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Baylor Football Recruiting 2015: National Signing Day Primer

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National Signing Day, a holiday of sorts for CFB fans nationwide, is nearly upon us. Let's take a look at Baylor's 2015 class.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

With just a few hours remaining before the 2015 class signs on the dotted line, Baylor's appears to be closed.  Absent some unexpected event in the closing hours, ours should be a pretty tame National Signing Day for better or worse.  By this time tomorrow, 17 new Bears will join their brethren that enrolled early and are already here.

Before I post the charts for offense and defense, I should counsel you (as I did a year ago) against reading too much into recruiting rankings. There are simply too many variables, including when a recruit commits and to whom, where they were ranked initially (what I call "ranking inertia" exists, sadly), where they play, and who has offered, to say that any ranking is the be-all, end-all of what a recruit actually "is." That being said, these rankings are almost certainly the best info we have available as non-scout laymen/women, so we'll use them as we can.

Once again, I've added this year's recruiting class to the Google Spreadsheet I've been building since 2012 (viewable here).  It has links to each recruit's 247 Sports and HUDL profiles, as well as their rankings.  This year, Baylor has 4 commits that earned a 4* ranking by 247 or their Composite score, as well as 1 5* by both.  We also have two more ranked 89, which puts them right on the cusp of 4* status.

Baylor's 2015 Recruiting Class

Offense Composite 247Sports
Name Position Class Size (HT/WT) HUDL Committed ***** Grade Nat. Rk St. Rk. Pos. Rk ***** Profile Grade Nat. Rk. St. Rk. Pos. Rk. Offers
Jarrett Stidham QB FR 6-4, 195 X 12/19/2014 ***** 98.23 38 7 2 ***** X 98 13 2 1 Everyone
J'Mycal Hasty RB FR 5-9, 185 X 3/29/2014 **** 90.68 236 34 7 **** X 93 204 28 6 UT, ORE, TCU, MSU
Blake Lynch WR FR 6-3, 191 X 10/20/2013 **** 91.99 186 27 23 **** X 96 86 15 8 Clem, MSU, Neb, TCU
Devontre Stricklin WR FR 6-3, 180 X 1/24/2014 *** 87.82 407 55 50 **** X 92 230 30 25 TCU, TT
Sam Tecklenburg OL/TE FR 6-3.5, 257 X 4/16/2014 *** 84.32 127 113 *** X 85 123 107 SMU, TT, Wake
Riley Daniel OT FR 6-6, 310 X 1/25/2015 *** 83.32 13 79 *** X 81 16 95 TT, OSU, KSU, UF
Maurice Porter OT JR 6-5, 295 X 2/28/2014 *** 87.41 33 3 7 **** X 92 15 1 3 All Baylor
Dominic Desouza OT JR 6-7, 300 X 11/17/2014 *** 83.87 106 33 17 *** X 80 169 47 23 ASU, MSU, KU

QB -- It took quite a bit longer than we probably anticipated, but Baylor finally got the QB it wanted the entire time in December when Jarrett Stidham flipped from Texas Tech to the Bears.  He's the #1 QB in the country per 247Sports and followed in the footsteps of Chris Johnson, Bryce Petty, and Robert Griffin III by enrolling early.  Baylor had another potential QB in this class in Temple's Chad President, but he eventually followed Coach Montgomery to Tulsa, where he also enrolled early.

RB -- Baylor received the commitment of Longview's J'Mycal Hasty in March, and he stayed with the Bears throughout, ending the cycle as the only RB in the class.  We flirted with a few others like Corey Dauphine and Ronald Jones II, but Baylor ended up sticking with just the one in a position where all three of our major contributors this year were underclassmen.

WR -- After taking 4 WRs in the 2014 class, Baylor kept things pretty tight at WR this cycle.  Gilmer star Blake Lynch committed way back in 2013 before Waco's own Devontre Stricklin joined him at our first Junior Day.  There were rumors that we might take another if Damarkus Lodge jumped aboard, but he's now reportedly down to Ole Miss and UT with a NSD decision on the way.

OL/TE -- I'm lumping these two positions together just as our coaches seem to do.  After landing two JUCO tackles in former commit Maurice Porter and Dominic Desouza from California, Baylor chased a HS OT for months before finally grabbing Riley Daniel from Oklahoma.  Along the way, we also picked up Sam Tecklenburg, who might well be a center, a tight end, or a tackle down the line.  Former commit Devonte Jones also reportedly greyshirted this year, but I don't have him on the chart above because he doesn't have updated recruiting profiles.

