Baylor Bears

Big 12 recruiting wish list: Baylor Bears

baylor coach matt rhule press conference

As the football season is slowly winding down, Christmas is just right around the corner. I am sure everyone in your family is constantly asking you what you want for Christmas. So, you start jotting down ideas or things that you would like but this isn’t that type of list. This list for the hardcore college football fans who know their team better than they know some people in their own family. Yeah, this is that list.

What does every hardcore fan want for their team? Recruits baby!

They want that five-star guy who can elevate their program or the three-star gem who becomes an All-American. Every program will have guys leave due to graduation or transfers which leave holes on the depth chart. This is a list of four positional needs in order of importance. So, Baylor Bears fans, this is what your team needs heading into 2018. Now before I begin, I am not breaking down film of these guys. Until they sign on the dotted line, there is no need to assume they are automatically going to sign with their current team that they are committed to. We will do a full class breakdown of each team on the final signing day in February.


1. Offensive Line

Current situation: Baylor needs depth here faster than Usain Bolt trying to run the 100- meter dash. This unit was an absolute mess not only because they didn’t have enough bodies, they had guys playing at positions that they wouldn’t normally play. It was a patchwork position to say the least. The Bears will have a total of 15 offensive linemen returning, but five of those will be seniors next season. The right move here would to be to get at least four of five offensive lineman that way they won’t have to stress out as much in the 2019 class.

Currently Committed (247Sports)

3 Star OT Connor Galvin (Katy, TX) (6’6-260) (#28 OT)

3 Star OT Casey Phillips (Franklin, TX) (6’5-280) (#63 OT)

3 Star OT Jackson Kimble (Southlake, TX) (6’5-260) (#67 OT)

3 Star OT Ylijaah Hall (Bryan, TX) (6’5-293) (#99 OT)

Current Targets with Interest

3 Star OG Johncarlo Valentin (Brooklyn, NY) (6’3-330) (#2 JUCO OT)

My take: Baylor has done a great job here. I said they needed 4 or 5 commits here and they currently have 4. I know what you’re thinking, they are all offensive tackles! Yes, that is true, but it is much easier to move tackles inside if needed than trying to move a guard to tackle. It wouldn’t be a total disappointment if they aren’t able to lane Johncarlo Valentin, but it would be the cherry on top so to speak. The most important thing here is that Baylor needs to be able to keep these current commits on board.


2. Wide Receiver

Current situation: There is no doubt that Baylor could use more playmakers on the outside like Denzel Mims and Pooh Stricklin. The Bears have had riches at this position over the last several years, but it has now become a very thin position. Baylor has a total of 11 wide receivers coming back next season. Let’s see what they have coming in for 2018.

Currently Committed (247Sports)

4 Star WR Joshua Fleeks (Cedar Hill, TX) (5’11.5-170) (#49 WR)

3 Star WR Kalon Barnes (Silsbee, TX) (5’11-172) (#73 WR)

3 Star WR Jackson Gleeson (Mansfield, TX) (6’1-160) (#139 WR)

Current Targets with Interest

4 Star WR Tommy Bush (Schertz, TX) (6’5-191) (#37 WR)

My take: Not bad at all here for Matt Rhule and company. Tommy Bush would be the icing on the cake for the wide receiver group in the 2018 class. Adding a fourth wide out in this class would provide immediate depth and because of the current situation, a couple of these guys could see the field earlier than expected. It is a win-win for both the recruits and Baylor.

3. Cornerback

Current situation: This group was forced to play a lot of younger guys due to injuries, suspensions, you name it. In the Big 12, you must have plenty of depth at corner due to all the spread offenses wanting to constantly air it out. Baylor will have a total of 9 corners returning next season and the good news is all of them will be sophomores and juniors. Still, the depth isn’t quite there yet at this position.

Currently Committed (247Sports)

3 Star ATH Mark Milton (Friendswood, TX) (6’1-175) (#72 ATH)

Current Targets with Interest

4 Star ATH BJ Hanspard (DeSoto, TX) (6’0-170) (#16 ATH)

My take: I think that 4-star ATH BJ Hansard is a must get for Baylor. Taking 2 corners would be wise here and BJ Hanspard would be an excellent piece to add for the 2018 class. Even though he is listed as an athlete, it appears that he will likely play corner at the next level. Bears fans should be hoping for BJ Hanspard to pledge to Baylor.


4. Tight End

Current situation: Since Matt Rhule arrived, we all expected some changes on the offensive side of the football. While they certainly wanted to change, they didn’t have the personnel to change to a physical, run-powered offense. First off, they didn’t have the depth up front and the tight end position was bare. To become that power offense, they will need some tight ends to create mismatches on the play action passes.

Currently Committed (247Sports)

3 Star TE Bralen Taylor (Cuero, TX) (6’7-221) (#29 TE)

3 Star TE Christoph Henle (Arlington, TX) (6’5.5-245) (#41 TE)

3 Star TE Ben Sims (San Antonio, TX) (6’5-241) (#51 TE)

My take: In a previous recruiting wish list article I said, “They not only took all the presents under the Christmas tree, they took the whole damn tree too.” That statement fits perfectly here for the tight end situation for Baylor. They needed at least two here and they currently have three on board right now. Great job by the Baylor staff.


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