BearsIllustrated Roundtable 8/6

In this weeks BearsIllustrated Roundtable, we welcome a couple of special guests and discuss who we believe could be the big surprise of the 2014 class.

In this weeks BearsIllustrated Roundtable, we discuss who we believe could be the big surprise of the 2014 class. We are aware of the incoming stars, KD Cannon, Davion Hall, and Terence Williams, but it is the "underrated" players that could help move Baylor football in to the next chapter of becoming a football power.

Joining us as special guests this week are Annabel Stephan, Regional Field Report with, and Gabe Brooks, Regional Recruiting Analyst with So come inside as we discuss this important question heading in to the new season!

Tim Watkins - Publisher,

With the Bears looking to replace 3 starters in the secondary this year, one 2014 recruit that stands out to me is Verkedric Vaughns, the 5-foot-9 corner from Mesquite, TX. As a rare true high school corner back looking to keep playing corner in college, Vaughn has a leg up on most college corners, as they usually play other positions in high school. Vaughns is a cornerback, through and through, and one that had to work for his scholarship from Baylor. With his quickness, agility, and knowledge of the position, he is my choice for the under rated 2014 prospect.

Kevin Barrera - Recruiting Analyst,

One player I'm exciting to see is Jourdan Blake. Jourdan was very versatile in high school, as he played both QB and DB with Princeton (TX) High School. At Baylor, Blake should slide in to the Safety position. He is a big kid that has the frame to add some good weight. He has good speed and can come up to the line and make plays when needed. Being a coaches kid, and playing on both sides of the ball, gives Jourdan a true leg up on the rest of his fellow signees. After a redshirt year, he should be able to contribute right away.

Gabe Brooks - Regional Recruiting Analyst,

When you're talking Baylor, the first position I look to find down-the-road contributors is the offensive line.

In the Briles era in Waco, Baylor's quarterbacks and skill-position players have become the focal point of the vast majority of attention that the Bears get across the region and country. Deservedly so. After all, somebody has to throw and catch and run in this offense.

But the engine is the offensive line and the production that Baylor gets every year can be directly traced to the offensive front. That said, the group of offensive linemen the Bears signed in the 2014 class are all quality gets who fit the Baylor profile of being downright massive the moment they set foot on campus.

Josh Pelzel jumps out to me as the type of player who could fly under the radar for a year or two before becoming a significant contributor. He has the size Baylor is becoming known for and he's physical, which means he should fit right in at one of the guard spots at some point in his career. Coming from a small town and 3A high school, having garnered only a hand full of offers before signing with Baylor, goes along with the under-the-radar theme.

Pelzel may not be the guy who materializes into the most impressive linemen in the 2014 class. It could be the more highly-recruited Black Blackmar, or another impressively-framed prospect in Patrick Lawrence.

The point remains: whoever it become, Baylor knows how to recruit offensive linemen. As cliche as it sounds, the quarterbacks, tailbacks, and receivers get the majority of the glory, but the Bears' line play remains at the core of its offensive success.

Annabel Stephan - Regional Field Reporter,

I'm going to go with a guy I've seen play in person a few times: defensive lineman Josh Malin. At 6-foot-6, Malin's 240-pound frame can definitely withstand more weight, and I believe that a year of college strength and conditioning will help mold him into a player that will have a big impact on the defensive line. He already possesses the speed and agility, and that should only continue to improve. Remember, he had offers from Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and Missouri, among others, and really seemed to progress from the beginning to the end of his senior season at Cibolo (Texas) Steele. Another plus: he's pretty versatile, and could potentially play both inside and outside for the Bears.

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