.
Blackmar joins Baylor's class as the 13th commitment overall for 2014, a number we didn't achieve last year, according to Rivals, until July 16 with Allen DT Byron Bonds. That was, at the time, the earliest we'd ever hit the mark, and this year we beat it by 6 weeks. The crazy part is that scarcity matters in recruiting; spots in a class are finite and both sides, coaches and recruits, know that. Teams like Texas sell every year on the theory of "if you don't commit, your spot may not be there," and with half the class filled already, Baylor can, too.
The best news in all this is that we're not filling these spots with JAGs (just another guys) that only we want. Blackmar, the latest in the chain, had offers from Kansas State, Texas Tech, Minnesota, Missouri, and several others, and interest from Arkansas and Texas A&M. Arkansas was particularly likely to receive an Arkansas visit at their OL/DL camp in the next couple of weeks, something he will no longer be attending. As further evidence, our 13th commitment raised us to 14th in the national rankings, ahead of everybody in the Big 12 not named Texas.
247Sports has the newest Bear as a 3* commit, graded at 85, a ranking that is probably more representative of his listing as a guard than anything else. As I've said before, guards typically get the short end of the recruiting stick, with only a very, very few getting rankings even close to those of their brethren at tackle. This is one of those situations where, confirmation bias recognized, I take more from his offer list than the ranking itself. I'm also extremely confident in our staff's ability to take a guy like Blackmar, listed already at 6-5, 320 pounds, and make him into much more than his ranking suggests. If you could bet on such things, I would. I'd buy all the stock I could afford in Baylor's development of quality offensive linemen.
Something worth keeping an eye on is that of our 4 OL commits, 2 are clearly guards (Pelzel and Jones) and 1 is clearly a tackle (Lawrence). Blackmar's position is a bit more nebulous, and according to his HUDL profile, he spent time in this past season everywhere but guard, where he is listed. The first half of Clear Lake's season, he played left tackle before moving to center for the second half. The last time he played guard was his freshman season, when he started on the varsity squad.
Seriously, we have 9 commitments in the last 30 days. Think about that. And welcome Blake Blackmar!