Feeding off the momentum of two straight bowl appearances, Baylor is poised to sign its best recruiting class of the Art Briles era today on national signing day.

Briles’ fifth recruiting class is ranked 28th nationally by Scout.com, the highest since Baylor’s 2002 class was ranked 21st. Baylor’s recruiting class is ranked 39th by Rivals.com.

Baylor is expected to sign 20 players to join three new recruits who are already enrolled at the university. Riverside (Calif.) Community College linebacker Eddie Lackey and Navarro College defensive tackle Joey Searcy signed in December, while Refugio athlete Lynx Hawthorne graduated from high school in December to enroll at Baylor.

Highlighting the class are a quartet of four-star recruits. San Antonio Sam Houston defensive end Javonte Magee, Euless Trinity linebacker Brian Nance and Richardson Pearce receiver Corey Coleman are four-star recruits by Rivals.com. Stephenville defensive back Aiavion Edwards, Magee and Coleman are four-star recruits by Scout.com

Baylor is coming off an historic 10-3 season that ended with a thrilling 67-56 win over Washington in the Alamo Bowl. Though Briles and his staff had much of the 2012 recruiting class completed before the Alamo Bowl, they topped it with several outstanding prospects during the last month.

Nance announced his commitment to Baylor on Jan. 7 at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. Less than a week later, Magee announced his intentions to sign with Baylor.

Magee said Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Robert Griffin made a major impression on him when he visited Baylor.

“When I came to Baylor for my visit, it felt like home,” Magee said. “I got a chance to meet Robert Griffin and he told me he came to Baylor to make a difference, and that’s what I want to do on defense.”

In recent weeks, Garland quarterback Seth Russell, Linden-Kildare slot receiver and running back RaShodrick Linwood, Dallas Roosevelt defensive back Patrick Levels and Midway safety Orion Stewart have made verbal commitments to Baylor.

The 6-4 Russell, who switched his commitment from Kansas, will add to Baylor’s quarterback depth behind Nick Florence and Bryce Petty.

“Coach Briles has proven he has a quarterback-friendly offense that exploits every part of the field,” Russell said.

Seeking to improve a defense that ranked near the bottom of the Big 12 in most categories, the 2012 class will feature at least 13 defensive players.

Baylor’s first commitment was Edwards, who announced his intentions for Baylor on Jan. 30, 2011. Among the other defensive recruits are Denton Ryan end Dominique Banks, Wylie defensive back Terrell Burt, Pearland linebacker Kendall Ehrlich, Humble tackle Zorrell Ezell, McKinney Boyd end Jamal Palmer and Sherman defensive back Ryan Reid.

Three offensive linemen are expected to sign with Baylor — Port Arthur Memorial’s Tre-Von Armstead, Athens’ Cameron Bailey and Wylie’s Kyle Fuller. Port Arthur Memorial quarterback Terrence Singleton, Burkburnett running back Devin Chafin and Carrollton Hebron receiver Kiante’ Griffin are also expected to sign with Baylor.


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