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Baylor head football coach Matt Rhule brought in a class of 27 recruits.

Staff photo— Rod Aydelotte

ELEASAH ANDERSON

Position: Offensive line

School: Alief Taylor

Ht/Wt: 6-4/295

Where he fits: Anderson will give the Bears much needed offensive line depth. He was a two-time all-district lineman who is rated the nation’s 97th-best offensive tackle prospect by ESPN and No. 121 by 247Sports.He helped lead Alief Taylor to a 9-2 record in 2016 and was also named 2016 first-team Academic All-District 23-6A for excellence in the classroom.

Baylor coach Matt Rhule: “Eleasah is an athletic, intelligent, offensive lineman with the versatility to play all five positions. In addition to his academic excellence, Eleasah is a natural fit into the Bear family as his grandmother worked at Baylor Medical Center for many years. He’s a minister and deacon at his church, and enjoys preaching quite often.”

DEMARCO ARTIS

Position: Defensive end

School: Sanford (Fla.) Seminole

Ht/Wt: 6-2, 220

Where he fits: Artis is an explosive defensive end who should give Baylor a strong pass rush. He’s rated the nation’s 44th-best defensive end prospect by ESPN and 64th-best by Scout. He was a top 100 recruit in Florida, and ranked No. 63 (Rivals), No. 81 (ESPN) and No. 84 (247Sports) among in-state prospects. He was named first-team all-state as a senior and third-team all-state as a junior.

Rhule: “Marco is a relentless, high-effort, pass-rushing specialist with a tremendous motor. His athleticism and elite, tenacious first step make him a force at the rush position, but he is also versatile enough to drop into coverage.”

TERREL BERNARD

Position: Linebacker

School: La Porte

Ht/Wt: 6-1/215

Where he fits: Bernard is rated the nation’s 46th-best outside linebacker prospect by ESPN, and is ranked No. 53 by Scout and No. 78 by 247Sports. He earned 2016 Class 6A all-state second team honors following his senior season as he led La Porte to 9-3 record. Bernard finished his senior year with 201 tackles, including 12 for loss, five sacks and four forced fumbles. As a junior he totaled 148 tackles, including nine for loss, five sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

Rhule: “Terrel is a tough, instinctive linebacker with the intelligence to compete in the Bears system early. He is a two-way player who has displayed special skills as both a linebacker and running back. His natural ability to be versatile will benefit Baylor football.”

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Brewer

Quarterback Charlie Brewer, a 2017 Baylor football signee, celebrates after winning the Class 6A Division I state football championship in Arlington on Dec. 17, 2016.

CHARLIE BREWER

Position: Quarterback

School: Austin Lake Travis

Ht/Wt: 6-1/190

Where he fits: Brewer will give the Bears much needed quarterback depth behind sophomore Zach Smith and Arizona State graduate transfer Anu Solomon. Brewer led Lake Travis to the Class 6A Division I championship as he set a national record by completing 77.4 percent of his passes for 3,908 yards and 54 touchdowns with just three interceptions as a senior while also running for 746 yards and nine scores. He was named the Associated Press Texas player of the year for all classifications. Brewer threw for 8,343 yards and 107 touchdowns in three seasons, including 3,421 yards and 42 touchdowns as a junior.

Rhule: “Charlie is tremendously accurate with the ball and is a winner. He is one of the most accurate QB prospects in the country. His great physical tools are matched by his unique competitiveness and ability to lead his team.”

TIMARCUS DAVIS

Position: Cornerback

School: College Station

Ht/Wt: 5-11/170

Where he fits: Davis will play cornerback for the Bears after suffering a knee injury before his senior year. He’s rated the nation’s 41st-best cornerback prospect by both ESPN and Rivals. As a junior in 2015, Davis was named Class 5A all-state second team as he collected 79 tackles, seven interceptions, 18 breakups, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Rhule: “Timarcus is an elite athlete who has natural coverage ability. He tore his ACL entering his senior year, but when healthy, he is one of the most explosive prospects in the country.”

