Armed with plenty of options, Josh Malin admittedly stressed over his college decision. Ultimately, he couldn’t refuse the limitless potential he sees at Baylor.
Malin, a defensive lineman from Cibolo Steele, made his commitment to the Bears late Friday, becoming the 21st pledge in Baylor’s ever-expanding recruiting class. Ranked as a three-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, Malin already had offers from at least a dozen FBS schools. He narrowed the field down to four — Baylor, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State — before deciding on the Bears on Friday.
“It was a really tough choice between my top four colleges,” Malin said. “But I’ve seen what Coach (Art) Briles has done at Baylor over the past couple of years. It’s a program on the rise, and I want to be a part of it.”
Malin (6-6, 240) possesses a prodigious frame, but he also has covered the 40-yard dash in 4.85 seconds. He projects as a defensive tackle in college, and he believes his quickness will help him factor in both stopping the run and pressuring the quarterback.
“Coaches from a lot of colleges have told me they’re impressed with my footwork,” Malin said. “And I’ve got pretty good hands, too.”
Malin recognized the benefits of some of the other schools on his list. But when it came down to it, he connected with the people and the campus at Baylor. “I felt at home, while still being away from home,” he said.
In the Briles Era, Baylor has been renowned for amassing boatloads of yardage and scoring touchdowns, while the defense has often struggled. Malin, however, said he is confident in the direction that defensive coordinator Phil Bennett is guiding the Bears.
“You saw last year, after they beat K-State, the defense made a lot of progress. I think they’re going to just keep getting better and better,” Malin said.
Commitments are non-binding until National Signing Day next February, but Malin said he is firm in his decision and glad to have it behind him.
“It’s a very big stress reliever,” he said. “Now I can just concentrate on being a senior, playing one more year of high school football and hopefully winning a state championship.”
Malin recorded 56 tackles and six sacks for Steele last year as a junior. He is the fourth defensive lineman to join Baylor’s recruiting class. The others are Magnolia West’s Xavier Jones (6-3, 235), Houston Lamar’s Ira Lewis (6-3, 245) and Mesquite Horn’s Andrew Morris (6-2, 288).
According to Rivals.com, Baylor is one of 12 schools in the country with 20 or more commitments at this stage of the year, and its class comes in 19th nationally in the most recent rankings.