In this addition of the BearsIllustrated Report, we caught up with new Baylor offer, Darrell Simpson, an OL from the class of 2018. We also caught up with a couple of 2016 commits to see how their season were going so far, and updated our running stats for each 2016 and 2017 commit.
Simpon Recaps Baylor Visit
In todays recruiting world, it is not uncommon to see recruits being offered younger and younger. This was the case with 2018 Justin (TX) Northwest HS OL Darrell Simpson, who received an offer from the Baylor Bears last night.
Simpson is an imposing figure at 6'7, 310 lbs. The rising sophomore has started on Varsity since he was a freshmen and says that it has been a blessing to have the opportunity to play at the level he is playing at. "I'm just trying to out work the guy in front of me and protect my QB. I'm also working a lot to improve my punch in to blocks."
The Baylor offer did catch Simpson off guard, but he says that he has great people looking after him. Simpson is a client of Coach Justin Owens, who owns a training/recruiting company that helps HS student athletes with several aspects of recruiting (evaluations, academics, etc). Simpson says that Coach Owens was the main one keeping in contact with Coach Jeff Lebby, who recruits the North Texas area for Baylor. "Coach O was staying in touch with Coach Lebby for me. He looks out for me and helps me with recruiting."
This past weekend, Simpson took a trip to Baylor to check out the #4 team in the Country in action against the Lamar Cardinals. Of the game, Simpson said, "It was a great visit! The game was so intense!" After the game, he did get to speak with Coach Art Briles and got the great news. "I didn't get to go around the schoo, cause I was just there for the game, but I spoke to Coach Briles. He came up to me and said "Big man you got an offer yet?!" I said no and he said "Congrats I got an offer for you!" It just feels so good and all I do is thank God!"
Simpson says that he plans to attend another Baylor game soon, and while the 2018 signing day is 3 years away, it is important that Baylor begin to plant the seed for this prospect, as he will be one of the top OL in the country for his class. Below is a picture taken at the game this past Saturday:
Zach Smith Off To A Hot Start
One of the more underrated QB's in the 2016 class is Grandview (TX) HS QB Zach Smith. Smith has been comitted to Baylor for over a year now and recently signed Financial Aid papers to enroll early at Baylor.
This season Smith is off to a scorching hot start. The talented Senior has thrown for 833 yds with 13 TDs and 0 INTs. Many believe that Smith is in the mold of Bryce Petty, as he shows a high level of maturity in the pocket, makes smart decisions, and has a cannon for an arm. Smith attributes his early success to the fact that he is a year older. "I'm a year smarter, older, stronger, and the game has just slowed down a whole lot and I'm more mature." With a young team, Smith knew he would have to step up as a leader. "I just try to lead by example. I'm a vocal leader on the team and they see how I work and it pushes them to do the same!"
Zach has always been a team player and it shows in the way he talks about his teammates. "We have new receivers stepping up and our offensive line is getting it done. Also, our defense is getting after it and getting us the ball back. We are playing like a complete team, and I couldn't do what I do without them."
With his Financial Aid papers signed, Smith is looking forward to getting to Waco and making an impact. "It's relieving. I'm just ready to get down there and get after it!" With the stats this young man is putting up, it's not hard to see why he was the only QB offer for Coach Art Briles for the 2016 class.
Preciado Wanting More
When Baylor coaches evaluate, one of the best ways to get noticed is to attend their summer camps. The most recent Baylor commit, Rajah Preciado, was a certainly the benefactor of that, as he attended two camps during the summer. So when he received the offer, he jumped on it.
Preciado, a senior from College Station (TX) HS, has been on a tear in the early part of the season. Preciado is averaging over 12.5 tackles and over 2.5 TFLs per game. Although Preciado is small in stature, he has certainly learned to play big. "I've been focusing on myself really. I've learned how to analyze film and read plays better. I've also learned that to be at the top of my ability, I need to know what I have to do and just react to whats in front of me."
Rajah not only works with his coaches at school, but recieves mentoring and instruction from local coach Mike Kelley. Kelley helps to evaluate and teach HS student athletes in football and helps them with the recruiting process. BearsIllustrated caught up with Coach Kelley to get his thoughts on Rajah:
Rajah is a special talent. This kid will be a great player for Baylor for years to come. He's a highly intelligent kid who happens to be a great football player. His cover skills are excellent and for me it's how easily he can open up his hips and run. Ball skills are excellent as well and he can help in the return game immediately! Now he'll have to continue to do these things at a high level in order to make up for his height. He stands 5'9 but he plays much bigger and after one season in the weight room he will get much stronger.
Right now Preciado is focusing on improving on a great start. He does plan to take in a Baylor Football game but does not know yet when that will be. BearsIllustrated will continue to monitor Preciados season.
Week 2 Commit Stats
Each week BearsIllustrated will update Baylor fans on how the 2016 and 2017 commitments are performing this season. Follow the link below for an update of Week 2 stats for these commits.