TRESTAN EBNER

Position: Receiver

School: Henderson

Ht/Wt: 6-0/205

Where he fits: Ebner is a versatile player who can be used at either outside receiver or in the slot. He’s rated the 32nd-best wide receiver recruit by ESPN, 42nd by 247Sports, 45th by Rivals and 53rd by Scout. As a senior he totaled 57 receptions for 1,074 yards and 16 touchdowns and had 69 tackles, 10 for loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery on defense. His junior season was cut short by an injury after he had breakout season as a sophomore in 2015 by catching 40 passes for 918 yards and 11 touchdowns, along with 68 tackles and four interceptions on defense.

Rhule: “Trestan is a lifelong Baylor fan who is excited to carry on the Wide Receiver U. torch. He has the speed and athleticism to be an outside receiver with the toughness and intelligence to also play in the slot.”

HARRISON HAND

Position: Defensive back

School: Cherry Hill (N.J.) West

Ht/Wt: 6-0/190

Where he fits: One of the nation’s top-rated cornerbacks, Hand was a an all-state two-way player who Rhule had originally recruited at Temple. Among cornerbacks, Hand is ranked No. 6 nationally by Rivals, No. 16 by 247Sports and No. 18 by ESPN. He was named to the 2016 USA Today All-USA New Jersey first team after helping Cherry Hill West to an 8-2 record and its second playoff appearance in school history. As a senior he finished with 46 tackles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He also ran for 329 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries and had 19 receptions for 293 yards and three scores.

Rhule: “Harrison is a tall, physical corner with elite natural speed. His technique and development are well beyond most athletes at his position. His ball-tracking skills make him a threat to turn any pass into an interception. He is a driven player who will also be a tremendous special teams contributor.”

JUSTIN HARRIS

Position: Defensive line

School: Gonzales (La.) East Ascension

Ht/Wt: 6-5/250

Where he fits: Harris was the last commitment in the 2017 class as he made his decision on Wednesday. He’s ranked No. 276 as a national overall prospect by 247Sports, and as a defensive end he’s ranked No. 12 by 247Sports, No. 45 by Scout and No. 49 by Rivals. As a senior he collected 62 tackles, 15 sacks, three pass breakups and forced four fumbles.

Rhule: “Justin is a big, athletic player who will develop into a massive defensive lineman. He possesses the athletic traits that will allow him to grow into a ferocious pass rusher, and his arm length and size will allow him to be a force in stopping the run.”

TYLER HENDERSON

Position: Tight end

School: Kyle Lehman

Ht/Wt: 6-4/240

Where he fits: Henderson should make a quick impact at tight end since Rhule will use some pro sets. He’s rated the nation’s 32nd-best tight end prospect by ESPN and is ranked No. 100 among tight ends by 247Sports. He caught 20 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns and ran 77 times for 482 yards and seven touchdowns as wildcat quarterback as senior. As a junior he finished with 31 receptions for 325 yards and one TD.

Rhule: “Tyler is an extremely versatile player who did everything in his high school career. His background will allow him to develop into a tight end who can catch, run, block and line up in various positions all over the field.”

GAVIN HOLMES

Position: Receiver

School: Justin Northwest

Ht/Wt: 5-11/195

Where he fits: Holmes is one of the top recruits in Baylor’s 2017 class as he’s rated the nation’s 58th-best receiver prospect by Scout, No. 70 by 247Sports and No. 74 by Rivals. He amassed over 2,700 yards from scrimmage and totaled 27 TDs in three varsity seasons...Named first-team Class 5A all-state following his senior season, Holmes led Northwest to a 10-2 record as he recorded 83 receptions for 1,549 yards and 15 touchdowns and also had two kick return touchdowns. As a junior, he caught 61 passes for 828 yards and eight touchdowns.

Rhule: “Gavin is a fast wide receiver that did it all during his high school career. He utilizes his speed well and has soft hands. His polished route-running skills, versatile running ability, mature mindset and aggressive mentality will allow him to contribute at an early stage of his career.”

BRYSON JACKSON

Position: Linebacker

School: Mansfield Lake Ridge

Ht/Wt: 6-2/205

Where he fits: Jackson is listed as a linebacker but could play safety. He’s ranked as the nation’s 60th-best outside linebacker prospect by Rivals, No. 64 by ESPN, No. 76 by Scout and No. 90 by 247Sports. As a senior he finished with 83 tackles including seven sacks, 13 quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery. As as junior he collected 52 tackles with 11 sacks, one interception, one pass breakup, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Rhule: “Bryson’s tremendous intelligence accompanies his athletic ability. He has shown great versatility to go along with impressive growth potential that we believe will develop him into a factor at multiple defensive positions.

