The Bears 2015 recruiting class has been teetering on the edge of completion for months and months. They are at 14 commits right now including the addition of 5-star quarterback Jarrett Stidham. With this class being smaller, only 17-19 spots are available for the Bears. What do they have now and what could the still be looking at?
That is the full list, but it does not tell the full story. One thing the Bears have done this year is to get athletes that can play multiple positions on either side of the ball. It starts at the top with Chad President, who will probably start his career at quarterback but is also a tremendous prospect at the wide receiver position. Blake Lynch has been told that he will start at wide receiver, but could move to the other side of the ball as a safety or even linebacker.
Even running back JaMycal Hasty could move to the slot receiver position with J.W. Ketchum being possibly the most versatile guy in this class. The high school quarterback could go to safety (which is where I personally like him at) or even play running back or wide receiver. Sam Tecklenburg could also see time at tight end or along the offensive line. He could even switch over to the defensive side of the ball as well.
The Bears could mix and match quite a few guys in a few ways, depending on how they finish out the class. The above positions are where I think the players will be at least at first. Any commitment though could have a ripple effect across several other players.
Currently, the Bears would take a defensive tackle or linebacker and nothing would really change elsewhere in the class. So, let’s take a look at a few of the scenarios that could play out for the Bears that would cause some shuffling.
Scenario 1 – Demarkus Lodge Commits
The 5-star wide receiver is a tremendous prospect, and a guy the Bears have not given up on. They are probably on the outside looking in on this one though. However, with the commitment of a 5-star quarterback, could the Bears get back in on the All-American? If Lodge (or any other high caliber wide receiver commits), look for Blake Lynch to move to the other side of the field, either as a safety or linebacker. Lodge would join Devontre Strickland as the two receivers in this class.
The Bears are madly searching for more defensive backfield help. They have a few guys that are for sure slotted there in Jordan Tolbert, Tony Nicholson and Jameson Houston. However, 1-2 more spots could be given, with a hope that a guy like Boyd commits who could play either cornerback or safety. With 1 of these two players, you probably don’t see much movement from J.W. Ketchum, who could still stay at safety. However, the Bears could add a junior college player (maybe Jay’Onn Myles) with both though, maybe Ketchum moves to wide receiver or running back.
Scenario 3 – The Bears miss out on Boyd and Hill
While the Bears are involved in both of these guys, there is a chance they miss on both. If that happens, a junior college cornerback (again Myles) will get an offer and the Bears will hope they can get another high school prospect to commit late. If they don’t get any other secondary players, I think they will look to Blake Lynch as a possible fit at safety as well.
Scenario 4 – Bears get Sotonye Jamabo
Baylor has been after a “big” back for quite a while the year. Jamabo is a 5-star stud who is the best running back in the nation. He has looked at the Bears a bit, but most assume he will go elsewhere. If Baylor were to get his commitment (or any other running back), that could push JW Ketuch elsewhere for sure, and also have an impact on JaMycal Hasty going to inside receiver.
All four of the above scenarios don’t account for any decommitments from the current class, which of course could alter things, especially if the Bears were to lose a defensive back. The Bears are still involved with quite a few players. In the past, the Bears have had a few guys that they never offered till later in the process that most felt would come to Waco. Guys like Verkedric Vaughns in 2014 or Taylor Young in 2013. Here are the high-caliber guys the Bears are waiting on, that would get a spot pretty much no matter what.
- CB Kris Boyd
- CB Holton Hill
- RB Sotonye Jamabo
- WR Demarkus Lodge
- DT Darrion Daniels
- LB Anthony Wheeler
- LB Richard Moore
Those 7 would have a spot, as long as the Bears could give them one, and probably in that order. Who are some of the other players that are maybe on the back-burner?
- CB Jay’Onn Myles (JUCO)
- CB Tyler Horton
- CB William Henderson
- CB Aaron Covington
- S Keivion Ramsey
If the Bears start missing on too many of the stud guys, this second list will start to get more and more attention. In the end, the Bears want at least 1-2 more defensive backs, another linebacker and then maybe 1 more spot to fill with the best player available.
In the end though, the Bears might just swing for the fences and not really expand on this class. This was always going to be a small class, and if they get many more than 15 recruits, they will be counting on attrition (forced or not) to open up a few spots. If the Bears miss out on Boyd and/or Hill, they could offer Jay’onn Myles and call it a day. A late junior college offer to a recruit that isn’t on the radar is always a possibility as well. With this obviously being a very flexible class in terms of position and where we could fit these athletes though, the Bears might want to save a spot or 2 for the 2016 class, which is shaping up to be one of the best in Baylor history.