Hill talking with Baylor
The Kenny Hill and Baylor rumors aren't quieting down. Hill confirmed this week he has spoken with the Baylor coaching staff within the last couple of weeks - before the dead period began on Dec. 19 - but declined to go into how extensive the talks have gone.
When asked how interested he was in Baylor, Hill said, "I'm not sure.''
However, a person familiar with the situation didn't rule out the possibility of Hill taking an official visit to Waco later this month.
Baylor has one quarterback signed for the 2013 class in Bryan's Chris Johnson. Johnson already signed his financial aid documents and will be on campus when the spring semester begins on Jan. 14.
The Baylor coaching staff has always grappled whether it would pursue a second quarterback with this class.
Ranked No. 136 in the Rivals 250 and No. 7 among all dual-threat quarterbacks, the Southlake Carroll signal caller said he remains committed to Texas A&M.
While there is a lot of talk centering on his potential to play because of Johnny Manziel, another factor that could be involved is that Allen 2015 quarterback Kyler Murray is the son of former Texas A&M great Kevin Murray. It's long been thought the younger Murray would follow in his father's footsteps.
One-on-one with CAB (with more to come)
Be sure to check on newsstands in a few weeks for the Winter Edition of Texas Football magazine (the Baylor season review was written by yours truly). I spoke at length with Baylor coach Art Briles for that story and got quite a few comments and pieces of info that won't make it into print, so I'll pass them along in a longer story to run this weekend. Here's a teaser of what's to come:
Eight of Baylor's top 10 tacklers return next season, including three players who had breakout seasons (LBs Bryce Hager and Eddie Lackey and DE Chris McAllister). But two other defenders are expected to get the most attention despite having never played a down of college football.
When told fans are excited about transfer defensive linemen Shawn Oakman and Jason Osei, Art Briles cut off the interview and, with a laugh, said "as I am too." Briles said to "expect impacts" from Oakman and Osei.
"These guys are definitely physically intimidating specimens," he continued. "What we gotta do is match their body types with production. That's the key thing. You can look good, but you've got to play good. What we've got to do is make sure they're able to play good and get off the field."
And is some other positive news about a lineman on the other side of the ball: Briles expects Cyril Richardson to skip the NFL draft and return for his senior season. He basically gave Richardson the same line he gave to Jason Smith, who returned to Baylor for his senior season in 2008 before getting drafted second overall in 2009.
"Lot of difference between visiting the ranch," Briles said, "and owning the ranch."
-- Jake Shaw
Harris progessing well
You might remember that Fort Worth Southwest athlete Wesley Harris, who was playing quarterback for the Raiders, suffered a season-ending right knee injury in early October.
Turns out, the injury was a little worse. When he had the surgery to repair the partially torn lateral collateral ligament, there was also a slight tear in the ACL. Given the severity of the injury, there was no chance that Harris could have played in the playoffs.
But within four weeks, Harris said he nearly full range of motion. He was recently cleared to jog and hopes to be cleared to resume running by the end of the month.
"It's been going pretty well,'' Harris said of the rehab. "Everything is healing well. The doctors said I had great cartilage. I'm just trying to strengthen the muscles around my ligaments.''
Harris said he spoke with Baylor defensive backs coach Carlton Buckels Thursday to finalize his visit to Baylor on Jan. 25.
"It's going good,'' he said. "I'm real solid with Baylor. I took my SAT and the score is good, but they just want me to take it again later this month so it will be better. I'm cool with that.''
-- Kevin Lonnquist
Official visits being set
We reached out to several commitments to find out when they are taking their official visits. As you know, Chris Johnson, Tyler Edwards, Gus Penning and Brian Nance, members of the 2013 class who are coming next week already will be on campus. Cy Woods defensive Alfred Pullom took his in December. Here's who we have confirmed. This list will be updated.
Austin Jupe, DB, SA East Central
Travon Blanchard, LB, West Orange-Stark (He may change it)
Kyle Fulks<.b>, Ath, Katy
Andrew Billings, DL, Waco
Johnny Jefferson, RB, Killeen Ellison
Taion Sells, DB, Irving MacArthur
Vequan Jones, WR, Wylie East
Robbie Rhodes, WR, FW Southwest
Wesley Harris, Ath, FW Southwest
Xavier Phillips, LB, FW All Saints
Raaquan Davis, LB. Rockwall-Heath
Darius Moore, OL, Fort Bend Marshall
K.J. Smith, DE, Frisco Centennial
Note: We have not confirmed yet that Port Arthur Memorial DT Matthew Romar is coming on Jan. 25. Still Working on that.
Baylor opens vs. Texas
Baylor (8-4) and Texas (8-5) open up their Big 12 seasons at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Ferrell Center (ESPNU).
Both teams have shown flashes of greatness with Baylor winning at Kentucky and Texas routing North Carolina at home. They've both also had their slipups with the Longhorns in particular struggling to score the basketball.
Baylor holds an edge in that it has won 12 of 14 games against the Horns and 11 straight against in-state rivals.
Head coach Scott Drew will sit out Saturday's game as part of Baylor's self-imposed NCAA penalties announced in April. Assistant Jerome Tang will be the Bears' interim coach for this game and Tuesday against Texas Tech.
-- Todd Wills
Big 12 Hoops Power Rankings
Big 12 Hoops Power Rankings
Each week during the Big 12 conference basketball season, SicEmSports will unveil its weekly power rankings. We chose to let the non-conference season run its course before starting this.
1. Kansas (11-1) - freshman G Ben McLemore is pretty special
2. Oklahoma State (10-2) - Cowboys youth in Marcus Smart and Philip Forte strong
3. Kansas State (11-2) - Bruce Weber making the transition nicely to Manhattan
4. Baylor (9-4) - Inconsistency still an issue with this team
5. Oklahoma (9-3) - But the Sooners have a terrible loss to Stephen F. Austin
6. Texas (8-5) - The loss of Myck Kabongo limits the Longhorns' offense
7. Iowa State (10-3) -- Cyclones resume doesn't include any big wins
8. West Virginia (7-5) -- Mountaineers shooting only 40.5 percent this year
9. Texas Tech (7-4) -- Forward Jaye Crockett averaging nearly a double, double 15, 9
10. TCU (9-4) -- Soft schedule has produced eights wins by 11 or fewer points
Projected NCAA tournament teams: Kansas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Baylor
NIT tournament teams: Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa State
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