Back-to-back Big 12 Champions should be getting 5-star recruits, don’t you think? The commitment this morning of 5-star quarterback Jarrett Stidham to the Bears this morning was a non-shocking surprise, to say the least. The biggest shock of Stidham’s recruiting story was his original commitment to Texas Tech. Yes, the timing of his decommitment, especially after being the leader of the Tech recruiting class, was very surprising. However his original commitment on March 7th was the true shocker. It signaled the arrival of “Coach Bro”, better known as Kliff Kingsbury on a national recruiting scale.
Before his commitment to Tech, many assumed (myself included) that Stidham would commit to the Bears. The Stephenville High School product grew up in Art Briles country. The Baylor head coach led the Yellow Jackets to four state championships in the 1990s and made their football program a national power. With the Bears heavily involved with Stidham from the start of his recruitment, for Kilff Kingsbury to go there and beat the Bears and Briles was an incredible victory for Texas Tech in the recruiting world.
However, the Bears never gave up on the star quarterback, even having him on campus for an early June camp. Still though, Stidham was solid to the Red Raiders. Even before that though, it was Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty setting the tone with the high schooler. "Bryce was our ox. Having him really helped. He was such a big-time leader. He had such a positive attitude from the whole thing,” said Stidham about his team leader Bryce Petty after the Elite-11 camp.
The main recruiters for Stidham were offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery and wide receivers coach Kendal Briles. Stidham said that he mainly built the relationship with Montgomery, but with him leaving for Tulsa to be their head coach, it was the younger Briles that led the charge for the 5-star signal caller.
With his commitment this past week, the Bears have few spots left in the 2015 class. They are at 14 commitments as of now. The most immediate impact of his commitment will be on 4-star quarterback Chad President. The Temple High School star has the athleticism to move to wide receiver, and in fact played there as a sophomore and put up excellent numbers. President will more than likely get a shot at quarterback this spring, as he will also be graduating high school early and come to Waco in January.
With 3-5 more spots left, depending of course on how the Bears staff views attrition, the Bears are pretty much done on the offensive side of the ball. They have 7 guys that for sure will be on the offensive side of the ball, with 2-3 more that will probably end up there as well. The staff needs more defensive attention, so Stidham’s impact on the 2015 class will probably be limited. Baylor is not looking for any more offensive help, except maybe 5-star Cedar Hill wide receiver Demarkus Lodge. The Bears are pretty good at wide receiver, with a big class in 2014 and at least 2 commitments at that position now.
The impact of Stidham’s commitment will be felt more in the 2016 class, which is already loaded four offensive stars, led by running back Kam Martin and wide receiver Tren’Davion Dickson. Guys like Devin Duvernay and Deriq King might take a longer look at Baylor now.
The fun thought for Bear fans should be about what Art Briles can do with Stidham. Briles has turned 2, 3, and 4-star caliber players into some of the best at their position. What can he do with a 5-star stud?
He is big and strong and has the exact frame you envision. He has a strong arm and a good overall skill set combo. He throws well working outside of the pocket. He is athletic and has the ability to run, which his time at receiver as a sophomore will back up. Has come in to his own as a junior and grown with each game. He is not afraid to take chances with the ball and press the action, shows confidence in decision making. Has a quick release.