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Baylor Football Recruiting: 2016 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 2016 class.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, this will be the FIFTH recruiting class that ODB has tracked to completion since the blog came into being in 2011.  By this time tomorrow, at least 22 new recruits are expected to be part of Baylor's football program (including the 4 that have already signed and enrolled, just for simplicity), as a result of what is clearly the best class in Art Briles' 9-year tenure in Waco and probably the best in about a generation.

National Signing Day Drama

In addition to the 22 we already have and/or are trying to keep, there's three other names you need to know of recruits that are announcing at various points tomorrow.  Of those three, the biggest fish (in terms of rankings) is Nacogdoches S Brandon Jones, who will make his choice known tomorrow morning at 8:30 on ESPNU.  He's down to Baylor, UT, and A&M.  The biggest in terms of actual size is JUCO OT Malcolm Pridgeon, who will decide at some point tomorrow between Baylor and Ohio State.  Finally, we have #1-ranked K Quinn Nordin, who will reportedly pick between Baylor, USC, and Michigan.  I don't know when he's announcing.

If Baylor gets none of those three guys, we're probably looking at a finish around #15 in the country.  If we get all of them, you're probably in the top 10.

One other thing worth noting is that OT Patrick Hudson is technically supposed to announce sometime tomorrow between Baylor and UT, but I don't think Baylor folks are all that worried at this time.  We'll keep on top of it.

Baylor's 2016 Recruiting Class

Turning now to the 22 recruits already committed, those of you familiar with how I do things every year will recall that I keep a Google Spreadsheet of our recruiting results that is available for view here.  It has links to each recruit's HUDL and 247Sports' profiles, vital information (height/weight), and recruiting rankings, since that's what everyone seems to care about.  One note: the positions listed are taken directly from the recruit's profiles.  I'm not projecting anyone for anywhere else in the charts (though I will get to a little bit of that below).

Before I post the charts, I wanted to point out the elevated success Baylor has had since I started tracking things here in getting 4/5-star recruits (according to either 247Sports' own rankings or their Composite ranking):

2012: 4
2013: 5
2014: 5
2015: 4
2016: 12
2017: 5*

*It's February 2, 2016.  They sign in a year.

This isn't exactly scientific, since a couple of guys (Brian Nance and Maurice Porter) signed in two different years, but it's close.  Shown a different way, this is our Composite ranking for each of those same classes:

2012: 84.21
2013: 83.75
2014: 85.10
2015: 85.12
2016: 88.32
2017: 92.79

Now to the 'cruits!

Offense



Composite



247Sports





Name Position Class Size (HT/WT) HUDL ***** Grade Nat. Rk St. Rk. Pos. Rk ***** Profile Grade Nat. Rk. St. Rk. Pos. Rk. Offers
Zach Smith QB FR 6-3.5, 223 X *** 88.09 391 58 15 *** X 88 458 63 15 UT, SMU, Kansas
Kameron Martin RB FR 5-10, 178 X **** 90.4 266 39 7 *** X 87 551 79 9 UT, UGA, Auburn, Ole Miss, Clemson, OSU
Devin Duvernay WR FR 5-11, 195 X **** 97.96 36 4 4 **** X 95 72 7 9 Bama, tOSU, Clemson, LSU, ND, OU, UT,TCU, TAMU
Tren'Davian Dickson WR FR 5-11, 163 X **** 94.89 104 16 14 **** X 93 158 27 29 OU, Bama, TAMU, UT, TCU, Mich, USC
Jared Atkinson WR FR 6-3, 199 X *** 87.81 419 66 68 **** X 94 149 23 26 TT, ISU, SMU
Denzel Mims WR FR 6-4, 180 X *** 85.8 659 91 54 *** X 90 331 46 57 TT, Tulsa
Patrick Hudson OT FR 6-5.5, 325 X **** 97.35 50 7 2 **** X 95 82 11 4 UT, UGA, TAMU, Arky, LSU, OU
JP Urquidez OT FR 6-5.5, 300 X **** 90.89 242 37 21 *** X 87 549 78 48 UT, OU, LSU, Ole Miss, Clemson, FSU, UGA
Branton Autry OG JR 6-5, 320 X *** 88.02 30 8 1 **** X 90 19 3 1 OU, UF, Arky, Mizzou, Ole Miss, USCe, ASU

This is a solid class top-to-bottom.  We're extremely strong in the trenches with 2 4* OTs, including one of the best in the country in Patrick Hudson.  We have a new Four Horsemen at WR led by Duvernay and Dickson, and with Atkinson and Mims flying somewhat under the radar.  Kameron Martin is the RB Baylor wanted in this class more than any other, and we got him. And to lead things off, Baylor offered and snagged Zach Smith, an early-enrollee that is already working in the system.  The only thing I wish we had here was a TE, since it appears that Kaden Smith will get in to Stanford (but that's something to watch!).

