What's the old saying? March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb? This year, the month of June typified that adage; Baylor welcomed 7 new Bears into the fold in the first 12 days, surging into the top 10 of most team recruiting rankings on pure strength of numbers, before things quieted down significantly. Some wondered after the first two weeks if we'd finish recruiting completely by the end of June, and there was even talk about taking too many commits too quickly, talk that has now diminished considerably. Several other programs catching us up in numbers probably helped that along, since we aren't such a huge outlier any more. Let's look at the guys who made the call for Baylor in the month of June 2013.
June 1: Blake Blackmar / 3* OL / Commit Post
Clear Lake's Blake Blackmar brought June in with a bang, committing to Baylor on the first of the month as the fourth (and final, so far) OL recruit in this class. At the time of his commitment, he held offers from Texas Tech and Kansas State, among several others. The word at this point is that he's likely to play guard for Baylor.
June 2: Chad Adams / 3* CB / Commit Post
I put him at CB for now because that's probably where he ends up in Phil Bennett's system. I said it then and I'll say it now: he screams Phil Bennett CB, though he does have a Terrell Burt-ness to him. Arizona State likely finished second for the Allen speedster.
June 7: T'Kevian Rockwell / 4* OLB / Commit Post
I teased this commitment vaguely for weeks as T'Kevian made it known that Baylor was his favorite. When it finally happened, Baylor fans rejoiced over our highest-ranked defensive commit yet. T'Kevian holds offers from Michigan, Nebraska, Texas Tech, and numerous others. This was a huge commitment for Baylor's class, and I have him listed as a OLB.
June 9: Ira Lewis / 2/3* DT / Commit Post
Lewis was the second Houston DL commit to switch to Baylor and the first DT commit of this class. We'd flip another from Rice in the coming days. This was the first commitment to raise eyebrows among Baylor fans, as far as I could tell, mostly because Lewis' isn't ranked all that highly. I'll tell you now, though, that several other schools, including Texas, have stepped up their recruitment of Lewis in the aftermath of his switch. He's a wanted man, and part of the reason is his close connection to 4* DB recruits John Bonney and John Plattenburg.
June 9: Jourdan Blake / 3* ATH / Commit Post
That same day, Baylor welcomed commit #17 in the person of Jourdan, son of John, Blake, the quarterback for Princeton HS. Blake chose Baylor over Arizona and Oklahoma States, and will almost certainly play DB for the Bears. We're after bigger fish at the QB spot.
June 10: Andrew Morris / 2/3* DT / Commit Post
This was the second commit that turned heads among the Baylor faithful. "Why," people seemed to wonder, "are we taking guys like Morris when there are better options available?" The problem with this question is the assumption that there are better options. 2014 is a pretty dismal year for DTs in the state of Texas to begin with, and Morris is probably better than you think. Baylor loves his size and potential to play the nose in college, a position that requires uncommon (to say the least) strength and size. Sure, I'd love to have Andrew Billings 2.0 come down the pipe, too, but that guy probably doesn't exist this year.
June 12 : James David / 4* MLB / Commit Post
Rockdale's James David was the final June commit for the Bears and #19 overall. He's also taken over for Rockwell as the highest-ranked defensive commit we have. Choosing Baylor over the likes of TCU, Houston, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, David's commit was one to celebrate. And celebrate we did. David will play MLB from the day he gets here, probably quite well.
So that's it. Those seven commitments, added to the twelve we already had, gave Baylor nineteen total for the 2014 class. It's the most we've ever had at this point in the recruiting cycle by far, and at worst a solid class if things ended now. Things aren't ending now, however. Baylor still has a number of elite irons in the fire we're willing to wait on for now, and though nobody likes to hear it, we might have to wait. Commit #20 could come tonight as I write these words or it could come in a month. Patience is a virtue.
Who Will Be Commit #20?
That said, though I don't know for sure who will be the 20th commit in our class, here are a few suspects combed from our candidates on Crystal Ball and the recruits who have named us in their latest lists:
QB Randall Cunningham II: RCII is unanimously predicted to Baylor on the Crystal Ball (19 predictions), and I feel strongly enough about it to be among those predicting. I doubt it happens any time soon, however, since he has no real reason to rush. I said in the June Thread that he's smart enough to know that he's our #1 (ahead of Brandon Harris) and LSU's #2 (behind Harris), so it makes sense for him to wait on Harris. Speaking of...
QB Brandon Harris: He's making his call July 18 from a top 5 consisting of LSU, Ole Miss, Auburn, Ohio State, and Baylor. Most see this as a 3-way battle between two SEC schools (LSU and Auburn) and one B1G, in reality. Should he not choose Baylor, we obviously want him to choose LSU and spur RCII our way. That'd be fine with me. I have to admit that I love me some Brandon Harris nearly as much as I do the idea of RCII. What Briles could do with his talent...
RB Corey Avery: He'd be the speed complement to Terrance Williams' power, and Crystal Ball is unanimous that he will be Baylor bound. The last prediction was nearly three weeks ago, however, and in the meantime, we've gotten conflicting word from recruiting sources. He has maintained to Baylor Rivals that Baylor leads, but others say differently. I'm not aware of a timetable for his commitment.
CB John Plattenburg: Aside from the strange run of Washington predictions on Crystal Ball yesterday, all the news for Baylor fans about Plattenburg has been good. He enjoyed his visit last week immensely and might even move back to Texas for this coming season. With Ira Lewis already going to be a Bear, we have a powerful influence in our corner.
S John Bonney: It's a Baylor vs. Texas battle for the 4* safety, and he's one of the Houston Lamar trio (with Lewis and Plattenburg, albeit he's in California as of right now) we're trying to woo. Aside from Cannon (if he committed) or Hall, there might not be a bigger win in our 2014 class than if Bonney chose the Bears. He has a final 2, so it's conceivable that he makes the call soon.
LB Christian Sam: This one has been rumored to be in the offing for a while but hasn't happened for whatever reason. Could Baylor win in another head-to-head with OU over a linebacker? Perhaps.
JUCO OL Jarrell Broxton: Possibly the best choice if you were trying to predict #20 since Broxton has made known the proximity of his commitment. He's down to Baylor and Wisconsin, I believe, and visited recently.
"Don't Expect It"
WR K.D. Cannon: I don't mean that in the sense that he won't be a Bear, I mean it in the sense that he won't be one any time soon. He reiterated on twitter as recently as last night that he plans to commit after this coming season, which means November or December. Unless something weird happens, that's probably the earliest we'd see a commitment.
But K.D., if you're reading this, you'd be perfect as #20. I'm just saying...
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the potential commits that might pop up, just my best guess based on what we've heard. Who knows, maybe RCII's teammate Nick Gates takes another look and chooses Baylor over Alabama (unlikely, I know) or Joshua Malin takes the other DE spot in our class. Perhaps we go another way, leaving Lewis as a DE and taking Cedric Johnson at DT, instead. 4* CB Nick Watkins might get tired of all this "John Plattenburg" talk and decide to shake things up in the state of Texas. It could be someone we've never heard of or a flip we thought totally secure before. There are innumerable chances for me to continue looking like a moron. It's actually part of the reason I love recruiting.
The month of June was really fun for Baylor Football and the people that follow it. Here's hoping July follows suit.