With the class of 2016, it’s no secret that the Bear’s main focus is the defensive line and secondary positions. Baylor already has 13 offers out to many solid defensive ends. Yesterday, the Bears added Scout four-star, Andrew Fitzgerald, to that list.
The 6’4, 230 lb DE from Flower Mound (TX) Marcus High School would be one to consider as a great asset to Baylor’s defense. Fitzgerald not only has the length as a, but also has the power and strength at 230 pounds. He brings a blue-collar attitude to the line, but also plays with great ferociousness that allows him to be a mainstay in the backfield.
This success on the field allowed the four-star athlete to have an incredible junior year, which earned him Defensive Player of the Year in his district.
Fitzgerald currently holds 19 offers including Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Oregon. The four-star athlete plans to make visits to other schools that have offered him including North Carolina, Kansas State, Vanderbilt, and Oklahoma State this summer, but the interest from Baylor had been there for a while.
So was this an offer Fitzgerald was waiting on?
“I had been talking for a while with the coaches,” Fitzgerald said. “I kind of had an idea that it was coming.”
After visiting the Bears yesterday, he plans to also make another trip to Waco later this summer, which should bode well for Baylor.
“It’s great to have received an offer from Baylor,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m pretty happy.”
Smith Looking To Improve This Summer
BI: How did you finish the school year?
KS: Finished pretty strong, gained some weight, so I’m starting to work with that. Trying to be physical with that speed and not trying to let that hold me back.
BI: What are you doing over the offseason?
KS: I’m just trying to get stronger and better at my position.
BI: You came to the Baylor camp, How has it been so far?
KS: I’ve learned a lot of things, got to meet a lot of these coaches, build a relationship with them, they’ve taught me a lot of things, how Baylor is,
BI:> I noticed you were playing left guard (in the one-on-one drills), is that what you normally play?
KS: No sir, at my high school I play left tackle, but that’s just due to my head coach’s want.
BI: What kind of scheme does your high school run on offense? Is it more run-dominated or pass-dominated?
KS: It’s pretty much 50/50, I think we might run a little more, if it comes to downs, we’re gonna pass the ball, I work more off of run than I do pass.
BI: How are you preparing for college football?
KS: Just keep grinding, never staying complacent, not resting, not taking no days off.
Omotosho Talks Baylor Camp
BI: Are you an athlete or a receiver?
BI: How did you do in school this year?
AO: It was great. Really picked up my GPA, took my ACT, (I’ve) really been working to make progress with that.
BI: Plano East only had one win this past season. With the third coach in the last three years, was it a rebuilding year?
AO: It was definitely a rebuilding year with the different coaching process and all that. We’re really just looking into, and as we have been over this offseason, building up relationships, building up the consistency, and working towards having a successful season this year
BI: I know with Coach (Randy) Jackson, the former head coach, it was a high-speed offense similar to a certain Back-to-Back Big 12 Champion’s offense. Talk about the difference of Coach Jackson and Coach McCullough’s offense.
AO: I was a lot more involved offensively with Coach McCullough because McCullough has definitely incorporated me more (into the offense), but we plan to pick up the tempo and everything as well, so it’s gonna be fast-paced, deep-ball, fade-ball. Hitch, really just mixing it up, honestly running more of a Baylor-style offense, spreading that ball out.
BI: Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this camp?
AO: Well, I definitely have to say my teammate and my quarterback Miklo Smalls, Mikhail Simmons because I’m pretty sure these are the first actual college camps they’ve been to, so it’s great to see them perform, and do well and succeed. And then of course, my boy Trooper Elwonger as well, who transferred to Mesquite, but he’s looking into his senior season, get a look and pick up some offers.
BI: What was it like to have a new quarterback this past season?
AO: It wasn’t too hard of a transition for me, because we throw a lot, we get a lot of extra work outside of practice, so the transition was very smooth, and it was easy to comply with how his play-style.
BI: What advice would you give to a HS football player who wants to get an offer but can’t?
AO: Everybody’s here, trying to get an offer and compete so, you got to do what you got to do to succeed and really show out. So, come out here, eat, and show out.
Stiner Talks Baylor Offer
As the picture becomes clearer for Baylor’s recruiting class of 2016, many 2017 prospects are beginning to hear from Baylor and pick up offers. Baylor has handed out less than 25 offers so far, and the most recent was to 2017 Bellaire (TX) HS CB Donovan Stiner.
Stiner was a recent standout at two Baylor camps and earned an offer from Coach Phill Bennett and the Baylor defensive coaching staff.
What was it that stood out about the offer? “Well Baylor was my second offer (his first was from SMU), and I’ve always liked and watched Baylor.” Stiner said. “I know it’s a big time offer and I couldn’t believe it was actually happening at first.”
Stiner says he speaks to both Coach Bennett and Coach Dishman, but Dish is the coach he most frequently talks to. “My relationship is great with Coach Dishman. He relates with me well and I can already tell that he’s a great coach that can teach me very well.”
So with another two years before he is able to sign, what was the coaches message to the young corner? “They told me how they liked how I played with intensity and told me to keep it up, keep working hard, and to not get complacent.”
BearsIllustrated will continue to monitor the recruitment of Donovan and the other Baylor offers in the 2017 class.
***Matt McBryer and Ashton Warren contributed to this report***