It has been just under 2-months since the Baylor Bears signed a Top-25 recruiting class for the 2016 cycle. That means there are just 10 months left to finalize the 2017 class, one that is already dominated by 4-star players and Scout-300 recruits.
Baylor has 5 commitments in the fold, including 2 safeties, 1 wide receivers, a tight end, and their quarterback. More than likely they are done at quarterback and could be done at safety and tight end. What else could they be looking at in terms of numbers?
Quarterback: 1 (1 committed - Kellen Mond)
Kellen Mond committed to the Bears last summer and has not wavered from the Bears. Mond transferred to IMG Academy, for his senior season, but has maintained his relationship with the coaching staff and speaks with Coach Briles and Kendal Briles often. Mond is ranked the #1 QB in Florida, and is the #11 overall QB according to Scout.com.
Running Back: 1-2
The Bears will likely take 1-2 prospects at this position and it will likely be someone to compliment 2016 signee Kameron Martin. Martin is a speedster that is more of a slasher and homerun type player. Baylor has put out a few offers, the most recent to a pair of 4 star prospects in Eno Benjamin and Cam Akers. Benjamin will be a senior at Wylie East HS and is one of the top RB's in the state of Texas. Benjamin is a between the tackles type of runner but also possesses the speed to bounce outside and gain big chunks of yardage. Akers is considered the top RB prospect in Mississippi and is similar to Benjamin. Akers is rightfully considered a lean to the SEC, but the recent offer from the Bears at least opened his eyes to the Big 12 power.
A player to watch, as a potential offer, is O'Maury Samuels who burst on to the scene at a recent Nike camp. Samuels is a large back with dynamic athletic ability. He is currently being evaluated by the staff and may earn an offer depending on what chips fall with the other offered prospects.
Wide Receiver: 2 (1 committed - Hezekiah Jones)
Baylor received some bad news late last night, as long time commit Jhamon Ausbon decommitted from the Bears. With his defection, the Bears have one commitment for the class in Hezekiah Jones. The decommitment of Ausbon is somewhat surprising considering the Bears only offered 2 receivers from Texas and never looked at another receiver after the commitment of Ausbon and Jones. But, such is recruiting and the Bears will have plenty of options to consider moving forward. Baylor has been taking a hard look at several prospects including Desoto (TX) HS WR KD Nixon, Cedar Hill (TX) HS WR Jaylon Jackson, Lancaster (TX) HS WR Omar Manning, Cedar Hill (TX) HS WR Camron Buckley or Lewisville (TX) HS WR Tyrell Shavers. You will see things happen quickly with offers going out, so it should be an interesting couple of days.
Tight End: 1 (1 committed - Kedrick James)
Kedrick James also committed last summer and while his commitment cause a few head scratches, James is a possibility to move to the defensive side of the ball. The athletic TE will likely focus on the defensive side of the ball for the defending State Champion, LaVega Pirates. James does possess the ability to be a dynamic TE, however. He would give the Bears a great option at that position and one that they haven't had in a while. James is currently rehabbing after repairing a torn labrum in his shoulder, but should be 100% going in to his senior season.
Offensive Line: 2 - 3
The OL is a position where you could see Baylor take 2-3. The Bears have some big offers out to some excellent in-state talent and with their recent success at developing OL, they should be able to reel in a few big guys. Austin Deculus is rumored to be headed to the SEC to join the LSU program, but the Bears are certainly in the race for his services. The other names closely associated with Baylor are Walker Little, Grayson Reed, Edward Ingram, Chuck Filiaga (who recently took a visit to Waco), Edward Ingram and former Alabama commit Netori Johnson, who recently named Baylor in his top 10. The Bears are going to receive a visit from Oklahoma commit, Tyrese Robinson, but it will difficult to pry him away from the Sooners. Still though, Baylor should be able to land at least 2 of the 6 players listed. They are in great shape with all of them.
Defensive Tackle: 2 - 3
At the defensive tackle position, I believe the Bears will look to add 2 bodies to the depth chart. The Bears currently have offers out to 3 DT's in Deiontae Watts, Damion Daniels and Jayden Peevy. All three players have visited the Baylor campus and all three players are priorities of the Bears. Outside of those 3, I think the Bears could look to the JUCO ranks again, to look for some immediate depth, but that decision won't be made until the summer or early fall.
Defensive End: 1 - 2
The Bears have several offers out to defensive ends, but there is a main focus on a few of them. Northshore (TX) HS DE K'Lavon Chaisson, a Baylor legacy, is at the top of the list of DE's that Baylor would like to land. Temple (TX) HS DE Taquon Graham is also a highly recruited DE that Baylor has had on campus a couple of times. Chaisson and Graham are dynamic DE's and are relentless in their attack of the QB. Both are near the top of the list with regards to their position ranking. Rounding out the list is underrated DE Corey Bethely. The Katy (TX) HS product is also a dynamic pass rusher, but doesn't receive the amount of attention Graham and Chaisson receive, however, he is a more than capable defender and one the Bears are pursuing.
With a rumored transition to the 3-4 defense, the Bears have put out a few offers at the LB position. The headliners of this group of offers are Anthony Hines and Baron Browning, a former Baylor commit. The Bears are in great shape with both, and both have made several trips to the Baylor campus. The Bears, however, have also offered a few very athletic LB's. Terrell Bernard, Josh Clarke and Levi Jones are receiving major attention from the Bears. Baylor is not lacking at depth, at the LB position, but a boost in athleticism wouldn't hurt and these guys have that. As the Bears continue through the evaluation period, look for them to offer a few more.
The Bears are concentrating on five names at the corner position right now and they sit very well with a couple of elite corners out of Texas. Chevin Calloway and Kary Vincent Jr. are the two getting the most attention, as they are shut down corners who are ranked highly in the country. They both possess the speed, athleticism and height to make an immediate impact for this Baylor defense. Baylor will obviously have a fight on their hands for these two, but both have been to campus several times and they both have great relationships with the staff. Three others to watch are Cheyenne Labruzza, Kobe Boyce and Myles Jones. With close to 8-9 offers out at this position, I wouldn't look for Baylor to offer any other corners unless a few come off the board or someone blows them away.
Safety: 2 (2 committed - Jalen Pitre, Donovan Stiner)
The Bears should be done at the Safety position, although there is one player who they would take and that is Grant Delpit. Delpit is an elite safety prospect out of Houston and has been on the Baylor campus a few times. Delpit has a great relationship with a few of the Houston Baylor commits, so don't count the Bears out here. If Delpit were to commit, I think you would see Donovan Stiner slide down to that corner position and fill a spot there. Stiner is a versatile athlete who could play either position.