Baylor football recruit profiles

Tatum’s B.J. Allen could give the Baylor offense a quick boost in 2011.

B.J. ALLEN

Position: Athlete

Ht/Wt: 5-11, 185

School: Tatum

Where he fits: Allen could give the Bears immediate help at running back after rushing for 1,355 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior and 1,700 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior for Tatum. Allen is the No. 45 ranked running back in the nation by Scout.com and the No. 70 athlete in the nation by Rivals.com. He was a second-team Class 2A all-state player as a senior running back, and also made two interceptions as a cornerback. Allen won the state 300-meter hurdles championship as a sophomore and was the runner-up as a junior. “B.J. is a very electrifying athlete,” Baylor coach Art Briles said. “I see him playing a running back or inside receiver position for us. He’s a great return guy and a very dynamic player on the offensive side of the ball.”

BEAU BLACKSHEAR

Position: Defensive line

Ht/Wt: 6-4, 270

School: Midway

Where he fits: Blackshear was a Class 4A all-state defensive lineman for Midway who should provide the Bears a stronger pass rush. He’s rated No. 57 nationally among defensive linemen by ESPN.com and No. 59 by Rivals.com, and is a Tribune-Herald Top 100 player in the state. Blackshear collected 77 tackles as a senior, including 20 for losses and seven sacks. He also forced three fumbles and recovered two fumbles while breaking up six passes for a Midway team that finished 12-1. As a junior, Blackshear finished with 68 tackles. In 2008, Blackshear was named District 16-4A newcomer of the year after collecting 80 tackles and nine sacks. “In Beau, we really got a great athlete on the defensive line,” Briles said. “He’s a big kid with live feet. He’s a local from right here in Waco at Midway and he is just a leader. Beau is really going to be great.”

KYLE BOYD

Position: Linebacker

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 225

School: Mesquite Horn

Where he fits: Baylor picked up a commitment from Boyd after defensive coordinator Phil Bennett was hired in January. He’s rated the No. 34 inside linebacker in the nation by ESPN.com, and is listed the No. 18 linebacker in the state by TexasHSFootball.com. As a senior, Boyd received all-District 11-5A honors after collecting 116 tackles, four sacks, three pass breakups and forcing four fumbles. As a junior, he finished with 82 tackles, including 10 for losses. “Kyle is a big inside linebacker who has exactly what Coach Bennett is looking for on the defensive side of the ball at that position,” Briles said. “He’s a tough kid and he has a great family. He’s a guy who is going to be a great addition to Baylor.”

DONALD BRYANT

Position: Defensive line

Ht/Wt: 6-3, 240

School: Daingerfield

Where he fits: Strong defensive lineman who played on three state championship teams for Daingerfield. Bryant is rated No. 96 nationally at defensive tackle by ESPN.com and No. 145 nationally at defensive end by Scout.com. As a senior, Bryant collected 87 tackles, including 19 for losses and seven sacks. He also broke up four passes and forced two fumbles while recovering one. As a junior, he was a third-team all-state offensive lineman for a 15-1 team that won the Class 2A Division II state championship. As a sophomore, Bryant collected 58 tackles and two sacks for a 15-1 team. “Donald has a great upside,” Briles said. “We feel without a doubt that he’s a quick-twitch guy and we think once he gets in our program that he will really flourish. We’re very excited about Donald.”

TREVOR CLEMONS-VALDEZ

Position: Defensive tackle

Ht/Wt: 6-2, 265

School: Copperas Cove

Where he fits: Baylor kept its Copperas Cove connection intact by signing Clemons-Valdez, who graduated from high school in December to enroll at Baylor this semester. Clemons-Valdez was named the District 12-5A most valuable defensive player as a senior after collecting 14 tackles for losses, 6.5 sacks and forcing three fumbles. As a junior, Clemons-Valdez made 42 tackles and collected three sacks. Clemons-Valdez was ranked No. 32 among the nation’s defensive tackle prospects by ESPN.com and 45th nationally by Rivals.com. “Trevor has a high motor and a high vision,” Briles said. “That’s what I like about him — he has a vision and a purpose. He’s tough and energetic. Trevor is a guy who really supplies a lot to our program.”

PAT COLBERT

Position: Offensive line

Ht/Wt: 6-6, 275

School: Kilgore

Where he fits: Big offensive tackle who has the frame to bulk up at the major college level. Colbert is rated No. 104 nationally among offensive linemen by Scout.com and is the No. 23 offensive tackle in the state by TexasHSFootball.com. Colbert was a second-team Class 4A all-state lineman by the OldCoach.com and was listed among the top 25 offensive linemen in the state prior to his senior year by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. “Pat is a very physical player with a tremendous upside,” Briles said. “He’s a member of what could be the best O-line class in Baylor history. We think he is going to grow into a great football player.”

