The staff at BearsIllustrated takes a look at the positions left with strong offers, and where the Bears may lean to close out this class.
As we list each position, it will not show the order in which we believe things will fall, but rather the positions we fill could still be filled and who they could be filled with.
The Target: Kahlil Haughton. Safety, Waco (TX) Midway HS
The Skinny: Haughton is who the Bears are coveting at the Safety position. The 6'2, 180 lb, Senior-to-be is the perfect type of Safety that the defensive staff wants. Haughton has the speed to cover in the backfield, but can also come up in run support and lay the wood. He is a physical safety that is looking to hit.
Haughton has chosen a date for his commitment, which is August 8th. And while Haughton lists 5 schools he will be choosing from, the truth is there are only 2 schools he is seriously considering. That is the Oklahoma Sooners and Baylor Bears. Look for Haughton to choose the Bears on the 8th, and keep the Baylor pipeline going with Midway HS.
The Target: Malik Jefferson. Linebacker, Mesquite (TX) Poteet HS
The Skinny: Fact is Jefferson has visited Baylor on more than a handful of times. That is fact. But many outside of Baylor, don't give the Bears much of a chance to land the 5* LB out of Mesquite Poteet HS. Truth is, however, the Bears are firmly in the race to land the services of Jefferson. That was evident when Jefferson, who was on his way home after a visit to Texas, stopped off in Waco to hang out with coaches and learn more of how he would fit in at Baylor. Sources have told us that Jefferson had a great time on his visit, and that Baylor has as good a shot as any to land Jefferson.
With Jefferson planning some West Coast trips, look for him to continue to take in Texas and Baylor. He is planning to enroll at his school of choice in January, and has stated that he would make his commitment a couple of weeks after the CFB season, which would be the middle of December.
While we do believe Baylor has a great shot to land the talented linebacker, we're just not ready to pull the trigger in the Bears favor. In the end, we think Jefferson leaves Texas and commits to the PAC-12; however, if he does stay in Texas, we look for him to make the call for the Bears. As you can see, it's a complete toss up, and the least clear of the positions.
OFFENSIVE LINE (1)
OFFENSIVE LINE (1)
The Skinny: With the HS targets gone, the Bears will key in on 1 of 2 OL targets. Deya Mhiesen is a talented and athletic OT with elite size. The 6'8, 305 lb, OT has seen his recruitment pick up with offers from Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Arizona State, but we feel the Bears are in great position to land Mhiesen's commitment. The Peirce JC product has a great relationship with Coach Randy Clements. Mhiesen will be in Waco for the August 31st contest against the SMU Mustangs.
Dominic Desouza is another that the Bears could land. Desouza has planned two trips to Big 12 country, with officials visits set for Oklahoma State and Baylor (Oct. 11th). Desouza also has elite size and athleticism, for what the Bears covet, at 6'8, 290 lbs.
Should Mhiesen commit to the Bears on the 31st, look for the Bears to be done at OL. 2016 seems to be the class that the Bears will be able to concentrate on HS OL. We think the Bears get the commitment of Mhiesen and close it down for OL recruiting.
RUNNING BACK (1)
RUNNING BACK (1)
The Targets: Ronald Jones II. RB, McKinney (TX) North HS. Sotonye "Soso" Jamabo. RB, Plano (TX) West HS. Corey Duaphine. RB, Port Arthur (TX) Memorial HS.
The Skinny: The Bears are still looking to add a power back for this class and have 3 firm targets in their mind. The first, Ronald Jones II, has been committed to Oklahoma State for a few months now. We do not believe this is over. OSU has come under fire with the NCAA recently, and that should be cause for concern for the Cowboys. Jones has the rare combination of speed and power that would work perfectly in the Bears offense. With Hasty committed, Jones would be the perfect complement to him.
Soso Jamabo is also that elite RB prospect that would match very well with JaMycal Hasty. Jamabo has drawn early comparisons to Eddie George because of his size, 6'3, but Jamabo is a power back that has elite speed in the open field. With AAU basketball over, look for Jamabo to focus in on football. The Bears sit very well with this recruit.
Another prospect committed to a fellow Big 12 school, Corey Dauphine, has not stopped receiving interest from Baylor. Dauphine was flirting with a flip for Baylor for a while, before reportedly shutting things down and reaffirming his commitment to Texas Tech. We hear that this thing is still not over with. With his HS teammate, Kameron Martin, committed for the 2016 class, look for Baylor to turn things up on Dauphine.
In the end, we feel that the Bears will either flip Jones or take the commitment of Soso Jamabo. It's still hard to tell as both of these recruits have kept things close to the vest, but we comfortable in saying that the Bears will land either one of these two elite running backs.
The Skinny: As witnessed by the commitment of Jameson Houston, this coaching staff is not against surprising everyone with an underrated recruit commitment. So without knowing what the next surprise is, we will go out on a limb and mention the name Jarrett Stidham again. One thing is for sure, the Bears are still actively looking for another QB for the 2015 class. That isn't to say that the Bears will take one, but between Stidham and Ben Hicks, it could happen. If it doesn't, look for the Bears to take 2 in the 2016 class.
Another name and position that you may notice missing, is the Defensive Line position and Darren Daniels. While we feel that Daniels is a lean to Baylor, we just don't think that DL is a position of worry with this staff. The Bears are loaded at this position, and have several young players on the roster already. So we will say it is Daniels or bust for this class, and we do believe that the staff won't lose sleep if they don't take a DL in this class. All that is to say that the Bears would certainly welcome Darrion Daniels, should he commit to the Bears.
All in all, for the 2015 class, we see the Bears only taking 4-5 more. After we learn of Haughtons choice on the 8th, it will most likely be the end of the season, before the Bears pick up their next commitment. But at that time, the flood gates may open, and you could see the Bears finish out the class very quickly and with a bang!
Keep it tuned in to BearsIllustrated.com as we follow all of the breaking news in recruiting!