When Jarell Broxton showed up in Waco to visit Baylor June 28, temperatures reached a balmy 105 degrees. That missed the record for Waco for that day by one degree.
Still, the blistering heat wasn’t enough to scare off Broxton, who made his commitment to Baylor late Monday night.
“It’s very humid where I’m from. In Texas you’ve got the heat and the humidity,” said Broxton, who played his high school ball at Quince Orchard in Maryland, near Washington D.C. “But I’m not worried about the weather.”
The hulking Broxton (6-6, 325), entering his sophomore year at Lackawanna (Penn.) College, is the third-ranked junior college guard in the nation by Rivals.com and gives Baylor its 20th pledge of the 2014 class. Broxton chose Baylor over offers from Arizona State, Wisconsin and Syracuse, among others.
Baylor may be 1,500 miles from his hometown, but Broxton sensed a comfort level from the moment he arrived for his recruiting visit.
“The environment there at Baylor and the relationship I had with the coaches, I just really liked what I saw,” Broxton said. “I had a good vibe, a good feeling there.”
Baylor co-offensive coordinator Randy Clements recruited Broxton, and the lineman felt a connection with the coach, who oversees the Bears’ line play.
“Coach Clements was great. I definitely liked hanging out with him,” Broxton said. “Every day, going out to eat, I could see that he was a cool guy and a good coach.”
Broxton knows Baylor’s recent history of sending offensive linemen to the NFL, and that reputation proved enticing, too. Art Briles’ team has produced pro draftees like Jason Smith, J.D. Walton and Danny Watkins in the past few years, and Broxton wants to follow their trail. He considers his speed and footwork as his greatest assets — the big man even played basketball his senior year of high school — and plans to commit himself to improving in the weight room.
“I’m strong, but I know I need to get stronger,” he said.
After his 2013 season at Lackawanna is complete, Broxton intends to enroll at Baylor in January, so he can go through spring drills. He has his eyes fixed on a starting position for 2014.
“I want to come in and play right away,” Broxton said. “I have high expectations, and Baylor is giving me a great opportunity to meet those expectations.”
In addition to being Baylor’s 20th commitment overall, Broxton is the fifth offensive lineman of the class. He joins Clear Lake’s Blake Blackmar, Bellaire’s Devonte Jones, Waxahachie’s Patrick Lawrence and Rockdale’s Josh Pelzel.