DEVANTE DAVIS

Position: Linebacker

Ht/Wt: 6-2, 195

School: Dallas Lincoln

Where he fits: Athletic linebacker who collected 150 tackles in his final two seasons at Dallas Lincoln. Davis is ranked No. 119 nationally at outside linebacker by Scout.com and is listed among the top 20 linebackers in the state by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. He was a first-team all-district player as a senior. “Devante is an athlete with good range and a great demeanor,” Briles said. “He’s someone who is going to be a great addition to our football team, both on and off the field.”

SPENCER DRANGO

Position: Offensive line

Ht/Wt: 6-6, 285

School: Cedar Park

Where he fits: The jewel of Baylor’s recruiting class, Drango has an opportunity to contribute immediately to the offensive line. Drango is rated the No. 203 overall national recruit and the No. 24 offensive lineman by Rivals.com. ESPN.com rated Drango the No. 15 national offensive line prospect, while Scout.com ranked him No. 20. Texas HSFootball.com ranks Drango the No. 2 offensive line prospect in the state, and he’s a top 30 overall recruit in the state on the Tribune-Herald ’s Top 100. Drango was named Class 4A all-state and the District 25-4A offensive lineman of the year. “If you toss a chip out there, then it is blue for Spencer,” Briles said. “Our job as coaches is always to evaluate from a positive and an improvement standpoint, and we’re having a hard time finding anything that he is not already up to speed on. He has it all: size, strength, purpose, great mental attitude as far as approaching the game and his academics.”

DESMINE HILLIARD

Position: Offensive line

Ht/Wt: 6-5, 285

School: Dallas Lincoln

Where he fits: Another promising offensive lineman who has room to grow. Hilliard is rated No. 81 nationally at offensive tackle by Scout.com and is listed among the top 25 offensive linemen in the state by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. Hilliard made first-team all-District 12-4A in football and also throws the shot put and discus for the track team. “Another member of the offensive line class that I think has been unequaled at Baylor,” Briles said. “Desmine has a good chance to win the state track meet in the discus. He is very athletic and is a great student-athlete.”

JONATHON LEE

Position: Wide receiver

Ht/Wt: 6-3, 190

School: Allen

Where he fits: Tall, rangy receiver who is one of the top recruits in Baylor’s class. Rivals.com ranks Lee the No. 34 wide receiver in the country, while Scout.com ranks him No. 42. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football ranks Lee the No. 3 receiver prospect in the state, while TexasHSFootball.com ranks him No. 10. Lee caught 38 passes for 708 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior after catching 53 passes for 1,013 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior. Lee has run the 200 meters and 4x200 meters in track and has lettered in baseball at Allen. “Jonathon is a big, powerful receiver and we think he has a great upside,” Briles said. “We’re deep at receiver and weren’t going to take a guy unless we really thought he could contribute, but with Jonathon we certainly feel like he can do that. He just fits what we are looking for. He’s big and rangy and fast with a lot of desire.”

JeMARCUS JOHNSON

Position: Defensive back

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 170

School: Lago Vista

Where he fits: Johnson did it all at Lago Vista as he played running back, wide receiver, safety and returned kicks. He’ll play in the secondary for the Bears and could potentially return kicks. Johnson was named second-team Class 2A all-state last season after rushing for 1,453 yards and catching 25 passes for 624 yards. As a junior, he was an all-district safety who collected three interceptions. Johnson also piled up more than 1,000 yards in career kickoff and punt returns. Johnson was superb in track as he set school records in the 4x100, 4x400, the long jump and triple jump. Johnson, who graduated from high school early to enroll at Baylor this semester, is the No. 62 safety prospect nationally by ESPN.com and No. 66 by Scout.com. “JeMarcus has an engaging personality with a tremendous amount of ability and confidence,” Briles said. “He hasn’t met a person he doesn’t like.”

NICK JOHNSON

Position: Defensive lineman

Ht/Wt: 6-3, 290

School: Navarro College

Where he fits: The younger brother of former Baylor linebacker Antonio Johnson, Nick played several positions on the offensive line for Navarro College. However, Baylor is working him with the defensive linemen after he enrolled this semester. Johnson played at Waco High before heading to Navarro, where he received first-team all-conference honors for a NJCAA championship team. “The thing we love about Nick is that he’s passionate,” Briles said. “We know a lot about him through Cuddy (Antonio Johnson). We have him working with our D-line group right now and he is doing a great job. He’s home again and we’re proud he’s on campus and doing a great job of leading us.”

