Benjamin Baylor, better known as BJ, hails from Wharton, Texas. This past fall at Wharton High School, the 6’ 190 pound back rushed for nearly 2,000 yards and 24 touchdowns en route to District 15-4A Offensive MVP honors. Rated a 3-star running back by Scout, he was also a top-100 back in the nation for the cycle and the 15th best in Texas. His performance his senior year perhaps warranted a higher ranking, but he really only received ample playing time as a senior having split carries with others up until this year. He was a bit of a jack-of-all-trades for his Tigers team, as he was a starter for the varsity squad all four years of his career at either linebacker or safety. Has several family connections to Oregon State including the Rodgers brothers and former soccer player Khiry Shelton.
LEAD OSU RECRUITER:
Jason Phillips – Area
Telly Lockette -- Position
While Baylor came onto OSU’s radar late in the process, he had been on many other teams radar but had only received offers from Howard and Texas Southern before the Beavers stepped to the plate. His commitment can be directly linked to Coach Phillips and his recruiting prowess in the greater Houston area. Baylor had been a player on Phillips’ radar since he was at Kansas prior to arriving at OSU, however the Jayhawks had been full at the running back position at the time. The other reason as to why he emerged so late on the scene is due to the Beavers being full at the position up until the end of January as well. Isaiah Miller had flipped to Missouri just prior to the JUCO signing day, but Calvin Tyler filled his spot. Once TJ Green began to waver however, that opened the door for Baylor at OSU. He was offered and committed while on his visit to OSU the weekend before signing day.
WHY OREGON STATE:
“I chose Oregon State because I felt like I could be a big help to the team. I like the coaching staff because they worry about academics first and because they want you to be successful off and on the field.”
Baylor possesses ideal size for a collegiate running back… Is a good pass receiver out of the backfield, in fact I could see him motioning out of the backfield into the slot and being a formidable weapon there creating mismatches… Perhaps his best trait is his balance, able to bounce off glancing blows and maintain his forward momentum… One cut type of runner with above average burst and good top end speed… Gives you a bit of everything, some speed, some power, some elusiveness…
INSIDE THE COMMITMENT:
BJ Baylor signing with the Beavers should be considered a steal as he has big upside and the fact that OSU was able to get a player of his caliber right before signing day is a testament to the staff’s relentlessness on recruiting trail. Really, Baylor’s commitment can be attributed to two distinct events, Jason Phillips hiring and TJ Green’s decommitment. Without Phillips on staff, the Beavers’ staff probably never learns of Baylor. If Green doesn’t decommit to pursue “greener” pastures, then the Beavers would not have been in the market for another running back as part of their class. Prior to pledging to OSU, Texas Southern had been recruiting the Texas native the hardest. It would have been interesting had the Beavers not pursued him, whether he would have pledged to a lower division school or possibly tried to go the JUCO route to try to drive up interest as his talents should have garnered more offers from Power-5 schools.