Baylor managed to keep firm hold of a top-20 spot in the 247Sports National Rankings (based off their Composite Industry Rankings) with a relatively strong July, given the circumstances. We "only" brought in 2 new recruits, but so far we've managed to fight off several programs coming hard after our commits and we started the month with 19, anyway. At this point, we've now wrapped up completely two position groups in this class and are probably looking to hold our remaining spots for definite, predictable names.
July 15: OL Jarell Broxton / 3* OL / Commit Post
Baylor offered the 6-6 Broxton in April, joining the likes of Wisconsin, Arizona State, and UCLA on his growing list. His recruitment simmered for a few months as he traveled around the country, focusing eventually on the Bears and the Badgers. On July 15, he made the call to Art Briles and joined our 2014 OL class, ending things right there.
I anticipate that Broxton will come in this coming January, participate in spring drills, and then compete for a starting job in the fall, perhaps in the spot vacated by All-American Cyril Richardson. He has tremendous size for the spot and a pedigree (as the #2 OG in the JUCO ranks) that is hard to match, and we'll get him for 2 years in green and gold. We were looking for an immediate contributor to alleviate some issues we've with younger guards, and I think we got one.
July 19: DE/DT Joshua Malin / 3* DL / Commit Post
The ink wasn't even dry (actually, it didn't exist, but stay with me) on Malin's commitment to the Bears before people started wondering if the athletic freak might eventually grow out of the DE position and move inside. When asked, he confirmed those suspicions, telling Baylor's Rival's site that he has been recruited to play defensive tackle when he arrives in Waco.
Malin is a prototypical project in that he probably won't come in with expectations like those of Andrew Billings but might actually possess similar potential somewhere down the road. That promise is why schools like Oklahoma offered him early, while the rankings probably focus on the "unmet" portion of his "vast, unmet potential."
Like Broxton with the OL, Malin's commit, added to those we already had from Andrew Morris and Ira Lewis, probably brought us full at defensive tackle. I say probably because the recruiting game ridiculous, but it would take someone decommitting or something crazy happening (like a player we didn't expect to commit to decide he really likes us) for that to change. I don't expect either.
Where Do We Go From Here?
With 21 commits already, we have officially entered the portion of recruiting where numbers become extremely important. We've got some wiggle room, as I've said repeatedly, with guys like Davion Hall, Terence Williams, Jordan Feuerbacher, Cordell Dorsey, and now Jarell Broxton coming in for January. That means they will be counted back to 2013, officially, but scholarships are a finite resource, regardless.
People close to the program, when asked directly about it, have intimated that Baylor is probably saving 3-4 scholarships at this point for specific players. I think we can probably guess who those players are fairly accurately. But those 3-4 players aren't the only names to know at this point.
LB Christian Sam: Sam will reportedly announce tomorrow from a list that includes Baylor, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, and Arizona State. Baylor very nearly had the high-3* LB a few weeks ago, but the timing of his latest visit this past weekend to ASU has some thinking he might be headed that way. We'll find out together tomorrow. If he doesn't choose Baylor, I'm not sure we look for another LB, instead using that spot to target another potential DB.
The latest Crystal Ball predictions are for Baylor, for whatever that's worth.
Could Happen Tomorrow or in October, Who Knows:
S John Bonney: Haven't heard much lately about Bonney except for the reports saying that previous reports about Baylor possibly leading were erroneous. Those reports came from one of ESPN's Hornmongers, and they have a vested interest in making Texas look good and everybody else look bad. We are supposedly still in a good position with him.
CB John Plattenburg: The good news is that he didn't commit as rumored to Washington and will be playing high school ball in Texas this season. The bad news is that he's probably slated for the west coast, still. Baylor is still in it, I think, but we might have some ground to make up. The longer his recruitment goes, the better off we might be.
CB Nick Watkins: Watkins recently cut his prodigious offer list a bit, and Baylor somewhat unexpectedly made that cut, giving hope back to Bears fans who probably moved on from him completely.
May Happen, Not Soon:
WR K.D. Cannon: Definitely has a spot should he want it, almost definitely going to take a bit to make a call.
QB Randall Cunningham II: I feel like if I write about RC2 again, I'll get a knock on my door with a restraining order. You know who he is. Let's move on.
Those are the names you should probably know right now. As I said, we're probably done at OL, DT, and DE unless something crazy happens. I've had RB Corey Avery on these lists before, but I didn't include him now because I just haven't seen anything lately linking him our way. He's almost completely shut things down.
I recently told you guys about QB Alin Edouard from Florida, but there's nothing new to report since (it's only been a day). Someone on Crystal Ball predicted that he switches to Baylor.
One thing to keep an eye on is a greyshirt offer that recently went out to OL Stefan Beard. BearsTruth had the offer first, along with a few recent updates with the relatively unknown 2014 OL. Apparently, he came to Texas from somewhere else recently and has potential eligibility issues, but he impressed our coaches enough at our camps to give him the chance to go on scholarship in the spring. Texas Tech and Texas are also reportedly very interested.
Tonight is the last night of the last month before FOOTBALL! I'm excited.