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October 26, 2005In case you haven't been paying attention to what's going on in Waco, Texas, the Baylor Bears have made major strides on the field. The Bears have taken both Oklahoma and Texas A&M into overtime and it looks like Baylor is also showing major improvement in the recruiting wars.
While the Bears class is still prominently made up of two-star prospects, Baylor is involved with much higher quality players all throughout the Lone Star State.
Speed and skill have been dramatically upgraded in Waco, and the next step is to beef things up front on defense. The good news is that BU has landed two very talented defensive tackles already in the class of 2006.
Three-star defensive tackles Adrian Johnson of Tyler (Texas) John Tyler and Dan'Tay Ward of Waco High were both heavily recruited with Johnson one of the biggest steals in all of Texas.
"That Johnson kid is going to be one heck of a player for Baylor," one Big 12 assistant coach said. "I wish we would have done our homework better early on. By the time we found out about him, Baylor had already offered him and got him in the bag."
Johnson said he's excited about being a Bear.
"It makes me feel more like a competitor," Johnson, who is 6-foot-2 and 280 pounds, said. "I've got a name to stand for now. I've got a label to my name now. Like now since I told most people on the team about my decision, they call me Mr. Baylor. I love hearing that."
Ward was highly recruited and had offers from Colorado, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech before he pledged to the home town Bears. Ward's commitment is key because it continues to keep the Waco High pipeline flowing to Baylor.
Horn commit says he's solid
Galena Park (Texas) North Shore cornerback Chykie Brown was one of a few UT commitments that had talked about maybe looking around some. However, the four-star prospect said he's not thinking too much about visiting other schools anymore.
"I don't think so," Brown said when asked if he was still considering seeing some other schools. "My family is here, (Texas) is close to home. Everything I wanted and needed is at Texas."
One of the country's top prospects on the defensive side of the ball, the four-star cornerback chose the Horns over a slew of top national programs and he said he's still confident that he made the right choice.
"I'm still committed. I'm not going anywhere," Brown said. "I'm not going anywhere but Texas. My sister is there. My family can come see me play and that's important. That's all I need really."
When he committed to Horns, Brown had offers from Arizona, Houston, Miami, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and USC.
OU commits go down
Two of Oklahoma's top pledges went down this past weekend with injuries that likely will sideline both for the rest of the season.
OU safety commitment James Henry suffered a broken ankle and fibula. Four-star receiver Adron Tennell went down with a neck injury. Henry's injury will end his season, and Tennell hopes to get back on the field but likely won't.
"One of my teammates fumbled the ball," Tennell said. "I tried to go for the ball and I got hit in the head. My neck went back hard and I was down."
Tennell remained on the field for nearly 15 minutes before being loaded into an ambulance and rushed to Baylor Medical Center in Irving, Texas. The good news is Tennell wants everyone to be assured it was not as bad as it seemed.
"They said they wanted to get a stretcher out there for precautionary reasons," he said. "They didn't want me to get up and hurt myself even more. They just want to make sure everything was okay before they let me walk around."
The prognosis appears to be nothing too serious, according to Tennell - however, it may end his high school football playing career.
"I haven't talked to my coach about it yet," he said. "But my doctor told me it is a real bad neck sprain. I don't know if I can play the rest of the season. The doctor told me I shouldn't and I don't think my coach will let me."
Henry said the injury occurred on defense when he was clipped from behind and a guy rolled up on his ankle.
"Some people said the block was dirty, but I really don't know," Henry said.
Henry was slated to take his official visit to Oklahoma this past weekend and he was also talking about visiting Texas, Texas A&M, Colorado and maybe some others. However, Henry said he's going to have to re-think his situation after the injury.
K-State looking at QB
Sherman Oaks, Calif., dual-threat quarterback Garrett Green is getting looks from teams all over the nation, but one Big 12 team - Kansas State - has peaked his interest quite a bit lately.
"I think I will want to take a visit there," Green said. "I have talked to them about visiting, but there are no dates set. Coach (Matt) Miller has talked about having me come visit and check out their program and school.
"They're one of my top schools. They have offered me a scholarship and that shows me that I have caught their eye with my skills."
Will 2004 recruit re-sign with A&M?
Tory DeGrate, a former Texas A&M signee that did not qualify academically, is now tearing things up at Trinity Valley Community College. He's already racked up more than 20 catches and has done everything he can to impress the Aggies again. Hopefully he'll know soon whether or not he'll have an offer again from A&M.
"Every week I talk to coach (Lee) Fobbs," Degrate said. "I am looking forward to getting into spring ball or at least getting on campus by the summer".
So, the question isn't if Degrate is coming to A&M - but maybe when is he coming to A&M?
"I'm supposed to graduate in December but it depends on the hours I've got to take this December," Degrate said. "Right now, I need 20 hours in all. I'm taking 12 hours this fall so I'll need eight more. I may take a mini-semester in December, but I'll stay down here and take what I need if I don't get enough this year."
DeGrate is a three-star junior college prospect.
Could Nebraska tight end commitment Mike McNeill still decide to take an official visit to Mizzou? That's a good question that he's still thinking about. The three-star tight end from Kirkwood, Mo., was at the NU-MU game this past weekend and he came away talking positively about the Tigers Nebraska will play host to four-star lineman Butch Lewis this weekend for an unofficial visit. The 6-foot-6, 280-pound Lewis is looking at NU, USC, Notre Dame, LSU, Miami and Georgia It looks like Colorado's next big recruiting weekend will be on November 4. That's when CU plans to play host to four-star linebacker Gabe Miller Iowa State's December 9 weekend looks to be a monster weekend. At least 15 players have already lined up a visit to Ames for that weekend. This includes four-star running back Jamaal Evans of Irving, Texas.