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January Baylor Football Recruiting Update -- Linebackers Galore!

Things are heating up in recruiting with 3 new LB commits in the last week, a huge recruiting weekend coming up, and the first Junior Day of the 2016 cycle on the horizon.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

There's a lot to talk about in recruiting these days as the 2015 cycle draws to a close.  My plan here is to cover everything that has gone on recently and might yet go on in the future as a supplement to the monthly recruiting thread still being updated on the front page.  First, let's try to answer a few general questions sure to pop up.

General Questions:

  1. Yes, former Baylor DE commit Louis Brown decommitted from Texas this weekend on his official visit.  Everybody has a different version of events, and it's not important for our purposes what happened to make him decide he belonged elsewhere.  What is important is that it doesn't sound like Baylor will be an option for him now that he's back on the market.  Look for someone out-of-state but close, like either of the Oklahoma Big 12 schools.
  2. I'll go into more detail below, but I believe we are looking to take 2 more at this point.  That puts us at 18 commits in this class and well over scholarship limits assuming everyone gets in.  Attrition is inevitable, but you could see some names you've followed for a while depart for greener pastures (i.e. more playing time). 
  3. I'll talk more about this below, as well, but I'm going to guess we go to the defensive secondary for both of our remaining spots unless someone amazing somewhere else commits (like Lodge or Jamabo).

Our 2015 Recruiting Class:

OFFENSE: QB (1/1), RB (1/1), WR (2/3), TE (1/1), OL (2/3)

QB: Jarrett Stidham (HUDL) -- On campus, enrolled.
RBJaMycal Hasty (HUDL)
WR: Blake Lynch (HUDL) -- On campus, enrolled.
Devontre Stricklin (HUDL)
C/TE: Sam Tecklenburg (HUDL)
OT: Dominic Desouza (JUCO) (HUDL)-- On campus, enrolled.
OT: Maurice Porter (JUCO) (HUDL)

DEFENSE: DT (0/0), DE (0/0), LB (3/3), NB (1/1), CB (2/3), S (1/2)

MLB: Lenoy Jones, Jr. (HUDL)
Jordan Williams (HUDL)
Eric Ogor (HUDL)
Clay Johnston (HUDL-- private at this moment)
Jordan Tolbert (HUDL)
CB: Tony Nicholson (HUDL)
S: Jameson Houston (HUDL)

ATH/S: J.W. Ketchum III (HUDL)

K/P: Drew Galitz (HUDL)

I've added links to the HUDL film for all of our commits since there are a couple we haven't talked about much lately.  Consider it a refresher of sorts for guys like Stricklin or Houston that have been committed for months.

Things to Watch (Current Commits):

  • Yes, Ketchum said on Twitter that he's playing DB.  I still have him listed as an athlete because I don't know exactly what to make of it.  IF he plays DB (as he says, and I have no reason to doubt him), he's a safety all the way.
  • Houston took an official visit to Kansas State this weekend.  They and Oklahoma have both offered recently and could be threats to flip him.
  • A&M is reportedly trying to get Hasty to visit.  I don't know if that's going to happen.  Hasty, as you might recall, missed most of this season to injury but has been one of Baylor's most vocal recruiters on Twitter. 
  • Unlike most JUCOs, Porter apparently did not make it in at semester and needs another course.  That means he will not take part in spring drills this year, an absence that could limit his ability to contribute immediately.  As far as I know, he is still expected this summer.

Recent Commits:

Baylor offered three linebackers this week and pulled commitments from all three. Positions listed are my projections for where they'll play and are little more than educated guesses at this point.  If you disagree, awesome!

Name: Lenoy Jones, Jr.
Position: MLB
School: Midway HS (Waco, TX)
Height/Weight: 6' 0", 215 pounds
Rankings: Composite: 81.3 (3*); 247Sports: 78 (2*)
Profiles: 247Sports, Scout, Rivals, ESPN
Offers: Houston (previous commitment), UNT

There is considerable difference of opinion about how tall Jones actually is.  247Sports and Rivals say 5'11", HUDL and ESPN say 6'1", and Scout says 6'0".  I'm going to go with 6'0" as the median.

