Baylor has been stocking up with big, fast defensive ends who can put the heat on quarterbacks.
The latest is Magnolia West High School’s Xavier Jones.
Jones verbally committed to Baylor on Tuesday soon after he was offered a scholarship. The 6-3 junior switched his commitment from Houston for a chance to play under Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett.
“I really wanted to go there,” Jones said. “I like the coaches, the college, everything. He (Bennett) really wants to win and is one of the best defensive coordinators in the nation.”
The Bears have made a point of bringing in athletic defensive ends in recent recruiting classes, like sophomores Jamal Palmer, Javonte Magee and Shawn Oakman.
Entering his third season as a starter for Magnolia West, Jones appears to fit the mold. As a junior, Jones collected 51 tackles and five sacks while delivering 11 quarterback pressures.
“He has a motor that doesn’t stop,” said Magnolia West coach Shawn Bell, a former Baylor quarterback. “He’s a prototypical off-the-edge defensive end who is a nightmare for offensive tackles. Every college coach who has seen him says he gets off the ball second to none. He’s overly aggressive and chases down every play.”
Jones has spent most of the offseason bulking up, as his weight has increased from 170 pounds at the start of last season to 215. He said he often spends two hours after school in the weight room and bench presses 325 pounds and squats 500.
“I’ve been mostly working on my legs and getting my speed going,” Jones said. “I’m getting stronger. I like to rush the quarterback, and I feel like it fits my body shape.”
Jones is the seventh verbal commitment in Baylor’s 2014 class, as he joins Texarkana Liberty-Eylau receiver-defensive back Davion Hall, Houston Bellaire defensive lineman Devonte Jones, Rockdale offensive lineman Josh Pelzel, Willis receiver Chris Platt, Kingwood Park tight end Jordan Feuerbacher and Ennis running back Terence Williams.