Those that follow recruiting closely for any length of time come to realize that when you're dealing with teenagers, surprises are, somewhat paradoxically, commonplace. Sometimes those surprises are bad, and someone you thought solid in his commitment suddenly decides to rethink things a bit or a player you thought "in the bag" make the call for someone else. Other times, they're extremely good, and a recruit in which any hope seemed misplaced commits to the "good guys", causing the townspeople to rejoice. This morning's news about the commitment of 2016 Port Arthur RB Kameron Martin, one of the best in the country in his entire class, is of the latter type. Though Baylor has been on him for over a year now -- he was one of the first, if not the first, 2016 recruits we offered -- keeping him from leaving Texas as a Seminole, Volunteer, or whatever else seemed extremely unlikely, if not entirely impossible. I didn't even put him on my early drafts of the 2016 Wish Lists for that reason, and this is one of those times where I am ecstatic to have been wrong. Kam's tweet this morning:
Just committed to Baylor #RBU— Kameron Martin (@TeamKamMartin) July 15, 2014
And, of course, Briles':
July 15, 2014
I was out of pocket when this commit came down, and since SEC Media Days are ongoing, it seems like it hasn't gotten quite the attention it deserves. Make no mistake, however; this is a really big deal. Baylor just pulled its third commit, and third 4* recruit, for the 2016 class. He chose the Bears over offers from the aforementioned FSU and Tennessee, as well as schools like Florida, Ole Miss, Clemson, Arkansas, and well over a dozen others. There will probably be a dozen more, at least, before long.
Name: Kameron Martin
School: Memorial HS (Port Arthur, TX)
Rankings: Composite: 94.6 (4*, #130 overall, #1 APB), 247: 91 (4*, #210 overall, #2 APB)
Profiles: 247Sports, Rivals, Scout, ESPN
Video: HUDL, Youtube
Check the videos above from HUDL and Youtube and tell me what you think. Port Arthur used a two-headed attack this year with Martin, a sophomore this season, and fellow Baylor recruit (and current Tech commit) Corey Dauphine, who was a junior. Martin, whose primary asset, as you could have probably guessed, is speed, was the lightning for the Titans, while Dauphine, who is a little bigger, was the thunder. It is a testament to both players that they shared duties, since either would probably be the #1 RB at almost any other school in the state.
Martin's commitment gives Baylor 3 commits now in the 2015 class with QB Zach Smith and CB KeShawn Somerville already in the fold. This is by far the earliest we've ever had that many for a class 18 months from their signing day. With Baylor's final summer camp of 2014 coming up in just three days, I'd expect things to continue moving in a positive direction on that front, especially now that you can sell having bedrock QB and RB recruits in Smith and Martin.
Aside from the fact that he's just a really good player on his own, Martin's commitment could be a boon to Baylor for another reason: he's close friends with the aforementioned Dauphine, who will reportedly decide soon whether to remain committed to Texas Tech or flip to either Baylor or Texas A&M. I'd speculate that this commitment only helps Baylor in that regard, since the two are close friends and complementary players.
I want to reiterate how big this commit is-- Baylor just pulled a 2016 player in the summer of 2014 over the national champions. He's coming from an extremely fruitful recruiting area in the Golden Triangle, and we will be able to recruit around him for the rest of the cycle. It will be a battle to keep his commitment, I'd wager, but that is to be expected when you're talking about elite players with tons of options. And Martin is elite in every sense of the word.
He's also now a Bear.