SULEIMAN MASUMBUKO

Position: Defensive line

Ht/Wt: 6-3, 280

School: Euless Trinity

Where he fits: A tremendous defensive line prospect who is rated No. 36 nationally among defensive tackles by Scout.com and 50th by ESPN.com. TexasHSFootball.com ranks him the fifth-best defensive tackle in the state, while Dave Campbell’s Texas Football ranks him No. 9. Masumbuko was named Class 5A all-state after leading Euless Trinity to a 15-1 record and a spot in the Division I state championship game. As a senior, he collected 106 tackles, including 19 for losses and three sacks. As a junior, he finished with 57 tackles and a sack. Masumbuko is a native of Rwanda who fled during the 1994 civil war and has lived in Texas since 1996. “Suleiman is just a powerful, tough, focused driven defensive lineman,” Briles said. “He is a very mature, self-disciplined individual that we are excited about having on campus. I mean there are some guys who are can’t-misses and he’s one of them. He just knows how to prepare and how to play.”

LaQUAN McGOWAN

Position: Offensive line

Ht/Wt: 6-6, 335

School: Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch

Where he fits: A Class 1A all-state player who the Baylor coaches believe can develop into a top-flight offensive lineman. He’s rated the No. 92 offensive tackle nationally by ESPN.com and No. 118 by Scout.com. TexasHSFootball.com ranks him the No. 22 offensive tackle prospect in the state. He made first team all-District 3-1A at offensive guard, defensive line and place-kicker. McGowan also won the state shot put title last year with a throw of 55-5. “There is not a better looking physical specimen in the state of Texas than LaQuan,” Briles said. “You look at the sky and don’t see it end. That is where LaQuan is, so we are really excited to get him on campus and involved in our strength and conditioning program and seeing where his talent is going to take him.”

KENNY MORTON

Position: Defensive back

Ht/Wt: 5-10, 185

School: College of the Sequoias

Where he fits: An experienced, skilled defensive back who should help the Bears immediately. Morton played one season at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, Calif., where he finished with 47 tackles and three interceptions while breaking up four passes. He has three seasons of eligibility remaining at Baylor. Morton was rated the 97th-best cornerback prospect in the country by ESPN.com coming out of Northside High School in Warner Robins, Ga., in 2008. As a senior, he collected 51 tackles and five interceptions after finishing with 29 tackles and seven interceptions for a state championship team as a junior. Morton originally signed with Georgia State out of high school. “K.J. is extremely talented and has the ability to play safety or corner,” Briles said. “He’s really quick-twitch, he’s very focused and diligent in his behavior and his vision. We’re excited about the type of leadership that he is bringing, plus we get him for three years.”

JERMICHAEL SELDERS

Position: Running back

Ht/Wt: 5-11, 180

School: Cypress Creek

Where he fits: After originally verbally committing to West Virginia, Selders was a late addition for the Bears. Selders sat out his senior year after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, but is rated No. 43 nationally among running backs by Rivals.com, No. 48 by ESPN.com and No. 54 by Scout.com. As a junior, Selders collected 1,533 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns after rushing for 1,114 yards and 13 touchdowns as a sophomore. “Jermichael had a great junior season,” Briles said. “He tore his ACL in September and everything kind of dried up for him. He’s a tough kid, a downhill runner who is going to be a great player for us. We are excited about having him and watching him progress.”

ANTHONY WEBB

Position: Athlete

Ht/Wt: 5-11, 180

School: La Porte

Where he fits: Though he rushed for 1,509 yards and 21 touchdowns as a senior for La Porte, Webb will likely start his college career at cornerback. He’s a versatile athlete who was rated the No. 16 running back in the state by TexasHSFootball.com. Webb was named the District 21-5A offensive MVP as a senior and was a first-team all-district pick after rushing for 1,575 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior. “Anthony did a great job of leading his team in high school, and can play on either side of the ball,” Briles said. “We’ll probably start looking at him as a cornerback. I like cornerbacks that have been high school running backs because they are used to carrying the load, and being tough, and that translates pretty good on the other side of the ball.”

DAVID WHITMORE

Position: Defensive back

Ht/Wt: 6-2, 190

School: Iowa Western Community College

Where he fits: Whitmore could provide immediate help for the Bears at cornerback after a strong season for Iowa Western in which he intercepted passes in four of the first five games. He originally signed with Nebraska out of Port Arthur Memorial High School, where he was a top 50 Texas recruit by Rivals.com. Whitmore was an academic nonqualifier out of high school and went the junior college route before signing with Baylor in December. He plans to arrive at Baylor this summer after finishing his junior college requirements.

JOSH WILSON

Position: Defensive back

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 195

School: Kilgore College

Where he fits: Wilson will help the Bears at cornerback or safety after a strong season at Kilgore College, where he collected 68 tackles, eight pass breakups and three interceptions. In 2009, Wilson made 43 tackles for Kilgore. He’s a former Humble High School player who developed his defensive back skills as a junior college player. “Josh is a kid that I really appreciate because he has had to journey to get to where he is,” Briles said. “He’s hungry as a player and also feels very thankful and grateful to be in the position he’s in. He’s also very talented and very driven.”

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