KHALIL KEITH

Position: Offensive line

School: Alpine (Ala.) Winterboro

Ht/Wt: 6-5/320

Where he fits: Keith was a two-time all-state offensive lineman who is rated the nation’s 53rd-best offensive line prospect by 247Sports and 70th by ESPN. Among Alabama recruits, he’s rated No. 31 by 247Sports, No. 36 by ESPN and No. 41 by Scout. Keith was named to the USA Today 2016 All-USA Alabama first team following his senior season. As a senior he graded out at 92 percent, recorded 34 bulldozers and 24 pancakes.

Rhule: “Khalil is a big, athletic prospect with lots of untapped potential. He was a two-way player in high school and is one of the largest athletes in our class. He’s explosive, and with good development, he can be a stalwart on the line.”

HENRY KLINGE III

Position: Offensive line

School: Southlake Carroll

Ht/Wt: 6-5/305

Where he fits: Klinge joins fellow Southlake Carroll offensive lineman Ryan Miller in the 2017 Baylor recruiting class. Kling is rated the nation’s 96th-best offensive guard prospect by ESPN. He led an offensive line that paved the way for a rushing attack that averaged nearly 250 yards per game and produced 1,000-yard rusher (Audricke Gaines).

Rhule: “Henry is a big, physically imposing figure who is also an elite academic prospect. He’s one of two athletes from Carroll High School in our class, and looks to be a physical presence on the Baylor offensive line for years to come. His natural strength and balance not only propelled him to become a top 10 wrestler in the state, but will allow him to be an athletic, dynamic pass protector and physical run blocker.”

TREVON LEWIS

Position: Defensive back

School: Houston Lamar

Ht/Wt: 6-0/190

Where he fits: Projected to play safety for the Bears, Lewis was named the Houston Touchdown Club defensive player of the year. He’s rated the nation’s 61st-best safety prospect by ESPN. As a senior he finished with 92 tackles, two sacks, four pass breakups and and an interception. He scored touchdowns on an interception return, fumble return and kick return as a senior.

Rhule: “Trevon was our first to commit to us as a coaching staff. He’s physical and athletic and a big force in stopping the run game. His athleticism and elite speed allowed him to be one of the top defensive backs in the state.”

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Temple JL1

Temple High School’s Ashton Logan gives a “sic ‘em Bears” sign after signing with Baylor.

ASHTON LOGAN

Position: Safety

School: Temple

Ht/Wt: 6-2/220

Where he fits: Logan played defensive back for Temple High School but is projected to play linebacker for the Bears. He was rated the nation’s 73rd-best safety prospect by Scout, No. 86 by 247Sports and No. 104 by ESPN. He helped Temple reach the Class 5A Division I state title game as a senior as he collected 94 tackles, four interceptions for 70 yards and a touchdown and had six pass breakups. As a junior he finished with 72 tackles and three interceptions. He’s the brother of former Baylor commitment Chad President who plays quarterback and wide receiver for Tulsa.

Rhule: “Ashton is a physical safety who will be developed into an outside linebacker prospect. His athleticism and explosiveness show on both the football field and basketball court. He’s a hometown kid who is strong, physical and fast.”

JOHNATHAN LOVETT

Position: Running back

School: Burlington (N.J.) Cherokee

Ht/Wt: 6-2/195

Where he fits: Rhule mined his East Coast turf to land Lovett. He’s ranked the No. 1-ranked athlete prospect in New Jersey by Scout. Among athletes, Lovett is ranked nationally No. 29 by 247Sports, No. 34 by Scout, and No. 50 by Rivals, and is also ranked No. 68 among running backs by ESPN. Lovett ran for 1,371 yards and 24 touchdowns after piling up 1,307 yards and 13 touchdowns on 196 attempts as a junior.

Rhule: “Johnathan is an all-purpose running back who is big, physical and fast. His natural hands will allow him to catch balls out of the backfield, and show his breakaway speed. He has tremendous growth potential.”

