Baylor Hositing Official Visitors
This weekend, Baylor will host its biggest official visitor weekend of the recruiting season. BearsIllustrated has confirmed that 16 commits of the 20 commits will be in Waco starting Friday. Fans should remember that Baylor welcomed 4 early enrollees this month, so Baylor will have its full, current class present.
Several recruits are looking forward to the visit, and the main comment from most is the excitement of being in Waco around their future teammates.
While many schools are having to work hard to keep secure the commitments of their current class, Baylor is once again having great success of not only keeping their commitments in tact but also securing a stronger commitment after their official visits.
Some will look to reports of a couple of Baylor commits looking elsewhere, but after talking to a few people, it seems that those reports are not as strong as they are perceived. Still, there are a couple of commits that will be taking visits to other schools.
Patrick Hudson - The longtime Baylor commit has stated that he will take a visit to Texas A&M, the weekend of the 22nd. Hudson was committed to A&M before flipping to Baylor. There have been other reports that Hudson could take a visit to Texas. Frankly I just dont see that happening. I do think that A&M does pose a small threat here, but in the end, I think that Hudson will stick with his pledge to Baylor.
UPDATE: As of this writing, Hudson put out a list of where he may take official visits. He will be in Waco this weekend and next weekend. It would seem that the other three, from this text, would be taken during the week, if he does indeed take them.
Grayland Arnold - Arnold has been committed to Baylor for several months now, but has always been linked to Texas as a possible flip destination. Well in the past couple of weeks, TCU has also thrown its hat in to the ring. Arnold is a dynamic athlete, and is slated to play in the defensive backfield at Baylor, although I think he could slide over to the offensive side and play in the slot position. Arnold will be in Waco this weekend, and could shut down his recruitment for the second time. He is scheduled to visit TCU the weekend of the 22nd and Texas, on the weekend of the 29th. As with Hudson, I think Arnold sticks with Baylor. Hey, he does have a BU tattoo by the way.
Baylor Can Preach Reality
First off, I want to congraulate Andrew Billings on his decision to pursue the NFL. Not only is it great news for him, since he is likely a first round pick, but it is also great news for Baylor.
With that said, Baylor is at a point now where things are starting to take off in recruiting.
When Art Briles was hired, he spoke of selling a reality to recruits. Baylor had struggled through several years of losing, and turning the mentaility of the program around was a monumental task for Coach Briles and his staff.
With several draft picks, recently, and 3 underclassmen slated to be picked in the NFL draft this year, Baylor is at a point now, where they can prove reality to those high profile recruits who are considering Baylor as their destination. You are beginning to see this strategy come in to play for Baylor. With a class that is currently ranked #1 in the Big 12, per Scout.com, and #15 Nationally, the Bears are still in on some recruits that quite frankly they wouldn't have been able to talk to 5 years ago.
You are also seeing this pay off with the 2017 class. Baylor has arguably one of the top classes in the country for 2017.
As Baylor continues to prove itself on the field, Baylor should continue to see its success on the recruiting front continue.
Can Baylor Finish This Class Strong?
With 20 commitments, I think Baylor is likely to take around 3 more commits.
The two prospects that Baylor is putting the full court press on the most are Levi Onwuzurike and Brandon Jones. Both prospects are ranked near the top of their position groups in the Country. So does Baylor have a legitimate shot to land both? Absolutely they do.
Jones is being visited tonight by Baylor coaches Art Briles, Phil Bennett and Chris Dishman. Baylor is putting the full court press on Jones and will have a chance to close the gap and possibly take a small lead in his recruitment. Baylor is a darkhorse in this race and frankly no one is giving them a chance, but Baylor will have the last chance to sell Jones when he visits in two weeks. I have contended for a few weeks now, that if Jones makes a visit to Baylor, he will be a Bear. I am still sticking to that. Baylor has just as much a shot, and frankly offers a little more than the supposed favorites, Texas A&M and Texas. Outside of program history, Baylor has more wins, more bowl wins, and more championships than both of those schools. Why not Baylor? Thats what the coaches will be telling Jones. Not to mention the fact that Jones could likely come in and make an impact early on in his career.
As things wind down, we take a more in depth look at these two and provide updates to their recruitments. Onwuzurike is taking a visit to ASU this weekend, reportedly, and Brandon Jones will be in Austin to visit the Longhorns. Stay with BearsIllustrated, as we bring you the latest.