Defense Composite 247Sports
Name Position Class Size (HT/WT) HUDL Committed ***** Grade Nat. Rk St. Rk. Pos. Rk ***** Profile Grade Nat. Rk. St. Rk. Pos. Rk. Offers
Tyrone Hunt DE FR 6-5, 245 X 2/1/2015 ** 77.19 374 124 ** X 76 344 111 Baylor
Lenoy Jones, Jr. MLB FR 6-0, 210 X 1/15/2015 *** 81.39 206 67 ** X 78 271 78 UH, UNT
OLB FR 6-1, 220 X 1/16/2015 ** 79.33 285 185 *** X 82 185 116 KU, SMU
Clay Johnston OLB/NB FR 6-2, 209 X 6/3/2014 *** 83.78 141 75 *** X 80 209 128 TT, Duke, SMU
Eric Ogor NB FR 6-0, 212 X 1/16/2015 *** 81.83 193 111 *** X 87 98 49 Late Qualifier
Jordan Tolbert CB FR 5-11.5, 165 X 5/9/2014 *** 85.79 694 89 67 *** X 89 61 40 UT, TCU, OU, Wisky
Tony Nicholson CB FR 5-10, 171 X 9/21/2014 *** 85.29 810 106 61 *** X 87 79 51 UNC, ASU, KSU, Ole Miss
Henry Black CB FR 6-1, 184 X 1/30/2015 *** 84.72 943 48 86 *** X 85 57 95 TT, UH, Southern Miss
Jameson Houston S FR 6-1, 190 X 7/30/2014 *** 82.49 174 117 ** X 78 267 167 OU, KSU, OSU
J.W. Ketchum S FR 6-0, 201 X 10/26/2014 *** 87.77 412 56 30 (ATH) *** X 89 54 29 (ATH) Bama, UGA, LSU, OU, UT
Drew Galitz K/P FR 5-11, 180 X 8/26/2014 *** 79.72 2076 273 8 ** X 72 437 11 Miami, A&M

DT -- Baylor didn't take one this class (at least not as of yet), and I don't entirely know why.  This will be a position we hit hard in 2016.  I guarantee you that.

DE -- For a long time, it looked like we might not take any ends, either, then things picked up with Tech commit Lonzell Gilmore and Arp's Tyrone Hunt.  Hunt took Baylor's offer when it came and locked things in this past weekend, giving Baylor our first (and only) commit on the defensive line this cycle.

LB/NB -- For a long time following Breckyn Hager's flip to Texas, Baylor had just one LB commit for this class in Abilene's Clay Johnston.  Then we gained 3 in two days in January to end with 4, more than we ever expected.  Of the four, I'm most excited about Ogor, a reported late qualifier who should slot at NB as a pass-rushing beast off the edge.

CB -- Take a look again at the commits listed above and it should take some of the edge off Baylor missing on our biggest targets late in the game.  Tolbert is particularly intriguing considering his offer list and injury history, two things that have a lot to do with each other.  I'm also quite high on our latest commit, Shreveport's Henry Black, given his size and speed.

S -- Another spot where we wondered all along how things would shake out only to hear that our biggest wildcard of the 2015 class, J.W. Ketchum, will play in the secondary.  He's a dynamic athlete who had a lot of options, both in terms of position and school, and he's probably my favorite recruit of the class outside of the obvious.  I was surprised and excited when Baylor pulled him in the first place, and that hasn't diminished with time.  Our other safety candidate, Houston, is one of the more controversial recruits in the class considering his private school background, but the late interest from schools like OU and Kansas State should indicate the kind of player he can be.

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We knew going into this recruiting cycle that the 2015 class would be small, and even though we ended up taking 3-4 more than projected until late, that made a major impact in who we offered and at what positions.  There are so many questions I'd love to ask-- why we didn't take any DTs, when we decided to load up at LB and what that means, etc.-- that we'll probably never know, but what I do know is that at this time tomorrow, we'll be celebrating another step in the right direction for Baylor Football with our best QB recruit ever, help in the secondary, and impact talents throughout.