1. Camp season is fully underway, as the Baylor Bears had their 2nd camp at McLane Stadium Sunday afternoon. With another camp down in Houston and also East Texas already done, we are starting to see the spoils of their campaign across Texas. Sunday afternoon brought a commitment from East Texas Wide Receiver Denzel Mims. Mims came to the East Texas Baylor camp at Marshall High School Saturday afternoon looking to earn an offer, and he did. A strong showing at the camp, running crisp routes while going against some solid defensive backs, the Baylor staff extended the offer Saturday evening. In less than 24 hours, Mims accepted the offer and verbally committed to the Bears.
The Daingerfield High School product is a 200-meter state champion, running a 21.3 time, won the 3A championship down in Austin on May 16th.With that type of speed in a 6-foot-4 frame, you have an elite talent on your hands. While the big-time offers have not come for the 3A product, he has been offered by Texas Tech and Tulsa. He is just 175 pounds, but looks to have a frame to add some good weight to. He profiles for the taller outside receiver position, in the Jay Lee/Ishmael Zamora vein. To me though, he looks a bit like Davion Hall, except not as strong and well-built. His production was also not as strong, catching 39 passes for 682 yards and 6 touchdowns for a 1-9 squad. With him, the Bears have one of the likely 3 spots at the wide receiver spot filled.
2. This commitment should have an impact on a few key guys, both good and bad. One Guy Hurt by this commitment is Jared Atkinson, a similarly built wide receiver from Mesquite, TX. He is slightly shorter at 6-foot-3, but is already 199 pounds. He also doesn't have the pure speed that Mims possesses. With the commitment of Mims, the Bears might not be looking at taking another player who offers the same type of strengths. Another way to look at this is the way it will impact guys that are seriously considering the Bears, but taking their time. Could this spur a few guys to commit quicker, to make sure they get a spot? Yes, guys like Tren'Davian Dickson and Nate Craig will have spots no matter what. However, look for some movement on some other guys in the next few weeks as top-tier recruits look to get their spot before its taken.
3. The recruitment and commitment of Denzel Mims is a perfect example of the Bears thought process when it comes to camps. They do not use these events as the time to do simple measurables, such as vertical jumps and 40-yard dashes. Skill position players are usually also involved in track and field at the high school level, especially the top-tier athletes. The Baylor staff watches what goes on in that world as a filter for who they recruit. If you have the height/weight/speed that they are looking for at certain positions, they take a harder look at you during the camp circuit. The specific camps are there to drill the kids, and show they a little bit about the Baylor practice experience. Fast is the name of the game. Be it a drill, a rep or a play. Practice fast, play faster. When the coaching staff knows you have the physical tools to do the job, they want to see you do it their way. If you do well then, you get an offer. Just like Denzel Mims.
4. The Bears went over 1 month between commitments, with safety Chris Miller giving his pledge to the Bears on May 24th. Do not expect another month to go by before the next one. This is the busy time for the Baylor coaching staff, especially with offers to the non-high profile kids, such as Mims. The currently unranked receiver is not on any Top-100 boards. He is not a 5-star recruit right now. The coaching staff does not care. They took his commitment because they see a 6-foot-4 kid with very good speed and the potential to be a tremendous weapon for them. They don't see 0 stars.
Expect a few more offers like this, and some quick commitments to come from it. Last year for the 2015 class, the Bears received 4 commitments from May though July. The year before, it was an insane 15 commitments those three months in the summer of 2013. This is also the time to be on the lookout for the first members of the 2017 class, as four Bears for the '16 class committed last summer(Zach Smith, Kameron Martin, Patrick Hudson and the since decommitted Tren'Davian Dickson). Could guys like Lagaryonn Carson, Jaylon Jackson, KD Nixon or Hezekiah Jones give their pledge to the Bears? I don't know if it will be those recruits specifically, but chances are, someone from the 2017 class will jump on board in the next few months.
5. With the news this weekend that Dallas Baptist Head Baseball Coach Dan Heefner has decided to pass on the Bears offer to be their head coach, the search for Steve Smith's replacement continues. Heefner was my number 1 choice, and it appears that he was Baylor's top choice as well. Heefner has turned the DBU program since being named head coach in 2008. The Patriots have gone to 5 NCAA regionals in his 7 years on campus, and even earned a hosting seed this year before falling to VCU in the tournament. He has compiled a 302-168 record at the small Dallas Private school, and was seen as a great fit for the Bears, due to his success at a strong faith institution. This could move names like Houston coach Todd Whitting up higher on the list. Right now though, the athletic department has to move on to option #2 at least. Athletic Director Ian McCaw has stated that he expects the Bears to have a new coach in place by the end of June.