Big 12: Britt Hager
Total class: 25
ESPNU 150: 1
By position: WR 4, DE 3, OT 3, CB 3, LB 2, DT 2, QB 2, G 2, S 2, ATH 1, RB 1
By state: Texas 20, Oklahoma 2, California 1, Florida 1, Georgia 1
Already enrolled in school: 4
The big ones: S Ahmad Dixon: The nation’s No. 3 safety is the best defensive recruit ever attracted by Art Briles. CB Prince Kent: Prep school transfer is formerly No. 5 national cornerback before spending season at Hargrave Military Academy.
Sleeper: LB Bryce Hager: Son of former Texas LB Britt Hager turned down a chance to walk on for the Longhorns to accept a scholarship offer from the Bears.
Needs met: The Bears added five defensive linemen after losing starters Jason Lamb and Trey Bryant and having Phil Taylor and Earl Patin enter their senior season. They added five players, including Dixon and Kent, in the secondary where they lost starters Jordan Lake and Jeremy Williams. And they added quarterbacks Bryce Petty and Tyrell Jenkins despite having Robert Griffin apparently for three more seasons.
Analysis: This was the best talent haul in Art Briles’ coaching tenure and arguably the best in the Bears’ Big 12 history. A massive infusion of help in the secondary should enable the Bears to better stand up against the passing barrage in the Big 12. The Bears added some much-needed depth in the trenches. The most important factor in getting the Bears into Big 12 contention will be Robert Griffin’s health. Adding the bigger second version of Robert Griffin to the program as an offensive lineman should help that in the future.
What Art Briles said: “Last year’s recruiting class was kind of about the offensive line and the receivers. This year the strength of the class is definitely the defense. Top to bottom this is a class that really fills a lot of needs for us. We feel real good about the way that the numbers fell for us this year.
Scouts Inc. grade/rankings: C-plus, sixth in Big 12.
Tom Luginbill of Scouts Inc. reports that Waco Midway High School safety Ahmad Dixon has again confirmed he will be coming to Baylor after considering Tennessee before the Lane Kiffin coaching change.
Dixon was originally a Texas recruit before opting for the Bears. He's a four-star prospect who is ranked 15th among ESPNU's top 150 players and is the nation's third-highest rated safety. It's not a stretch to say he's the most highly decorated prospect to come to Baylor during Briles' coaching tenure.
His recommitment came even after Dixon's recent recruiting trip to Alabama.
Dixon also seriously considered recruiting offers from LSU, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Florida and TCU, among others.
The Bears also are celebrating the commitment of linebacker Bryce Hager of Austin Westlake High School. His father Britt, was an All-American linebacker for Texas in the 1980s.
Bryce Hager opted for the Bears' offer of a full scholarship after he was given the chance to join Texas as a preferred walk-on, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported.
“Baylor is an up and coming program, and I really enjoyed meeting the players and coaching staff over the weekend,” Bryce Hager told the Tribune-Herald. “Texas wanted me to come as a preferred walk-on, but that’s not what I wanted to do. I think things are going to work out the way they need to be.”
Even his father, who played nine seasons in the NFL, was excited about his scholarship offer with the Bears.
"I can’t wait to get me some Baylor stuff,” Britt Hager told the newspaper. "Bryce wants to play in the Big 12 and stay in Texas, and I believe Baylor is going to have some great football teams in the next few years.”
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
It's a name that resonates across America as one of strongest high-school football programs in the nation.
Odessa Permian has been a steady provider of top talent to Big 12 schools, among others, over the years.
That's why Jeff Miller's story about Odessa Permian now on ESPN Rise was so interesting to me. Former coach Gary Gaines, the coach of the Permian program during the tumultuous 1988 season that was chronicled in Buzz Bissinger's masterpiece "Friday Night Lights," is back coaching his school again after 11 years away from high school coaching.
Among the Big 12 products who played at Permian over the years have included former Texas standouts Britt Hager and Roy Williams, former Texas Tech wide receiver Lloyd Hill and former New Mexico quarterback Stoney Case. Other products of the school include actor Jim J. Bullock, noted model and actress Kim Smith and Olympic silver-medal winning pole vaulter Toby Williams.
The Permian program resonates across Texas like the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Lakers of high school programs. And the Big 12 has received a big boost from some of its more notable products over the years.