Here we are at the end/beginning of another week that saw the Bears add multiple commitments to the 2019 class. This time last week, if you recall, we were celebrating the addition and/or re-commitment of two (guys that will probably be) linebackers. Now we’re talking about our first OL commit in this class, a speedster that will probably play cornerback, and an edge rusher, all of whom hail from west Texas (as in the region, not the city). Let’s take them in chronological order by commitment.
ATH Brandon White — 3* — 6-1, 170 — Amarillo, TX (Tascosa HS)
The first of our three commitments from this week was Brandon White, who chose the Bears over offers from Arkansas, Kansas, Syracuse, and Tulsa and interest from Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and others. White is classified as an athlete by the major recruiting services but will likely play corner for the Bears. He committed via video posted on Twitter:
White reportedly ran a 4.31 in the 40 at a recent summer camp (almost certainly hand-timed) and set a personal best in the 100 meters at 10.45 as a junior this year. His HUDL profile contains a lot of wide receiver film, but as I said above, he’s likely to play corner at Baylor.
LB/DE Matt Jones — 3* — 6-3, 227 — Odessa, TX (Permian HS)
Jones continues the trend of commitments listed at one position—in this case, ILB—that will likely play another when they don the green and gold. Jones, who chose Baylor over Illinois and Texas Tech among others, slots in at the same RUSH position in Baylor’s defense formerly occupied by Brian Nance and currently, by Xavier Jones. He committed Friday after/during an official visit to Waco:
Hopefully that doesn’t look as wonky in the post as it does in the editor.
Jones’s commitment is interesting to me because it gives the Bears 5 total front-seven commits in what should be a relatively small class. Even if you assume that one of Harrison White or TJ Franklin eventually slides inside to DE, that’s seems like a lot of resources devoted to the front seven at first glance. But then I realize that we only took two guys in 2018—Marje Smith and Joshua Landry—that will definitely be on the defensive line or linebacker. 2018 was a big offensive class where 2019 looks like a (relatively) big defensive class. Anyway, here’s Jones’s HUDL profile.
OT Landon Peterson — 3*, 86.14 — 6-6, 265 — Odessa, TX (Permian HS)
Peterson’s commitment, coming just minutes after that of his teammate Jones, rounds out the week at a huge position of need in this class. He’s the first OL commit for 2019 and, after we watched other targets commit to other places, one we absolutely needed to secure.
I think it’s just an editor issue with the Twitter HTML. I hope so, as least. We’ll find out together.
Of our three commits this week, Peterson is arguably the most decorated in terms of rankings and offers—he chose the Bears over Colorado, Illinois (they seem to be very active in Texas this cycle), SMU, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Virginia, and Washington State. He’s a prototypical tackle based on what this staff has recruited before. His HUDL profile is available here.
Three more commits this week brings the Bears to 12 total for the 2019 class, or very near our limit based on everything we’ve heard to date. So as to avoid confusion with the two DEs, one of whom is likely to spin down to DT at some point, I’ve created another classification for Jones as a RUSH.
OFFENSE: QB (1/?), RB (1/2), WR (1/2), TE (0/1), OL (1/2)
DEFENSE: DT (0/1), DE (2/2), RUSH (1/1), LB (2/2), CB (1/?), S (2/2)
If we assume that we will take 15 commitments (which may be too many), that leaves three spots as of June 24 for a class that will sign in about seven months.
I’d bet that one of those spots is earmarked for the defensive line, even if we have three already. Could Trace Ford take that one after naming the Bears in his Top 8? Another is likely destined to be an offensive lineman, and there’s a rumor going around the subscription boards that we already have a yet-unnamed, unreleased recruit that will take this spot if he hasn’t already. So that leaves one, possibly two. I think we can be confident that it won’t be a TE because we took three last year. WR is a possibility since we only have one committed, as is RB. I doubt we’d take another QB with other needs on the board, but I’ve been wrong before. We’ll just have to see.