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November 9, 2013

Baylor Blitz: Nov. 9, 2013

BaylorBlitz

NOTE: The content on the Baylor Blitz is solely meant for the subscribers of Sic'EmSports. But today's an exception -- it's free to all readers. Now, let's take a look at Baylor recruiting and what else is going on involving the Bears.






NOTE: We will be tracking exactly the status of Texarkana Liberty-Eylau's Davion Hall and whether he went to Tuscaloosa, Al. today for his scheduled visit to watch Alabama play LSU.

To be honest, I've been getting conflicting information as to whether he was or was not going.

A couple East Texas folks we talked thought he could be going with his family today. But I checked with our Alabama colleagues who were of the knowledge that they didn't believe he was coming. In other words, who in the world knows? But when we know, you'll know.

Remember, we reported Hall signed his financial aid documents with Baylor on Oct. 23 - that's a new rule the NCAA implemented for mid-semester enrollees (Ennis RB Terence Williams and Kingwood Park TE Jordan Feuerbacher have signed those as well). That doesn't mean Hall is now tied to Baylor because it doesn't work like a letter of intent. He can still visit other schools. Hence, that's why we're trying to find out what's going on today.
-Kevin Lonnquist



Gibson is emerging
In the face of a lost season that finished with a 7-game losing streak, that's never deterred Baylor's coaching staff from evaluating players from any corner.

White Settlement Brewer's [db]Chris Gibson[/db] fits that role. Baylor has been tracking the 2015 6-0, 200 athlete ever since he came to the June 1 camp in Waco. At first, Gibson said the staff thought he was going to be a sophomore this fall until they learned he would be a junior.

"They worked me out at wide receiver, and I thought I did pretty good," Gibson said. "Wherever they want me to play, I'll play. I really liked getting to know [Kendal] Briles."

Gibson said he's been hearing from Baylor, Arkansas, Florida State, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and California.

While it appears that Baylor hasn't offered yet - Gibson said he isn't sure if the Bears have or have not - there is a lot to evaluate. He played quarterback in Brewer's first nine games before playing safety and wide receiver in the finale against Denton Guyer. His 4.47 speed led his 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Wildcats. That was the only score as Guyer, 70-7. Brewer finished the season 3-7.

For the season, Gibson threw for only 557 yards but he rushed for 1,042 and scored 13 touchdowns.

"The [TD against Guyer] shows me I can do anything," he said. "I won't give up on the scoreboard and the circumstance. I love playing this game."

Gibson will transition into track season where he specializes in the 100 and 4x100 and 4x200. His personal best in the 100 10.7. He thinks he can shave it to 10.5.
-Kevin Lonnquist



Austin emerging
Like you read above, South Grand Prairie 2015 wide receiver Jaelin Austin was one of many recruits who came away impressed with what they saw with Baylor on Thursday.

Austin just completed his junior year for the Warriors and caught a 24-yard touchdown pass to beat rival Grand Prairie, 48-14. While the season numbers aren't eye-popping (28-428 5 TD), his yards per reception (15.3) is solid. He's also a pretty decent target at 6-2, 200. Baylor has not offered yet.

"They're recruiting me pretty hard, and I talk to Coach [Jeff] Lebby quite a bit," Austin said. "I think they're waiting to evaluate my season and see me again in the spring to see my progression in the offseason."

Gibson said he probably will attend one of Baylor's junior days in the spring.
-Kevin Lonnquist



Recruits react to Baylor's historic 8-0 start
With the magnitude of Baylor's 41-12 victory over Oklahoma now complete, SicEmSports reached out to Baylor recruits to collect their reactions to this program now in the national championship conversation.

>Jaelin Austin, WR, South Grand Prairie (2015 Baylor recruit): "It was live! Their program is definitely one of if not the most exciting teams to watch."it was live! I had a great time their program is definitely one of if not the most exciting teams to watch

>JaMycal Hasty, RB Longview (2015 Baylor offer): "Those boys are for real!"

>Soso Jamabo, RB, Plano West (2015 Baylor offer): "They. Are. The. Truth."

>Chris Platt, WR, Willis (2014 Baylor commit): "Glad they are showing everyone that they are no fluke. That's a good football team. They're going to be hard to beat."

>Charles West, RB, Coppell (2015 Baylor recruit): "They're a great team. Very well coached. They're No. 1 on my list."

