It appears there is a new power in the Big 12.
Baylor is working to hold onto 4-star Davion Hall.
After a couple of solid recruiting classes that included a couple of head-to-head wins over the likes of conference-mates Texas and Oklahoma, Baylor appears to be the class of the Big 12 this season.
In the past couple of years, the Bears have been very good on offense but have sputtered at times. However, this year Baylor is undefeated, a Top 15 program and has the top offense in the nation by far. Quarterback Bryce Petty and running back Lache Seastrunk have positioned themselves to be in the discussion for national awards as well.
Head coach Art Briles has been selling the future in Waco, and quite well, for a few years but now he can sell the present.
The Bears have a commitment from one of the top players in Texas – Texarkana Libety-Eylau athlete Davion Hall – and have held on to him despite strong pushes from SEC schools Alabama and Texas A&M. He is still taking visits but having him still in the fold is huge and will go a long way towards keeping him that way.
Top100 prospect KD Cannon, a wide receiver from Mount Pleasant, Texas, also committed to the Bears this summer over offers from just about every school in the country.
Another Top100 wide receiver, Alief (Texas) Elsik’s Ishmael Zamora, pledged to the Bears over the summer as well. He did it the same day he received an offer from Texas. That would have been pretty much unheard-of a few years ago. Baylor also beat out Texas A&M for four-star running back Terence Williams.
The one thing to note about these top prospects, and ones in the previous two classes such as five-star wide receiver Robbie Rhodes and four-star receiver Corey Coleman, is that they are all pretty much on the offensive side of the ball. Defensive lineman Javonte Magee chose the Bears after playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl two years ago but he has already left the program. Another Army All-American, linebacker Brian Nance, committed to Baylor but failed to qualify out of high school. He was able to enroll this year after spending a semester at Hargrave Military Academy.
It makes sense that top offensive prospects would want to play for a team that is averaging over 65 points per game but the Bears need to land defensive players with the same regularity, especially in a Big 12 conference that has several teams capable of putting up 70 points on any given day.
Baylor beat out Texas A&M for RB Terence Williams.
Hall is thought of by some schools to be one of the top safety prospects in the country but he chose the Bears in part because he wants to play receiver there. Could Baylor move him to defense at some point?
Baylor has been able to flip commitments from other Big 12 schools in the past and it would be huge if they could do so with a couple of defenders this year. Texas four-star safety commit John Bonney had Baylor as his No. 2 and could look around should there be coaching changes in Austin. His teammate, uncommitted four-star cornerback John Plattenburg Jr., was also heavily considering the Bears at one point and would be a huge get for them. The Bears will also have a chance to impress former TCU defensive tackle commit Zaycoven Henderson and are going head-to-head with Oklahoma for defensive tackle Cedric Johnson.
It is those types of players that could keep Baylor on the national map and truly turn the tide in the Big 12.
Ramifications of Texas’ RRS win
Nobody gave Texas much of a shot of winning this past weekend’s Red River Shootout against Oklahoma. In fact, most felt that the Sooners should have been favored by much more than 14 points. Texas was down to backup quarterback Case McCoy, had almost lost the previous week to Iowa State and had struggled on defense all year.
The Longhorns managed to put things together in the Cotton Bowl, though, coming away with a convincing 36-20 victory that was never really in doubt.
Texas was the official “home” team and could therefore host recruits at the game and there were some of the Longhorns’ top targets in attendance.
247Composite five-star defensive end Solomon Thomas was there for his second Texas game of the season. He is pretty much down to Texas and Stanford so it was good to have him see the win in person, especially on a day that Stanford was upset by unranked Utah. Junior composite five-star running back Soso Jamabo was also there as was junior five-star linebacker Malik Jefferson.
Texas already saw some momentum from the game as junior Top247 running back Jordan Stevenson committed to the Longhorns on Sunday.
Will it last though? Texas definitely made up ground or at least held its ground with a lot of top prospects. However, the Horns must keep winning this year. Also, the big wildcard is the fate of head coach Mack Brown. If he is done at the end of the season, as many have speculated, then it will throw everything back up in the air again with the top targets as well as some of the current pledges.
Oklahoma losing the game, on the other hand, was a big blow to the Sooners. They expected to do well in front of recruits that were hosted by their rivals. Oklahoma has struggled in the state of Texas the last few years and losing to a Texas team that it was expected to blow out has current senior and junior prospects wondering about the future in Norman.