Baylor Bears

Dave Aranda on Recent Recruiting Success: ‘We’re Paying Players’

NCAA Football: Baylor at Cincinnati

Dave Aranda is known as a man of few words, and when he does speak, he gets straight to the point — that is, after he lets you know he appreciates your question.

Among a bevy of other questions for the fifth-year head coach at Baylor was one directed toward the Bears’ newfound success on the recruiting trail.

After a cold start to the summer, Baylor has really heated things up, most recently landing a commitment from consensus four-star EDGE Kamauryn Morgan, out of Red Oak, Texas.


The Bears currently rank 46th nationally (per and eighth in the Big 12 with 15 total commits, and when asked about their sudden surge in success, Aranda was quite blunt.

“We’re paying players,” Aranda told Craig Smoak of 365Sports.

Smoak followed up by asking if it was really that simple, to which Aranda said, “Yes.”

Near the end of last season, which was Baylor’s worst since 2020, Aranda took some of the blame for his program being behind in terms of NIL.


“I think the way it stands right now just with our record and with the amount of freshmen that are playing on our team. …. We are kind of the perfect example of a team to be poached [by other teams,” Aranda said. “So, all that’s in play right now and is happening right now and is something that I’m spending a lot of time on.

“So, whether that’s NIL for the guys on our team and getting that to where that is way competitive. And then, for guys that are coming in, and that are going to be on our team and all that, I think it’s something that is a major focus.”

The Bears will open up the 2024 season against Tarleton State and hope for a much better season after bringing in several impact players via the transfer portal.

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