Baylor University, in Waco, Texas, has made great strides since Coach Art Briles has arrived on the Brazos, and Tuesday was another big step in becoming a national power.
Baylor received the news that local four-star recruit Andrew Billings was staying in Waco to play his college ball at Baylor. Billings is a defensive tackle that could make an immediate impact on the Bear’s defense.
What makes this signing extra special is that they beat out TCU and UT for his services.
Now, Baylor and TCU often battle for the same recruits, so that news isn’t too big. But beating out UT, especially for a defensive player, is HUGE.
Baylor has been lighting up scoreboards since Briles arrived, but the defense has been nonexistent. Landing a stud recruit on that side of the ball is a step in the right direction, but beating UT head-to-head means Baylor has truly arrived.
Baylor also landed a four-star wide receiver from TCU’s backyard in Fort Worth, Robbie Rhodes. Rhodes is ranked as one of the top 10 recruits in the state and, yes, UT wanted him as well.
Baylor’s third four-star recruit was junior college linebacker Brian Nance, out of Chatham, Va., so the Baylor brand does indeed extend out of Texas.
All in all, Baylor will sign 23 kids on National Signing Day, in what might be the best recruiting class in Bear’s history.
Baylor has the No. 25 ranked class per rivals.com, and that is with an unusually weak crop of Texas kids this season.
Baylor has clearly cashed in on their recent success, building off of recent Bowl victories and of course Robert Griffin III.
Last season’s class was ranked No. 45. The year before No. 46, and in 2010, Baylor’s class was ranked No. 39.
Art Briles has just signed an extension at Baylor, meaning he’s here for the long haul.
He clearly sees something big in Baylor, and now 18-year-old kids see it as well.
John Dyer is a sports blogger for KSAT.com. He also owns a sports website, Texas Sports Junkie.