It’s hard not to be impressed with the job that Baylor did a year ago and has continued with the class of 2014.
Alabama, Texas and Texas A&M are after Baylor commit Davion Hall.
The Bears, who prior to about four years ago would have been hard-pressed to beat out any of the former Big 12 South school for a prospect, have been recruiting toe-to-toe with the heavyweights of the region.
A year ago, Art Briles and company received a commitment from the state’s top prospect in five-star wide receiver Robbie Rhodes. Baylor managed to hold on to the Under Armour All-American’s pledge despite many teams making a big run at him late. Now they look to do the same thing with another Top100 prospect.
Texarkana (Texas) Liberty-Eylau athlete Davion Hall was the first commitment in the class for Baylor, though he has made some trips to other schools since that point. Texas A&M has been after him very hard since his commitment and more recently Texas and Alabama added their names to his list of suitors.
Can Baylor hold of the Aggies, Longhorns and Tide? That remains to be seen but Hall is saying all the right things at the moment. The SEC would be the major draw for him if he were to switch so Alabama and Texas A&M are the main two programs to watch out for.
If Baylor holds onto Hall, it will simply cement the fact that the Bears can now recruit with the best of them. Add in the fact that they are likely to land Top100 wide receiver KD Cannon and it is proof that there is definitely a new perception with recruits about what is going on in Waco.
With Robert Griffin III recently winning the Heisman and Baylor’s offense putting up points at a torrid pace, there is excitement around the program. The days of a school like Texas sweeping in late to grab a commitment Baylor “discovered” such as Adrian Colbert in 2012 could be over.
What’s happening in Norman?
On the other hand I’ve had quite a few people asking about what Oklahoma is doing in this class.
Auston Anderson recently committed to Northwestern over Texas.
The Sooners have seven commitments but sit outside the Top 25 in the national team rankings. That seems to be cause for concern for many OU fans.
Should it be?
In recently years it has become somewhat common for the Sooners to be slow starters on the recruiting trail. The class of 2012 was chalked up by most fans to be a huge disappointment before Oklahoma finished with what might be the nation’s best class of wide receivers ever.
The one concern I have, though, is with the quality of commitments so far for the Sooners. OU is a big name with recruits across the country. The Sooners are not that far removed from their last national title.
When Mississippi cornerback Tito Windham committed to the Sooners last Friday his only other offer was from Louisiana-Lafayette. He has since been offered by Florida State so he could be a player that is about to see his stock soar though.
Ohio offensive tackle Alex Dalton committed to Oklahoma last week and he was a player that had not been rated by any of the services at the time. He had a few other impressive offers but not the list that you would expect for a player that he Sooners went out of their normal recruiting territory to land.
OU’s first commit in the class was Lancaster (Texas) safety Vontre McQuinnie. It is the deepest year probably ever in the state of Texas for defensive backs and McQuinnie was never a player mentioned in that top group. Oklahoma was his only offer.
It is not time for Sooner fans to panic and OU will likely close well again but it should still be a little concerning as to the fact that other schools in the regions of some of these players have not extended offers to them. The local schools are usually a lot more familiar with the prospects both on and off the field and so it has to be curious when prospects don’t at least have the in-state offers.
Odds and ends
-Kansas may only have two commits at the moment but both were huge gets for the Jayhawks. Running back Traevohn Wrench is a composite four-star prospect and most expected linebacker Kyron Watson to choose Michigan. Kansas will still sign some junior college prospects but will not have to go nearly as heavy on them as in 2013 when 17 of 25 signee came from the JUCO ranks.
-Something that would have been unimaginable a couple years ago happened last week when Plano (Texas) West running back Auston Anderson committed to Northwestern over in-state Texas. The Wildcats were the first to offer and Anderson was very high on their academics but this is the first time in recent memory that Northwestern has beaten Texas for an in-state recruit. Mack Brown and company are certainly having to work a lot harder to land players this year that in year’s past.
-Kansas State has started off strong with seven commitments but it will be interesting to see how many of those stick in the end. Schools are still making a strong run at several of them. Pass-rusher Elijah Lee was recently offered by Iowa and the Hawkeyes are a team to watch for. Offensive lineman Robert Castaneda is a top target of Texas Tech. Minnesota is making a run at safety Connor Wilson as well. Defensive lineman C.J. Reese, though, was still being courted heavily by other schools but recently re-affirmed his pledge to the Wildcats.