The Worst Kept Secret in Recruiting?
On Friday afternoon, Devin Duvernay is expected to make his commitment. Duvernay, the #27 ranked player in the Scout 300, and the #1 ranked WR in Texas by Scout, is expected to choose Baylor.
Many believe that Duvernay has been a strong Baylor lean since this summer, when it was rumored that he and his brother would commit to Baylor after a July football camp. That never happened, but the fact still remained that Baylor was strongly in the drivers seat for Duvernays services. Fast forward to a couple of months ago, and that thought still rang true, as Devins twin brother, Donovan, committed to the Bears.
So why the confidence in Baylor and not, say, Alabama? Well the timing of his announcement is telling. He's already visited Ohio State, Alabama, and Oklahoma. This past weekend he visited Baylor unofficially. The fact that he visited and only 4 days later he said he was announcing, should tell you all you need to know about where he stands.
Duvernay is as close to a clone of Corey Coleman as you will see. He's 5'11 and built like an ox, but he has elite, game-breaking speed to go along with it. Duvernay, like Tren'Davian Dickson, will absolutely have a shot to play early in their careers, which is crazy given the talent that Baylor has at the WR position.
So, I fully expect Duvernay to commit to Baylor giving them the #1 and #2 WRs in the state, and the #3 and #5 WRs in the country.
Does Baylor Have a Shot at Jordan Elliott?
If there were tough questions to answer in recruiting, this would certainly be one of them. Elliott has been a bit immature with regards to recruiting, but the talent is not questioned. The kid is a plug in the interior of the line.
Many remember when Elliott gave his first commitment to Baylor back in February. Since then he has taken several visit to Texas and even committed to Houston for a few months. His recruiting has certainly been a roller coaster. But, he has slowed things down a bit lately and is taking his time and taking his visits.
Elliott went on an official visit to Baylor, last week, and from those I've spoken to, it was a great visit. He particularly enjoyed the atmosphere and said it was one of the most electric he's be around. He was also able to sit down with defensive line coach Chris Achuff and DC Phil Bennett. I've been told that Baylor will absolutely be in it at the end and has a great shot to re-land his services.
Look for Elliott to take an official visit to Michigan, and possibly Texas, although he has been to Texas several times. Michigan has been thought of as the leader in his circles, for the past month or so. We will keep an eye on this one, as I'm sure it will go until signing day.
Where Do Things Stand with the 2017 Class?
Things are still holding steady with the 2017 class. I've been told that this group is already very tight and they are doing everything they can to bring in more studs.
Several 2017 prospects were in Waco last week, and of the ones I've spoken to, the atmosphere and crowd once again showed to be incredible.
Kellen Mond has taken the lead of recruiter in this class and says that he is actively recruiting for the Bears. Look for the commits to key in on Episcopal HS DT Marvin Wilson, Plano East Sr HS LB Anthony Hines, Bishop Dunne HS CB Chevin Calloway, Episcopal HS OL Walker Little, Cy-Fair HS OL Austin Deculus, McKinney Boyd HS OL Tyrese Robinson, among others.
It may seem far fetched, but the vibe around this class is that they fully expect to land each and every one of those guys. I do expect Baylor to land most of those players, but suffice to say, it should be the best class that Art Briles will pull in during his time at Baylor.
5 Keys To the Oklahoma State game:
1. Free Jarrett Sidham. This should be a no brainer. Stidham was held back a little during lasts weeks game against Oklahoma. Speculation is that he was held back due to his sore back, and that is likely what was the case. I do, however, wonder what the game would have been like if Stidham had been able to throw more. The kid is such an electric passer, for a true freshman, that you have to just let him loose. At this point in the season, you have to live and die by your QB play, and if he is going to make mistakes, just trust that your defense can help, and you will be able to bounce back from them.
2. The OL Needs Their Fire Back. This isn't to say that the OL is weak or is playing without passion, I just think they need that fire. That nastiness and physicality that Baylor OL's are known for. Baylor generally gets a strong push off the line, during running plays, but last week OU dominated the LOS and it hurt this offense greatly. Baylor's success on offnese is so predicated on balance, that when the offense becomes one dimensional, it is very easy to stop. Now that is just my couch potato coaching analysis, but it seems fair to assume that. The Baylor OL needs to get back to what makes them successful. The "we are going to punch you in the mouth" mentality. OSU DE Emmanual Ogbah may be the saving grace for Baylor, as he was the newest opposing player to throw shade at Baylor, and thus became the next focal point of the Bears bulletin board.
3. Defense Must Hold On Despite Injuries. This is very important. I wrote earlier of the mounting injuries on defense, and it will be very important for the Bears to just hold up on defense. Mason Rudolph isn't near the type of player that Baker Mayfield is, with regards to the rushing aspect or exapability aspect, but given time he can shread you in the passing game. OSU also doesn't have as potent a running attack as OU had. Baylor will be able to compete well against the OSU offense, but will it be enough to come away with the win on Satuday.
4. Is OSU as Good as their Undefeated Record would Suggest? I'm going to say no. I've maintained this whole week that OSU isn't nearly as good as their showing was against TCU and TCU isn't as bad as they showed against OSU. I think they are somewhere in the middle. Personally, I think OU is better than OSU. That isn't to say that OSU isn't a big threat to hand Baylor its second loss of the season, though. OSU is beatable and even though this game is in Stillwater. This leads me to my next point.
5. The Magic in Stillwater will Run Out. Yes I said it. The magic and voodoo that happens when Baylor goes to town will end tomorrow night. Baylor is NOT overrated, as some national journalists have said. Baylor does have their backs against the wall, however, so it will be important to see how they respond. Baylor absolutely has the talent to beat OSU, and I think they get it done. This game will be close though, so get ready.
Baylor 38 OSU 31
For more "insider" nuggets, follow the link to the Bear Pit!