Considering Matt Rhule stepped into a situation where Baylor had only one recruit signed for the Class of 2017, he and his staff has done a fantastic job building this group into a projected Top 30 class with 26 commitments (so far). There are a pair of four stars, 21 three-star players, and three are two-star players.
Rhule went the route many new coaches at a Power 5 program will go: try and poach the top players from the program a level below (QB Charlie Brewer from SMU). Rhule has an interesting combination of Texas kids, along with some northeast players, from his ties from his coaching days at Temple.
Balance is the key to this Baylor class with one quarterback, two running backs, four receivers, five offensive linemen, six defensive linemen, three linebackers and four defensive backs.
The star of the Baylor 2017 recruiting class: OT Xavier Newman (Desoto, TX)
Rhule beat out the class of the Big 12, the Oklahoma Sooners, and an up-and-comer in Colorado, out of the Pac-12. It also shows that Rhule has put together a staff that can keep quality Texas talent in the state.
Offensive line is not a sexy position to watch, but the Baylor offensive line was gutted following the 2015 season and then with last year’s debacle off the field, Baylor had just 15 commitments and only one offensive line commitment in Brandon Autry (who never played a down and is no longer on the team). So, this was a position that coach Rhule needed to add depth and quality to and he did that with Newman.
The best position group of the Baylor 2017 recruiting class: defensive line
Baylor is bringing in some quality pieces along the defensive line, including early on Wednesday when jumbo athlete BJ Thompson chose Baylor over Florida State, Texas, Washington State, and Utah. Add that to the news late on Tuesday when DeMarco Artis picked Baylor over Oregon and you have a couple of studs to lead a group of 6 defensive ends for coach Rhule. Might we be talking about Baylor as a “defense first” school in a couple seasons? This group is strong and deep.
The Baylor 2017 recruiting class could use more depth at: running back
Three-star backs Abram Smith and John Lovett are the two backs coming in this year. But, it’s a position for Baylor that can use all the help it can get.
Shock Linwood and Johnny Jefferson are gone. So, it’s now up to Terence Williams (1,000+ rushing yards last season) and JaMycal Hasty (623 rushing yards) to try and be the next tandem in the backfield. But, it would be nice of Smith can provide a boost in the backfield for the Bears this season. As Zach Smith continues his learning curve at quarterback, having depth at running back could really help ease the pressure off Smith as he learns a new offense under Rhule’s staff.
**If you want a chance to win FREE Big 12 gear from your favorite team, be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter! **