Top Recruiting Wins in the Briles Era Pt 3

In the third part of this series, we take a look at three linemen that the Bears fought hard for on the recruiting trail. One is a probably high draft pick next year, another is a redshirt freshman looking at a starting job, and the final one is the Bears highest ranked defensive recruits in years.

Our first two parts of this series had a lot of flash and glamour to it. This third series, we get a little bigger, nastier, and dirtier. While none of these players will probably score a touchdown in their careers with the Bears, they will be big keys of success going forward.

Ivory Wade:

Class of 2009; 3-star Guard

14th ranked Guard - Dickinson, TX

Beat out Texas A&M, Missouri, SMU

Wade, the second player from the 2009 class in this series (Darius Jones), has turned in a stellar career for the Bears, starting 3 years going into his senior campaign. He has started at guard, tackle and will be the starting center in his senior campaign.

Wade's recruiting story is a simple one, really. He committed to the Aggies in February of 2008, was with them for a while, and then in August, he committed to the Bears after receiving his offer from coach Briles, joining his Dickinson High School teammate Brody Trahan.

Wade committed during his junior year to Texas A&M, the school his high school coach went to, and a school in the Big 12 conference (at the time at least). It was his first offer and one he felt compelled to take. However, visiting Baylor for a summer camp led Wade to rethink his decision. He left the camp an Aggie, but the thought of playing for Baylor was compelling to him.

"His mom said he thought he had committed too early, they wanted to wait to decide, and they decided today to go ahead and make a decision before we get started with the season", said Warren Trahan, the father of Brody and Baylor coach Beau Trahan.

Spencer Drango:

Class of 2011; 4-star Tackle

20th ranked Tackle – Leander, TX

Beat out Texas, Stanford, Texas Tech, UCLA, Vanderbilt, and Missouri

Drango profiled as a proto-typical left tackle in college, and he was recruited as such be many top level programs. With early offers from Baylor, SMU, Stanford and Vanderbilt you could tell that academics would not be an issue with the 4-star recruit. However, there was one school that stood out from the pack at the beginning of his recruitment without having to even lift a finger…Texas.

"Texas and a bunch of schools I like, Texas is one of the bigger ones, they are one of the biggest teams. I am real open but I am just playing the game out now." That openness would continue through the spring of 2010, however, the longer Texas waited to get involved, the more room it gave another school to move up on his list.

"Baylor is only about one and half hours away," Drango said. "I like the coaches there a lot and my brother goes there (no sports) so that's cool. They also have great academics too and I feel comfortable there." The kid who grew up a Longhorn fan wasn't being recruited by his favorite team.

Cedar Park coach Chris Ross spoke a bit about his star lineman's recruiting in April. "He (Drango) has 18+ offers in hand and he can go anywhere he wants. Right now I would say that the leading candidates are Stanford and Baylor, but he has multiple choices to choose from."

With Texas sitting on the sidelines, it became a two school race for Drango with Baylor and Stanford dueling it out for his services. "There's a small chance another school might come in, but I'm about 90-percent sure I'll choose either Baylor or Stanford."

In July though, Drango decided to stay closer to home and commit to the Bears. "It just felt right. It's where I wanted I to go. I prayed about it, and it is where God wanted me to go." While Baylor fans were very happy he verballed to the Bears, most knew that if UT got involved at any point, there could be some questions in the young man's head.

That day did come, though very late in the recruiting process. After a long-weekend mulling his options, Drango decided to stick with the school that was with him the entire time, and spurn his longtime favorite team that jumped in late.

Javonte Magee:

Class of 2012; 4-star Defensive End

11th ranked DE – San Antonio, TX

Beat out Texas A&M, Texas, Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Florida State, Auburn, Tennessee, Stanford and Texas Tech

That is a mighty long list there of top level offers. Honestly, I didn't know when to stop writing them. With all of the players before, I would just stop when it looked like the elite offers had ended. That was harder to do with Magee, as pretty much every college wanted his services. In fact, Magee had over 48 offers, in October of his Senior year.

Despite all of the offers, there were two schools that really stood out for the U.S. All-American throughout the process, Baylor and Texas A&M. The Four-star recruit was being recruited at both defensive tackle and end, but definitely had a preference for end.

Magee took his time in narrowing down his list, preferably to 10 schools. I think that would be the theme of his recruiting story; patience. The young man was deliberate in all of his actions, something that is missing with many recruits story.

Eventually though, he would narrow his search to Baylor, A&M, and Missouri, with his home-town LSU Tigers not making the cut. Those three schools were the hats he had in front of him during the All-American game. During the game though, he made his choice and it was for the Green and Gold of Baylor.

"It just felt like home when I went up there and everybody showed me love," Magee confirmed to Chris Bullajian. "I already felt like I was on the team." It also couldn't hurt that his high school coach is former Baylor player Gary Green.

The Bears won with perseverance, building a relationship with him over a long time. "They have been talking to him a long, long time," Coach Green said when asked why his star player favors the Bears over the rest. "Back when he was a freshman I took him and about five boys to the Baylor camp and they just fell in love with the place."

With that, the Bears had hit on a big-time defensive line recruit, one that could be on the field as soon as this fall.

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