>Josh Pelzel, OL, Rockdale (2014 Baylor commit): "They're something else now."

>Keaton Sutherland, OL, FM Marcus (2015 Baylor offer): "Wow! They are playing awesome and putting up some big-time numbers."

>Ryan Newsome, Ath, Aledo (2015 Baylor recruit): "Good program, man."

>Blake Blackmar, OL, Houston Clear Lake (2014 Baylor commit): "Same I thought before. They are the real deal and they're whoopin ass."

>Kameron Martin, RB, PA Memorial (2016 Baylor offer): "Love them."

>Devontre Stricklin, WR, Waco Midway (2015 Baylor offer): "Love it."

>Jamie Jacobs, DE/LB, Waco Midway (2014 Baylor commit): "I knew Baylor was a program on the rise - one of the reasons why I committed to them but it doesn't surprise me. They are the hardest working team in the country."

>Chad President, QB, Temple (2015 Baylor commit): "It's on the rise. Getting better every week."

>Nate Goings, DB, Mesquite Poteet (2014 Baylor recruit): "They're unbelievable."

>Ira Lewis, DT, Houston Lamar (2014 Baylor commit): "I always have thought it was amazing and when I come next year, it's going to be even better."

>KD Cannon, WR, Mount Pleasant (2014 Baylor commit): "It's on the rise."

>Larry Pryor, WR, Sulphur Springs (2015 Baylor offer): "I think they are something special. [Thursday] night had me thinking hard about Baylor now."

>Malik Jefferson, LB, Mesquite Poteet (2015 Baylor offer): Just said he continues to have interest in Baylor

>Kameron Kelly, Ath, Wylie (2014 Baylor recruit): "Absolultely incredible. They look very very impressive."

>Darrion Daniels, DT, Dallas Bishop Dunne (2015 Baylor offer): "They look very strong."

>Jordan Feuerbacher, TE, Kingwood Park (2014 Baylor commit: "One of the best in the nation."
-Kevin Lonnquist



Chilling at the AAC
Baylor's big weekend continued Friday with the basketball team starting off right with a 72-60 victory over Colorado in the Buckets and Boots event at the American Airlines Center.

Baylor's game was the nightcap and drew plenty of visitors including:

2015 5-star Center Tyler Davis 
2015 5-star Power Forward Elijah Thomas 
2015 5-Star Shooting Guard King McClure 
2016 Center Marques Bolden
2016 Power Forward Cameron McGriff
2017 Guard Chris Giles
2015 4-Star Point Guard Juwan Evans
2015 4-Star forward D.J. Hogg
-Kevin Lonnquist



Bears get solid win, show room for improvement
Maybe it was the late tip at the American Airlines Center on Friday night. Or maybe it was playing two new starters (three if you count Gary Franklin taking Brady Heslip's spot) as well as two there newcomers.

But the No. 25 Baylor basketball team's offense appeared out of sync for much of Friday night's 72-60 win over, and the front court had trouble keeping Colorado -- which had 18 offensive rebounds -- off the defensive glass. Still, there were numerous signs that this team has a lot of potential.

With the offense needing someone to step up, first-year point guard Kenny Chery scored on two of three possessions, sparking an 11-5 run to close the first half with a 30-22 lead. Up until that point, Chery had been quiet. But as the game progressed, he continued to become more aggressive. He ended with a team-high 14 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and only 2 turnovers.

Perhaps his most impressive stat was his one foul. Bayor lost Taurean Waller-Prince to fouls. Three other players came within one of fouling out as well. The NCAA's intent to call things more closely was definitely evident Friday night.

Chery started the game alongside Franklin, who knocked down three 3-pointers and seemed to be taking away minutes from Heslip. But Heslip got a lot more second-half minutes and responded with four made 3-pointers. Baylor was 8-of-20 from long range compared to 2-of-19 by Colorado.

As for the other newcomers, Royce O'Neale looked like he'll be a solid contributor in multiple areas. He was 3-for-3 from the field and added a couple of rebounds, and he played with a lit of hustle. So did Ish Wainright, a true freshman who might've played with too much hustle. He picked up four fouls in only 13 minutes and didn't score despite getting the start.

That opened the door for Waller-Prince, who was just as important to Baylor's win as Chery, getting 10 points and eight rebounds. That showed just what kind of depth Baylor has this year, because Baylor's top two returning starters -- Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin -- had relatively quiet nights.

