Baylor fills cofers with recruits

When the new Baylor coaching staff arrived back in December, they found some recruits waiting to meet them and find out if they wanted to remain committed to Baylor. A couple decided to go elsewhere, but the majority liked what they saw and heard from their new coaching staff and decided to stay. Then, they brought one Kentucky commitment with them. By National Signing Day, this staff was able to supplement what they had with some decent talent, especially considering the shortness of time.

Center Nick Pace, P/K Ryan Havens, OL Chad Smith, OL Kellen Taylor, OL Michael Trice were commitments who had made commitments to the previous coaching staff. LB Jon Michael Morgan, who was a mid-term graduate at Shreveport Evangel High School, and could attend school in January, committed to Baylor just after the previous staff had been fired and this new staff hired, but all stuck by their commitments and signed their LOI's on Signing Day to play for the Baylor Bears.

Then, the coaching staff convinced a junior college mid-term graduate DL, Michael Murphy, who could to follow them to Baylor from Kentucky. Then, also in December, they found a defensive back, Maurice Linquist from the high school senior class of 2002 available and eligible to enter school for the spring semester. This made three players Guy Morriss and staff could sign and have available for spring practice. One could say they got off to a fast start.

Then the staff was able to get a commitment from one of the locals in LB Marcus Foreman from Midway. Soon they had commitments from S C.J. Wilson, WR Derrick Jones, WR Dominique Zeigler, S Brannon Moton, DB Braelong Davis, and QB Terrance Parks from Lufkin, where they also had a commitment from Parks' teammate, WR Quentin Holman. Come signing day, however, Quentin decided to go the junior college route and signed with Kilgore Junior College.

The staff got a commitment from it's second Louisiana recruit when QB Mike Miller from Lake Charles Barbe committed to the Bears. Mike was recruited to play TE. Following this commitment, the Bears then picked up pledges from DB Nick Fellows, DB Josh Bell, and OL Chris Evans. Chris, however is what is called a grayshirt. He will sit out the fall season for conditioning purposes to get his weight down and his speed up. Chris will then enter school in January, 2004 and count against next year's totals.

Then the Bears picked up a pledge from OL John Mahaffey from Tyler Lee. John was an Arizona commitment, but when the coach who was recruiting him suddenly left, John decided getting closer to home might have some advantages,and visited and committed to Baylor. The Bears rounded out their commitments by taking RB Brandon Garrett from Hooks, Texas. Then they stepped outside the state once again, to Edmond Oklahoma and grabbed RB Brandon Whitaker from the 6-A top ten school. The Bears' final commitments came from S Kyle Seals and DB Jack Criss who, like his teammate OL Chris Evans of Dallas Carter, was set to be another grayshirt. However, Jack decided on signing day to sign with Stephen F. Austin, in Nacogdoches.

All totaled then, the Bears, who had 26 to give, wound up with 23 signees, leaving the Bears three more to fill. At the end of signing day, the Bears were still waiting on one other LOI from a DL, but it had not arrived. Depending on how that goes, the Bears will be looking closely for any recruits who fall through the cracks on signing day, or get squeezed out waiting for a late qualifying test score. This happens all the time, but count on Guy Morriss and staff to make the most of any situation that presents itself.

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