Early signing day is behind us, the bowl game has been played, and it’s time to start looking ahead to what 2023 will bring the Baylor Bears. A key part of the future of the program is the latest group of recruits coming in. Baylor signed one of its better classes of late this year, landing the 30th overall class according to 247Sports. Add in the 21st ranked transfer class (which still has plenty of potential for more players), and Dave Aranda’s staff has done a nice job continuing to build a team that is only one year removed from a 12 win season and conference title.
I had the opportunity to speak with one of biggest (literally and figuratively) recruits from this year’s class, Jerrell Boykins Jr.. Boykins, a 6’4” 290 lb DL from Gonzales, LA, comes to Baylor from Hutchinson C.C., a junior college in Hutchinson, Kansas. He also spent one season with Louisiana Tech. Boykins is a stellar defensive lineman who should bolster the position group, which is need of new blood after the departures of Siaki Ika and Jaxon Player to the NFL draft. Look for Boykins to see the field early and often, and don’t be surprised if he’s a household name by the time his days in Waco are done. Here’s 8 questions to get to know Jerrell a little bit more.
Q: What about Baylor stuck out the most to you during the recruiting process?
JB: What stuck out from jump was that I wasn’t wanted for my athletic ability but my character as a person.
Q: You’ve gone through the transfer process to make it to Waco. There’s a lot of commentary around transfers in college football right now. How did the process work for you?
JB: I don’t see myself really as a transfer, yes I came from another college but I think this was always home. I just took another path to get to it.
Q: Coach Aranda is a unique character in the college coaching world. What was your first impression of him?
JB: Coach Aranda was one of few coaches who actually sat down and took the time to get to know me. He had done his research prior and came to me with questions that I was happy to answer. That alone assured me that Baylor was home.
Q: What’s your biggest asset that makes you successful at your position?
JB: My power and explosiveness is my strength.
Q: What motivates you? What makes you keep the motor running in the 4th quarter?
JB: My motivation is my family, my late mother and father watching over me give me the strength I need to keep pushing.
Q: What are you most excited about at Baylor/Waco outside of football?
JB: I’m excited to be around a different culture, Texas and Louisiana culture are very similar but very different.
Q: What do you think the biggest transition will be for you coming into Power 5 football for the first time?
JB: The biggest transition for me would probably be the variety of offenses we will play.
Q: As an experienced player, you’ll have wisdom to give to younger guys coming into this class who haven’t been on a college roster before. What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned as a CFB player so far that you would teach to the young guns on the team?
JB: Brothers fight and are competitive but that stays in house. Always have your brothers back no matter how much you argue and fight.
Having some Louisiana playmakers on the team is never a bad thing, just ask Scott Drew. With his experience, size, and playmaking ability, start getting excited about what Boykins will bring to the table.