Name: Jordan Williams
Position: OLB
School: Paris HS (Paris, TX)
Height/Weight: 6'1, 220 pounds
Rankings: Composite: 82 (3*); 247Sports: 82 (3*)
Profiles: 247Sports, Scout, Rivals, ESPN
Offers: Kansas, UNT (previous commitment), SMU

Should be noted that none of ESPN, Scout, or Rivals has ranked Williams yet, so his Composite is based off just the 247Sports score.

Name: Eric Ogor
Position: NB
School: Foster HS (Richmond, TX)
Height/Weight: 6'0"/210 lbs.
Rankings: 81.83 (3*), 247Sports 87 (3*)
Profiles: 2247Sports, Scout, Rivals, ESPN
Offers: Mostly FCS.  Was committed to McNeese State.

Don't let Ogor's sparse offer list scare you; he's the prototypical late qualifier that most FBS schools passed over thinking he'd never make it.  Baylor stuck with him to our benefit and now get a kid that more than a few people think would be a 4* if he had his grades earlier.  He has recruit rankings from 247Sports and Scout.

Baylor offered 3 LBs this week and picked up 3 commitments to close out that position group in this class.  Of the three, I like Ogor the most by far.  His stats this season (134 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, 9 forced fumbles) are just incredible, and I think we picked up a major steal there.  In Jones, we're going back to the same well that brought us guys like Blackshear and Orion Stewart for another lightly-recruited local player.  His senior film is significantly better than that of his junior year.  Really, the only one of the three that caught me completely off-guard was Williams.  Since we already had Johnston, I didn't know that we'd need another OLB.

Remaining Spots:

When I wrote my post about a month ago detailing where this class might go position-wise (linked here at right, as well), I did so with the assumption in mind that we'd take a maximum of 16-17 commits in this class.  We have 16 in the fold now and are still apparently looking for a couple more, so that assumption was obviously wrong.  Honestly, the rest of that post about needs still likely applies since we haven't taken any more DBs and still need them.

Remaining Targets:

In three categories based on likeliness to commit:

Most Likely: CB Henry Black; CB/S Treston Decoud*
Less Likely (but still possible): CB Holton Hill; CB Kris Boyd
Longshots (and very unlikely): WR Damarkus Lodge; RB Soso Jamabo

Unknown: OT Riley Daniel; DE Lonzell Gilmore

As of this writing, Baylor is bringing in 5 uncommitted recruits over the next two weekends for official visits (in addition to nearly all of our committed recruits who aren't already on campus): Hill (tweeted about it this afternoon), Black, Daniel, and Gilmore on the 23rd and Decoud (who has an asterisk next to his name because he doesn't yet have an offer) on the 30th. It's also possible that they're bringing in someone we don't know about yet or someone who isn't scheduled decides to visit.

If I was listing guys by priority rather than likeliness to commit, Hill and Boyd would be on top as 4* elite HS talents.  The good news there is that Hill appears to be a UT/Baylor battle, but the bad news is that Boyd appears to be UT/A&M.  If we lost out on both there, we could offer Decoud (a 2-for-2 JUCO) on his OV.

I have no idea what to think of Daniel, who we offered in November and visited Texas Tech this weekend, or Gilmore, who is committed to Texas Tech and we offered this past week.

Our 2016 Recruiting Class:

OFFENSE: QB (1/?), RB (1/?), WR (1/?), OL (1/?)

QB: Zach Smith (HUDL)
RBKameron Martin (HUDL)
WR: Tren'Davian Dickson (HUDL)
Patrick Hudson (HUDL)


CB: Grayland Arnold (HUDL)

Baylor's first Junior Day is coming up at the end of this month/beginning of February, and it is an invite-only affair that should be extremely well-attended.  Rather than try to list the confirmed attendees here, I'll throw that stuff in the January thread as we go along.

For now, keep an eye on our 2016 offer list.