When Rajah Preciado was a young boy, he didn’t dream of playing college football or making the NFL.
“I really wanted to be a CEO, actually,” Preciado said. “That’s what I always wanted to do, run my own business.”
Preciado’s football talents may throw open the executive elevator to the top. The College Station cornerback became Baylor’s 13th commitment for the 2016 class Monday, making his pledge shortly after receiving an offer from the Bears.
Preciado said he attended Baylor’s camp in Waco last month, and felt a strong connection with Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett and safeties coach Cris Dishman. He toured the stadium and football facilities with Dishman, and came away impressed. But he’s equally if not more interested in Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business as he is in the Highers Athletic Complex.
“I’m not a big hype guy. I don’t care that much about the stadium or the uniforms,” Preciado said. “The atmosphere was great, but I’m most interested in what the school can offer academically. Baylor is a great school in that regard and it’s close to home, so it really was a perfect fit.”
Preciado (5-9, 180) is ranked as a two-star prospect by Scout.com and a three-star recruit by Rivals. He corralled 113 tackles and two interceptions and broke up eight passes as a junior. Yet he knows he has plenty of room to grow.
“This past school year and into this summer I’ve really been focused on improving my technique,” Preciado said. “I know I still can gain a lot of knowledge. That’s what I’m trying to do, just get smarter and better myself as a player, improve my football IQ.”
Baylor has loaded up on defensive backs with the 2016 class, as Preciado is the fifth DB to commit. That should yield a ravenous competition once they all reach campus.
“I think the competition will make me better,” Preciado said. “I’m not too worried about everyone else coming in. I’m just going to focus on getting my education and working hard to the best of my ability. Hopefully that’ll get noticed.”
Preciado chose Baylor over offers from Fresno State, Tulsa, SMU and others. He gave serious consideration to Fresno State – he is originally from Stockton, Calif., and has family in Fresno. But Baylor’s total package won out.
With football season a little more than a month away, Preciado is relieved to put the recruiting process to bed.
“I think by committing early, before football season, it frees me up to just play and have fun,” he said. “There is no stress, no worry, and I can focus on nothing but trying to get better and help my team win.”