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Baylor Football Recruiting Notes: December 2020 (Created 12/15)

National Signing Day for Winter 2020 is tomorrow, December 16. Stuff is happening.

Texas Tech v Baylor Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

So once again I started the recruiting threads back up and then abandoned them almost immediately because I am a terrible BlogFather. Let’s try this again, but before I do that, I want to note that Travis has indicated he’s going to do his customary recruiting evaluations again this year, which is fantastic.

To say that this recruiting season has been strange is the understatement of the century. There has been no off-campus, in-person recruiting since the pandemic began and no official visits of any kind, so it’s all Zoom/videoconference, phone calls, texts, and slipping into those DMs (except where athletes paid their own way to attend games). That clearly favors established names at established programs, even if those names aren’t so good. For Baylor, specifically, it means our staff, helmed by a first-time head coach, has been at a serious disadvantage. At the same time, not all high schools in not all states even played seasons this year, and as far as I know, virtually no JUCOs did. That’s an evaluation problem as well as a contact problem. If this were a normal recruiting year, I would have expected Baylor would have at least 2-3 JUCOs, particularly on the offensive and defensive lines. So far we have zero, although JUCO recruiting is likely to continue past where it would normally end.

All those issues existed independently of what happened this season, which did not help matters on the recruiting front (except maybe on defense, although we haven’t seen much movement on that side recently). Likely as a result of the season’s performance, we’ve seen some things happen recently that are not so good. Since the last post I made in September, Baylor has lost 4 commitments (WR Hal Presley, ATH Roderick Daniels, DT Byron Murphy II, and DE Sam Carrell), picked up 2 more (WRs Monaray Baldwin and Cameron Bonner), and now sits at #41 in the country in terms of class rankings, down from #31. We’re now #5 in the Big 12, down from #3. And (the first of two) National Signing Day(s) is tomorrow! Yay.

Let’s get right to it.

247Sports’ Crystal Ball:

Baylor’s 2021 Crystal Ball Prediction List — This link is set to the 2021 recruiting class, but if you use the drop-down on the page, you can get to 2022, as well.

Check back on these often; the predictions update every day.

2021 Recruiting Class — National Rank: 4; Big 12 Rank: 5; Commits: 17.

As I’ve noted before, I’m always going to try to use 247’s Composite rankings, but it’s not because of favoritism of their service or our site thereon. It’s actually the opposite—the Composite rankings seem to me to be the most unbiased because they draw from the most sources, and I like that.

OFFENSE: QB (1/2), RB (1/2), WR (4/4), TE (0/1), OL (3/?)

QB: Kyron Drones (Shadow Creek HS / TX)
RB: Jordan Jenkins (Lindale HS / TX)
WR: Monaray Baldwin (Shoemaker HS / TX)
WR: Cameron Bonner (St. Thomas HS / TX)
WR: Elijah Bean (Summer Creek HS / TX)
WR: Javon Gipson (George Ranch HS / TX)
OL: Tate Williams (Wall HS / TX)
OL: Connor Heffernan (Georgetown HS / TX)
OL: Ryan Lengyel (Jesuit HS / TX)

DEFENSE: DT (2/2), DE (2/2), LB (0/?), JACK (1/?), CB (1/?), S (2/2)

DT: Dakote Doyle (DeSmet HS / MO)
DE: Cooper Lanz (Denton-Guyer HS / TX)
LB: Jackie Marshall (East St. John HS / LA)
LB: Tyrone Brown (West Orange-Stark HS / TX)
JACK: Romario Noel (Cy Ranch HS / TX)
CB: Tevin Williams (Stillwater HS / OK)
S: Cisco Caston (Weatherford HS / TX)
S: Devin Lemear (Manor HS / TX)

I am open to all kinds of criticisms/comments/whatever on these defensive position allocations since the system we’re running is relatively new to the vast majority of us (but not some!). Just let me know what you think below.

2021 Recruiting Thoughts:

  • Keeping Drones in the class was absolutely critical, as was keeping Jenkins. Both of them are extremely important. Drones was the biggest piece, though.
  • We replaced the losses of Presley, who flipped to Auburn and may come back on the market again now that ol’ Gus (figuratively) caught a bullet on the Plains, and Daniels with Baldwin and Bonner. Of the two losses, I liked Daniels better, but their replacements are both very good prospects, as well. We are likely done at WR.
  • Drones, Bean, Gipson, Heffernan, Brown, and Lemear all intend to enroll early, per reports, meaning they’ll be here in January for offseason workouts in whatever form those take.
  • We’ve seen public reaffirmations/confirmations of signings tomorrow from, at a minimum, Drones, Jenkins, Bean, Heffernan, Brown, Caston, and Lemear, to date. There could be more I haven’t seen/found.
  • I’d like to have seen a TE in this class. Not sure if we didn’t pursue one or just didn’t land one (yet).
  • I’m surprised we haven’t seen more positive movement in defensive recruiting given that side of the ball was relatively strong this season, and that coaching staff is likely to remain relatively stable.
  • Recall that this is the early signing day, and fewer recruits will probably sign early this year than otherwise would have. There’s still a lot of time between now and the first week of February.

2022 Recruiting Class — National Rank: 32; Big 12 Rank: 5; Commits: 1.

We lost one of our two 2022 commits in WR Randy Masters. There’s a lot going on with that one, so I’m not sure what, if anything, to take away from it.

DE: Kaian Roberts-Day (Festus HS / MO)

2022 Wish List:

Check back on this. I need to build it out based on outstanding offers, industry predictions, etc.


To come.


12/15/2020: Created December 2020 Recruiting Thread