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Take Two: Is Baylor the surprise class of 2018?

Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling a handful of issues in the college football landscape. National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and a local expert from the network of team sites.

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Tyquan Thornton
Tyquan Thornton (Miami Herald)


Baylor finished 1-11 this season. The Bears lost to Liberty in the opener. Lost to UTSA and only scored 10 points. Got blown out by Oklahoma State and Texas. The only win came at Kansas in early November.

It was ugly.

Yet Baylor has recruited very well heading into National Signing Day. It finished with the No. 31 recruiting class nationally, and the Bears are fourth in the Big 12 behind Texas, Oklahoma and TCU.

If there is a surprise class, it could be coach Matt Rhule’s club, especially with a scandal fresh on peoples' minds and a season that was completely miserable. Four-star commitments Tyquan Thornton, Byron Hanspard and Joshua Landry are standouts.

Miami being No. 6, Washington at No. 14 and Virginia Tech being in the top 25 are some of other surprise classes, but Baylor might take the cake because of its success in the face of terrible circumstances in Waco.


“What Baylor has done with its recruiting efforts- not just this season, but last - has been nothing short of incredible, given the circumstances the program has been operating under. The story about Rhule interviewing with the Colts a few weeks ago was quickly addressed by the staff to commits and signees, and was generally accepted as something much less serious than it seemed. Meanwhile, the recruiting efforts of Joey McGuire and Fran Brown have been critical in connecting the program to shrewdly targeted prospects that perhaps fly just under the radar of programs like Oklahoma, Texas or Texas A&M, but can certainly be impact players for the Bears.”


“Baylor is the biggest surprise. The Bears were 1-11, they had a horrendous year, they’re a year coming off a scandal and they have a top 25 class. They had Tommy Bush there this past weekend for his last visit.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a higher-rated recruiting class after a 1-11 season in my career. That is the surprise to me. There are others, with Miami being so high, and Washington being in the top 15 is a bit of a surprise. But hands-down, it is Baylor.”