Thursday, January 2, 2014
Recruit and return: Baylor Bears
By Damon Sayles
Baylor’s memorable 2013 season ended with a 52-42 loss to Central Florida in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, but not all was lost in the new year. The Bears won a school-record 11 games and claimed their first Big 12 championship.
The Bears now shift their attention on improving an already-stellar 2014 class, as well as adding weight to a budding 2015 class.
Key losses: OG Cyril Richardson, S Ahmad Dixon, CB K.J. Morton, WR Tevin Reese, CB Demetri Goodson, RB Lache Seastrunk*
Instant impact freshman: All eyes will be on ESPN 300 receiver K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant) and ESPN 300 athlete Davion Hall (Texarkana, Texas/Liberty-Eylau) to compete for the receiver vacancy Reese is leaving, but keep your eye on four-star safety T'Kevian Rockwell (Wylie, Texas/Wylie) as a defensive player to watch. Dixon held down the “Bear” position -- Baylor’s nickel spot -- and the Baylor coaching staff will be looking for someone to take over. Rockwell is quick and physical enough to see a lot of game time early. More importantly, Rockwell is hungry and ready to show his worth to the Baylor faithful.
Top 2014 recruits: Baylor has been fortunate to field an outstanding crop of receivers in the past few years, and Cannon, Hall and ESPN 300 WR Ishmael Zamora (Houston/Alief Elsik) should fit in well. They are every bit as talented out of high school as the Kendall Wrights and Terence Williamses of Baylor’s immediate past. With Richardson leaving, look for ESPN Junior College 50 offensive lineman Jarell Broxton (Gaithersburg, Md./Lackawanna College) to get his name called early at the guard spot. Defensively, ESPN 300 linebacker James David (Rockdale, Texas/Rockdale) is expected to be a major contributor early. At 6-foot-1 and 217 pounds, David can play both inside and outside linebacker.
Questions for signing day: The big question involves whether or not Art Briles will be head coach at Baylor, at Texas or somewhere in the NFL. Briles is one of Texas’ targets to replace Mack Brown. If Briles heads to Texas, look for a huge domino effect that could mean a significant shakeup in Baylor’s recruiting class. If Briles goes to Texas, and if he takes most of his staff with him, expect several players to find new college homes. Kendal Briles, Baylor's passing game coordinator and offensive recruiting coordinator, is popular among the recruits. He would be a leading candidate to go wherever his father goes as a coordinator -- and that could be detrimental for Baylor's recruiting.
* Potential early entrant in the 2014 NFL draft