Jefferson did have a double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds), but he shot 33 percent from the floor and only played 25 minutes because of foul trouble. Austin had 5 and 4 and never got into an offensive flow.

But that's perhaps a positive. Baylor got a 12-point win over a team picked to finish third in the Pac-12 despite foul trouble to all its posts, an offense that needs to find itself, and a bad night rebounding. If Baylor can win on nights like that, this team will be dangerous once it comes together.
-Jake Shaw



Big 12 Weekend
A look at the other Saturday games. All times are central. Rankings are BCS.

Kansas State (4-4, 2-3) at No. 25 Texas Tech (7-2, 4-2)
11:00 a.m. Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock (ABC)

The skinny: Kansas State has strung consecutive wins for the first time in more than one month. The Red Raiders have lost two straight. WR Tyler Lockett has moved to No. 5 all time in terms of receptions in school history. Texas Tech's defense has had some problems in the last couple of weeks surrendering 90 points in losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

TCU (3-6, 1-5) at Iowa State (1-7, 0-5)
11:00 a.m. Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA (FSN)

The skinny: To be bowl eligible, TCU has to win its last three games starting this week on the road. While QB Casey Pachall has been fairly solid coming back, there is some problem with turnovers. TCU is tied for the conference lead with total turnovers committed with 23. The Cyclones will not be bowling this year as defensive issues. The offense has struggled.

Kansas (2-6, 0-5) at No. 14 Oklahoma State (7-1, 4-1)
3:00 p.m. Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK, (FOX Sports 1)

The skinny: Here come the Cowboys who have been pretty impressive in the last two ballgames with impressive road wins at Iowa State and Texas Tech. They have scored 58 and 52 points respectively and have leaned on their running game. KU needs to win out to be bowl eligible and that seems highly unlikely. Running back James Sims is at 3,119 career yards to put him third all-time on the rushing list.

Texas (6-2, 5-0) at West Virginia (2-4, 4-5)
6:00 p.m. Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV (FOX)

The skinny: The Longhorns make their first visit to West Virginia and continue to control their destiny. Jackson Jeffcoat and Cedric Reed have combined for 11 of the defense's 20 sacks. While Case McCoy remains the starting quarterback, he has been turnover prone with four interceptions in the last two games. The Mountaineers have relied on transfer RB Charles Sims to lead them. He has more than 1,000 rushing and receiving yards.
-SicEmSports



Big 12 Power Rankings
Each week, SicEmSports ranks the Big 12 teams based on expectations and performance. Ratings always vary. Agree or disagree, there's nothing like finding out who is ranked where. The rankings are prior to the Baylor-Oklahoma game

1. Baylor- Art Briles now feels like his program has quality Big 12 depth
2. Oklahoma State- The Cowboys lead the Big 12 in turnover ratio at plus 10
3. Texas- DT Chris Whaley is the first DL in history to have 2 TDs in one season
4. Oklahoma- The passing game will be a problem for the rest of the season
5. TexasTech- Rushing offense 9th in the Big 12 at 124.9 per game
6. Kansas State- Leads the conference in yards per punt return at 21.7
7. West Virginia- Mountaineers only converting 31 percent on 3rd down
8. TCU- Total offensive numbers have moved only five yards in the last five weeks
9. Kansas- Charlie Weis is encouraged by the passing game's growth
10. Iowa State- Forced only three interceptions and collected 12 sacks
-Kevin Lonnquist



Emptying the Notebook
>South Grand Prairie DB Jason Hall was at the Baylor-Oklahoma game on Thursday. Of course, Hall is a Texas commit. From what we understand, this is similar to KD Cannon visiting Oklahoma and Texas Tech the previous weeks. Kids want to watch some football in person.

>Here's why Temple QB and Baylor 2015 commit Chad President (torn ACL) already has his brace off. In his 3x day rehab routine, he will ride a bike and do wall sits in the morning. At noon, he will lift weights and ride the bike again. After school, he does pool workouts and more work on the bike and in the weight room.

>It may be a matter of time before Baylor evaluates Marble Falls 2016 quarter Brennen Wooten. The 6-2, 175-pound prospect already holds an offer from Akron and is drawing interest from Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas and USC.
"By the time he figures this out, he's going to be the real deal," Marble Falls coach Todd Dodge said. "He's as good as I've coached."
-SicEmSports




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