Wednesday is a historic day for college football recruiting, as well as for the Baylor recruiting program. The new early signing period is the first chance for players to join Matt Rhule’s team heading into his second year.
The early signing period, established last summer, allows high school seniors and junior college players to sign their National Letters of Intent from Dec. 20 to Dec. 22. Players can still choose to wait and sign on the traditional National Signing Day, which falls on Feb. 7.
Despite a 1-11 record during the 2017 season, Rhule and his staff have had plenty of success on the recruiting trail. Just over the last week, Baylor added three new commitments, including two 4-star players.
Baylor’s 22-player class is currently ranked the 19th best in the country by ESPN. Approximately 15 of those players are expected to sign early on Wednesday.
Mansfield deep threat Jackson Gleeson and Southlake Carroll offensive lineman Jackson Kimble both intend to sign early. So do speedy Crosby running back Craig “Sqwirl” Williams and 6-foot-8 Cuero tight end Bralen Taylor.
Baylor’s newest commit, 4-star receiver Tyquan Thornton, had originally been a Baylor commit before switching to Florida. However, a few days ago the lightning fast Thornton flipped back to the Bears from the Gators and plans to sign Wednesday.
They will be joined by tight end Christoph Henle out of Arlington (by way of Austria) and offensive lineman Casey Phillips. Henle and Phillips are both set to graduate high school this month and enroll at Baylor next semester.
Another signing Baylor fans will eagerly be awaiting is that of 4-star quarterback Gerry Bohanon. The Arkansas native announced he will make his decision on Tuesday, Dec. 19.
Bohanon is the only signal caller Baylor is recruiting in the 2018 class, but the Bears will have to fend off the in-state Razorbacks and others. Fans will likely panic if the Bears don’t land Bohanon and must look for a QB elsewhere. But remember, Big 12 Co-Freshman of the Year Charlie Brewer was not recruited by the Bears until late December last year.
What looks to be a stacked defensive backfield will take shape for the Bears on Wednesday. JT Woods, a 6-foot-3 safety and track star will officially sign with Baylor, as will the highest rated player in the class, alpha dog defensive back BJ Hanspard.
Both Woods and Hanspard will enroll early at Baylor to participate in workouts and spring practice.
Joining them are safety Christian Morgan and another speedster in athlete Mark Milton. Morgan runs a 4.56 forty and has a 43-inch vertical leap, and his freakish athleticism translates onto the field. Baylor’s staff will try to mold Milton and his jets into a shutdown corner.
The defensive early signee group is rounded out by lengthy 6-foot-6 edge rusher Marje Smith out of Marshall.
Armchair has stressed this, but Baylor’s class is very fast.
Kalon Barnes 100 & 200-meter state champ
Byron Hanspard 4.54
Joshua Fleeks 4.48
Craig Williams 4.36
Christian Morgan 4.56
Mark Milton 4.48
Stanley Hackett 4.56
Jackson Gleeson 21.3 200-meters
— Gerry Hamilton (@HamiltonESPN) December 12, 2017
Rhule will speak to the media at 3:30 pm CT on Wednesday, Dec. 20. Fans interested in the press conference can watch live on BaylorBears.com.