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November 2, 2012

Baylor Blitz: Go North!

Bears like the football Clark
An athletic family can have some kind of connection to one school. The Baylor basketball program has been aggressively pursuing Oklahoma City Douglass and 2013 four star guard prospect Stevie Clark.

Now, the football team wants his younger brother Deondre.

With a frame like the 6-4, 240 that the 2014 defensive end has constructed, it's no wonder that such notable programs in Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, LSU, Notre Dame and Texas A&M have offered him
But to think that he's an early lock to stay in the Sooner State is a little premature.

"Once kids get an Oklahoma offer, many outside schools don't they're going to get them out of the state,'' Douglass coach Willis Alexander said. "That's not always true. He's very physical. With a kid that size, we want them to play the run first and then react to the pass. Deondre's coming along more and more.''

That's putting it mildly. Douglass entered this week at 7-2 and Clark has been nothing but intimidating. He already has collected 20 sacks (117 yards in losses) and forced 17 quarterback hurries. That's 37 plays (or four per game) where Clark has harassed an opposing quarterback into a bad play. By the way, he also leads the team with 91 total tackles.

Depending on the scheme, Alexander believes Clark will play at about 260 pounds in college. Because he plays on the basketball team, he really hasn't had a chance to go through a full offseason in the weight room. Versatility will be an asset. If it's in a 3-4 scheme, he can be an outside linebacker. If it's a four-man front, then strong side defensive end.

On a whim or by design, Clark joined his older brother in Waco when the Bears played TCU three weeks ago. It may or may not mean anything if Stevie commits to the Bears, although it is thought Oklahoma State is the leader for Stevie.

Regardless, it's another year away for Deondre at least. Watching his brother go through the scrutiny has helped him deal with his own.

"He's handled the attention well,'' Alexander said. "I talk to the kids and keep their parents informed. With his brother going through this, it's helped him. He busted his butt off this season. He does have some leaders but I'm keeping that quiet.''


Nance update
If you didn't hear me on David Smoak's show on ESPN 1660 AM Wednesday, I mentioned I traded text messages with linebacker Brian Nance who is currently at Hargrave Academy in Chatham, VA.

Nance told me he taken both the ACT and SAT tests late last month and should know his scores around Nov. 16. So that timeframe is fast approaching. To be sure, everybody within the Baylor coaching staff is keeping fingers crossed that this works out because the Bears really need an enforcer in the middle line of the defense.

The good news is that Nance dropped about 12 pounds to get to 240. That makes him more agile and doesn't put as much wear on his right knee, which he injured last year.
So if Nance makes it and comes to Baylor in January - as he has said - along with grey shirt Kiante' Griffin, they will count against the Baylor 2013 class and make this class 20 before other commitments.

Again, I'm not counting Nance or Griffin a part of this class until anything becomes more clear, such as either or both actually being on campus.


Big 12 Weekend
A look at the upcoming weekend action involving the Big 12 along with their TV listings. All times are Central. All rankings are BCS.

No. 12 Oklahoma (5-2, 3-1) at Iowa State (5-3, 2-3)
11:00 a.m. Saturday, Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA. (ABC)
What to Watch:
We'll see how the Sooners bounce back from the disappointing outing last week against Notre Dame. While BCS hopes are nearly gone, they are still in the middle of the conference championship race. If they win out, they can finish the regular season with 10 wins. Running back Damien Williams has rushed for only 73 yards in the last 10 games. The Cyclones are one win away from bowl eligibility. They last won in this series in 1990, 33-31.

TCU (5-3, 2-3) at No. 21 West Virginia (5-2, 2-2)
2:00 p.m. Saturday, Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV. (FX)
What to Watch:
This is the first meeting between the Big 12's newest schools. The Horned Frogs are dealing with several injuries including quarterback Trevone Boykin (knee), running back Matthew Tucker (high ankle sprain) and defensive end Stansly Maponga (foot). Maponga hasn't played the last two games and could be that he might be out for the season. Following the bye, the Mountaineers are trying to recover from a 55-14 home thrashing to Kansas State. While QB Geno Smith struggled (143 yards, 2 INTs), the running game averaged 3.1 yards per carry.

Kansas (1-7, 0-5) at Baylor (3-4, 0-4)
2:30 p.m. Saturday, Floyd Casey Stadium Waco (FSN)
What to Watch:
Freshman quarterback Michael Cummings remains the starter. But the Jayhawks will try to pound the football with James Sims who is the first Kansas running back to rush for 100 yards in four consecutive games since 1991. The Bears are still last in the country in total defense at 553.7 yards per game. Baylor is also last in the Big 12 in turnover ratio at minus 5.

No. 23 Texas (6-2, 3-2) at No. 18 Texas Tech (6-2, 3-2)
2:30 p.m. Saturday, Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock (ABC)
What to Watch:
The Longhorns have won 37 of their last 44 Big 12 road games and are 2-0 on the road in the conference this year. True freshman running back Johnathan Gray, who had his first 100-yard game last week, starts this week. There's some irony because Gray's father James was an all-SWC running back for Texas Tech in the late 1980s under Spike Dykes. The Red Raiders are trying to rebound from last week's disappointment at Kansas State. Tech has the conference's third-best rushing defense at 121.2 yards per game.

No. 24 Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1) at No. 2 Kansas State (8-0, 5-0)
7:00 p.m. Saturday, Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS. (ABC)
What to Watch:
The Cowboys control their fate in the conference race. If they beat the Wildcats and win out, they would have a firm shot at a BCS bid. But there's a long way to go. Freshman QB West Lunt (knee) came through the win over TCU without any issues since he is dealing with a knee injury. The Wildcats are off to their third 8-0 start in school history. They are 41-of-46 in the Red Zone this season.


Big 12 Power Rankings
Each week, SicEmSports.com unveils its weekly power rankings. Agree or disagree, these make for great water cooler talk.

1.Kansas State - The Wildcats lead the conference in scoring 44.4

2. Oklahoma - Bob Stoops' response to fans who want Landry Jones removed? "They're not very smart.''

3. Texas Tech - Red Raiders minus 4 in the turnover ratio

4. West Virginia - Mountaineers only 8-3 at home under Dana Holgorsen

5. Oklahoma State - Defense has allowed only four TDs in the last three games

6. Texas - Quarterbacks have been sacked only seven times

7. Iowa State - Cyclones have beaten Oklahoma five times in 76 tries

8. TCU - Freshman B.J. Catalon is the leading rusher with only 382 yards

9. Baylor - Bears have played only one home game in the last six weeks

10. Kansas - Jayhawks control the clock averaging 32:35 in time of possession


Emptying the Notebook
*Speaking of Oklahoma City Douglass, there should be more quality Division I recruits in the future. It starts with 2014 offensive tackle Mildren Montgomery (6-4, 245), 2015 free safety Aaron McKinney (6-3, 175) and 2016 quarterback Patrick McKauffman (6-4, 165). McKauffman is coach Willis Alexander's nephew.





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