After recruiting defensive back Harrison Hand at Temple University, coach Matt Rhule used that connection to convince him to come to Baylor.
The Cherry Hill (N.J.) High School prospect verbally committed to Baylor Saturday morning with his announcement on Twitter.
The Bears also picked up another big commitment later in the day when R.J. Sneed, a receiver out of Cy-Ranch, switched his pledge from Ole Miss to Baylor.
The 5-11, 180-pound Hand not only felt a tie to Rhule but also to new Baylor assistant Francis Brown, who coached defensive backs at Temple under Rhule. Hand is a four-star recruit by Rivals.com.
“I know I’ll fit in over there and Coach Rhule and Coach Fran (Brown), they’re just family to me,” Hand told the Courier-Post of South Jersey. “They’ve got my back and are going to do all they can to make me a better player. We connect. Fran and Coach Rhule, they’re great people.”
An all-South Jersey selection, Hand helped lead Cherry Hill to its best season since 1967 as he finished with 46 tackles and two interceptions while also recovering a pair of fumbles.
Meanwhile, Sneed announced his decision on Twitter later in the day.
“First, I would like to thank God,” Sneed tweeted. “Second, Coach (Grant) Heard and Coach (Hugh) Freeze and the entire Ole Miss family for allowing me to a part of their family. (Due) to coaching changes and a lot of thought and prayers I would like to announce that I am decommitting from Ole Miss and will be attending Baylor University this spring. Ready to come in and compete. Sic’ em, Bears.”
Sneed (6-2, 180), rated as a three-star prospect, also held scholarship offers from Alabama, Oklahoma State, Auburn, TCU, Michigan State and others. He had 917 all-purpose yards and nine total touchdowns for Cy-Ranch as a senior.
Hand and Sneed are the seventh and eighth commitments in the 2017 class, seven of which have come since Baylor’s 31-12 win over Boise State in the Cactus Bowl on Dec. 27.