WACO (February 6, 2013) -- Baylor head coach Art Briles announced Wednesday the signing of 23 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play football at the school. The 23 2013 signees are comprised of 21 high school standouts and two junior college transfers.
“We’re very pleased with this recruiting class,” Briles said. “This should be the highest rated class we’ve ever had, without question.”
Baylor’s 2013 signing class is stacked with defensive players, as nearly two-thirds of the newcomers are likely to play on the defensive side of the ball under third-year D-coordinator Phil Bennett.
“We needed to be a little heavier defensively, because we lost some guys, and we’re trying to make sure our numbers match out,” Briles said. “So we were a little lighter on the offensive side of the ball than defensively, but that’s the emphasis that we are making. We are doing everything we can to help both sides of the ball.”
The class includes three All-Americans: wide receiver Robbie Rhodes of Southwest High School in Fort Worth, linebacker Taylor Young of DeSoto (Texas) High School and original 2012 signee Brian Nance of Trinity High School in Euless, Texas; as well as four additional national top-200 prospects: freshmen linemen Andrew Billings (DL) of Waco (Texas) High School and Maurice Porter (OL) of Marshall High School in Missouri City, Texas, early enrollee quarterback Chris Johnson of Bryan (Texas) High School and original 2012 signee wide receiver Kiante’ Griffin of Hebron High School in Carrollton, Texas.
“I want to say thank you to our commits for staying committed to us,” Briles said, “for a bunch of these guys it was a tremendous amount of time, as far back as last February. For them to stay that committed to us for that amount of time says a lot about them, and also says a lot about the direction of Baylor football and Baylor University. We’ll have a great four-to-five year journey together.
“The thing that’s inspiring not only to the people at Baylor now, but the people that are watching Baylor, is how proactive this University is being from an academic standpoint and an athletic and educational facility standpoint. People see the construction, people see the proactiveness, people want to be a part of it. That is something that everyone is certainly taking note of.”
Baylor’s 2013 class is made up predominantly of Texas recruits (22 of 23 from in-state schools) and includes four student-athletes currently enrolled in Baylor’s spring semester who will participate in 2013 spring drills (scheduled to begin March 1): Griffin, Johnson, Nance and mid-year junior college signee Gus Penning, a tight end from Riverside Community College.
BAYLOR FOOTBALL 2013 SIGNEES
Name Pos Ht Wt Class Hometown (previous schools)
Andrew Billings DL 6-0 305 Fr. Waco, Texas (Waco HS)
Travon Blanchard LB 6-1 185 Fr. Orange, Texas (West Orange-Stark HS)
Byron Bonds DL 6-1 280 Fr. Allen, Texas (Allen HS)
Terell Brooks DL 6-4 305 Jr. Duncanville, Texas (Duncanville HS / Navarro College)
Raaquan Davis LB 6-1 205 Fr. Rockwall, Texas (Heath HS)
Kyle Fulks DB 5-8 160 Fr. Katy, Texas (Katy HS)
Wesley Harris DB 6-0 175 Fr. Fort Worth, Texas (Southwest HS)
Johnny Jefferson RB 5-9 195 Fr. Killeen, Texas (Shoemaker HS)
Quan Jones WR 6-4 200 Fr. Wylie, Texas (East HS)
Austin Jupe DB 6-0 180 Fr. San Antonio, Texas (East Central HS)
Darius Moore OL 6-2 275 Fr. Missouri City, Texas (Marshall HS)
Xavier Phillips LB/DE 6-1 220 Fr. Fort Worth, Texas (All Saints Episcopal School)
Maurice Porter OL 6-6 290 Fr. Missouri City, Texas (Marshall HS)
Alfred Pullom S 6-1 185 Fr. Cypress, Texas (Cypress Woods HS)
Robbie Rhodes WR 6-0 185 Fr. Fort Worth, Texas (Southwest HS)
Taion Sells S 5-9 180 Fr. Irving, Texas (MacArthur HS)
Kevin “K.J.” Smith DE 6-1 240 Fr. Frisco, Texas (Centennial HS)
Tanner Thrift DL 6-5 260 Fr. Hutto, Texas (Hutto HS)
Taylor Young LB 5-9 215 Fr. DeSoto, Texas (DeSoto HS)
Kiante’ Griffin WR 6-0 200 Fr. Carrollton, Texas (Hebron HS)
Chris Johnson QB 6-4 195 Fr. Bryan, Texas (Bryan HS)
Brian Nance LB 6-2 230 Fr. Euless, Texas (Euless Trinity HS / Hargrave Military Academy)
Gus Penning TE 6-5 245 So. Jenison, Mich. (Jenison HS / Grand Rapids CC / Riverside CC)