Defense



Composite



247Sports





Name Position Class Size (HT/WT) HUDL ***** Grade Nat. Rk St. Rk. Pos. Rk ***** Profile Grade Nat. Rk. St. Rk. Pos. Rk. Offers
Bravvion Roy DT FR 6-2, 315 X **** 89.13 327 51 34 *** X 87 614 87 44 LSU, Mizzou, OSU, SMU, TT
DeQuinton Osborne DT JR 6-0, 310 X *** 80.19 251 22 28 *** X 85 107 8 13 IU, Memphis, UAB
Jeremy Faulk DT JR 6-3, 285 X *** 87.98 31 9 4 *** X 87 53 11 6
Micheal Johnson DE FR 6-1.5, 245 X *** 84.42 977 21 49 *** X 86 717 99 33 UW, UH, BSU, TT, Vandy
Brandon Bowen DE FR 6-5, 227 X **** 93.11 146 37 21 **** X 92 254 37 19 OU, UO, UM, UT, TCU,
Deonte Williams LB FR 6-1, 218 X *** 86.56 546 89 42 *** X 87 629 91 45 OU, TCU UW, Iowa, Cal, Mizzou
Grayland Arnold CB FR 5-10, 180 X *** 87.04 488 73 46 **** X 93 183 29 19 TCU, UT, MSU, OSU
Donovan Duvernay CB FR 5-9, 177 X *** 84.79 884 113 62 *** X 85 1019 141 78 TCU, UM, KU, SMU
Raleigh Texada CB FR 5-10, 165 X *** 84.57 947 119 88 *** X 85 962 136 89 Duke, Cal, UW
Rajah Preciado CB FR 5-9, 177 X *** 82.25
172 146 *** X 84 1201 153 106 SMU, Tulsa, Army
Parrish Cobb CB FR 5-11, 178 X **** 89.6 304 47 34 *** X 88 514 70 48 OU, UT, TCU, TAMU, Arky, ND
Chris Miller S FR 5-11.5, 180 X *** 86.14 599 89 42 **** X 91 264 38 13 OU, TCU, Ole Miss, TT
Kenan Ivy S FR 5-9, 180 X *** 86.07 609 91 54 *** X 86 794 113 72 Mizzou, Colo, Tulsa, Wisky

With Andrew Billings leaving early for the NFL, Baylor did about as well as possible trying to replace him with potential impact JUCOs in Osborne and Faulk.  My only wish is that we'd managed to get another HS DT in a very strong year for that position in Texas.  I think we'll look back there and wish we'd gotten another to pair with Roy somewhere along the line.

In the secondary, Baylor loaded up with 7 recruits (possibly 8) identified by the services as either corners or safeties.  Before you freak out about that, though, my prediction is that at least 3 of those guys never play in the secondary: Miller (NB), Donovan Duvernay (IR), and maybe Texada.  The real strength of the class here is in Arnold and Cobb, both of whom I would expect to see playing time immediately next season. They're that good.

Additional Random Thoughts:

  • Favorite Under-the-Radar Guy: Jared Atkinson.
  • Biggest Non-JUCO Immediate Impact: Devin Duvernay
  • Highest Drafted Class Member: Patrick Hudson
  • Best Recruiter (Among the Recruits): Kameron Martin
  • Biggest Mystery: Rajah Preciado
  • I Wish We Had Another: HS DT.

In the coming days, we'll debrief more about this class after everybody signs on the dotted line, so be thinking about your questions and what you might want to know.  Also, make sure to say an extra prayer for our undecided guys that they'll find their way to Baylor!

See you in the morning!  Our Open Thread here will kick off at 7 AM.