This is some absolutely massive news. For those that follow Baylor recruiting, the past week has been thrilling. Baylor fans were tantalized this weekend evening with the news that 5* 2015 QB Jarrett Stidham decommitted from Texas Tech, opening things back up after nearly 9 months as the linchpin of the Red Raider class. Almost immediately, rumors started to swirl that it would be a Baylor/Oregon battle for the dynamic signal-caller, but nobody really knew how long the process may play out. This morning we had our answer: Jarrett Stidham will be a Bear.
As nearly as we can tell, the dominoes started falling nearly two weeks ago when Stidham took a secret official visit to Baylor for the weekend of the Kansas State game. Upon information and belief, that visit to Baylor preceded an in-home visit with Baylor's coaches last week, setting the stage for Stidham's announcement on Saturday evening via Twitter that he decided to decommit from Tech and to take his recruitment in a different direction. Then news broke Sunday afternoon on several subscriber boards that Stidham was on campus, meeting with the coaching staff in advance of the recruiting dead period that is about to begin. Those meetings evidently went well, as Stidham made his commitment public this morning on the radio in Stephenville and we got the iconic and intentionally cryptic Art Briles tweet that has come to signify something of a confirmation of the commitment. I can only imagine his own excitement upon hitting send (or telling someone else to, in case he didn't do it himself):
This one isn't TGCAB, but it's his son, so there's this for now:
Here's more about the dynamic talent from Stephenville who will enroll this January in the footsteps of previous Baylor QBs like Robert Griffin III, Bryce Petty, Chris Johnson and 2015 classmate Chad President:
Name: Jarrett Stidham
Position: QB (dual threat)
School: Stephenville HS (Stephenville, TX)
Height/Weight: 6' 3.5"/190 lbs.
Rankings: 98.76 (5*), 247 Sports 98 (5*)
Profiles: 247 Sports, Scout, Rivals, ESPN
Offers: Basically everyone, but notably Baylor, Oregon, Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, Texas, Oklahoma
Videos: HUDL, YouTube 2014
At this point, even with recent recruits like Javonte Magee, Robbie Rhodes, K.D. Cannon, and Andrew Billings, Stidham is officially the highest-ranked recruit to commit to Baylor in the Art Briles era. That's not the highest-ranked QB, a title he also holds, but the highest-ranked recruit period. 247Sports' Composite ranking, available at the link above, ranks him 26th in the entirety of the 2015 class nationwide, while their own ranking system has him as high as 15th. He participated in the prestigious Elite 11 camp in Oregon in July, earning widespread praise and showing the kind of skills that make college coaches drool. From the February Scouting Report linked above:
Where Stidham really shines is with his arm strength, which allows him to fit throws into small windows. And for a prospect who didn't get to play quarterback as a sophomore, he appears remarkably polished in terms of his mechanics, from his solid footwork to his clean, crisp throwing motion. His good footwork and ideal sequencing with his front foot step allows him to maximize his arm strength to put significant velocity on his passes.
Combine the above with above-average athleticism if not breakaway speed (according to the report), and you get precisely the kind of starter kit Briles looks for in his QBs. And now he'll be in Waco in less than a month to start his Baylor career early in the chance of giving Art Briles the good kind of QB controversy.
With Stidham now in the fold, Baylor's 2015 class gains its second QB alongside Temple's Chad President, who will play for the state championship this weekend against Aledo in Jerryworld and has reaffirmed his commitment repeatedly amid swirling rumors about Stidham, and 14th commitment overall. Based on current point rankings, this commit should jump us from 38th to 32nd in the team rankings all by itself, a relatively strong position in a small class, and give us the second 5* commit in the Big 12 at this point. I anticipate that we will probably take 2-3 more at the very most in this class, with all of those spots probably going to the defensive side at linebacker and corner.
Rather than bombard Jarrett with congratulations on Twitter or elsewhere (since I believe even such innocuous statements as those would be considered secondary violations by the NCAA), please feel free to express your excitement about his commitment here in the comments. My guess is that he will probably see them eventually. Hopefully others more skilled in the ways of QB evaluation might join us and give their thoughts on his skills. Let me say this, though, to any potential guests: I've followed this saga pretty closely on other boards, including those of other teams/programs, and will not tolerate some of the things I've seen there. This is a 17/18-year-old kid making the toughest decision of his young life, and he does not deserve your derision or abuse.
That being said, welcome to the Baylor Family, Jarrett!