JAMES LYNCH

Position: Defensive line

School: Round Rock

Ht/Wt: 6-4/285

Where he fits: Lynch should help the Bears as a defensive tackle. He’s rated the nation’s 31st-best defensive tackle prospect by 247Sports, No. 47 by ESPN and No. 47 by Scout. As a senior he totaled 46 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, eight sacks, and three pass breakups. As a junior he collected three fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. As junior, he was named 2015 District 13-6A defensive lineman of year as he collected 41 tackles, 24 quarterback pressures and six sacks.

Rhule: “James is an elite athlete for his size. He is a disruptive force in the run game and has the quick hips and feet to be an elite pass rusher.”

COLE MAXWELL

Position: Defensive line

School: Allen

Ht/Wt: 6-5/250

Where he fits: Maxwell is an all-state defensive lineman who also starred as a pitcher and first baseman for the baseball team. He’s rated the nation’s 96th-best defensive end prospect by ESPN, No. 126 by 247Sports and No. 152 by Scout. Maxwell earned 2016 USA Today all-USA Texas second team honors after finishing with 87 tackles, 10 sacks, six quarterback pressures and five pass breakups.

Rhule: “Rarely do you find a 6-5, 250-pound guy that throws 92 MPH and bats cleanup on the baseball field, but is also a versatile football player — Cole is that guy. His size and versatility, along with his big body and powerful hands, can be developed into a lineman that we can build our future around.

RYAN MILLER

Positon: Offensive line

School: Southlake Carroll

Ht/Wt: 6-2/290

Where he fits: Miller was an all-state center who is rated 40th at his position by 247Sports. He totaled 101 knockdowns, and graded at 96 percent and allowed zero sacks after moving to the offensive line for his senior season...He earned 2015 all-district 7-6A second-team honors at defensive tackle as a junior.

Rhule: “Ryan is one of the strongest, toughest guys in our class. He converted from the defensive line to offensive line, and looks to be a center prospect with the strength and intelligence to play early on.”

JASON MOORE

Position: Offensive line

School: Frisco Independence

Ht/Wt: 6-3/295

Where he fits: Baylor expects Moore to develop as an offensive tackle. He’s rated the nation’s 90th-best offensive tackle prospect by ESPN and No. 90 among offensive guard recruits by 247Sports. He earned 2016 All-District 13-5A first team honors following his senior season and paved the way for a strong rushing attack that accounted for 3,000-plus yards.

Rhule: “Jason is an extremely athletic offensive lineman with unusually long arms that make him an elite pass protection guy. His intelligence and work ethic carry over into his desire to be one of the top academic prospects in college football this year.”

XAVIER NEWMAN

Position: Offensive line

School: DeSoto

Ht/Wt: 6-3/300

Where he fits: Newman is a national top 300 recruit and All-American offensive lineman who is rated the nation’s second-best center prospect by ESPN and sixth by Scout. He was named 2016 first team Class 6A all-state following his senior season as he led DeSoto to a 16-0 season and the Division II state championship.

Rhule: “Xavier is a physical, tenacious and powerful offensive lineman. He’s one of the most powerful players we’ve recruited on the offensive line. His tenacious, competitive nature helped him win a state championship. He is the definition of a finisher.”

CHIDI OGBONNAYA

Position: Defensive line

School: Langham Creek

Ht/Wt: 6-5/260

Where he fits: Ogbonnaya can play either defensive end or tackle for the Bears. He’s rated the nation’s 78th-best strongside defensive end prospect by 247Sports, and is 87th among defensive ends by ESPN. He was named 2016 first-team all-district 17-6A following his senior season after collecting 26 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks and six quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery.

Rhule: “Chidi is a defensive lineman with a high upside, with his size, length and athletic ability. His tools allow him to play with tremendous force in the run game. He has a unique ability to stay low, bend and be explosive.”

JALEN PITRE

Position: Defensive back

School: Houston Stafford

Ht/Wt: 6-0/200

Where he fits: Pitre can play cornerback or safety. He was the only recruit who stuck to his commitment to Baylor after Art Briles was fired last May. He’s rated the nation’s 73rd-best defensive back prospect by ESPN, and is ranked No. 78 by Scout and No. 126 by 247Sports. As a senior Pitre finished with 83 tackles, seven tackles for loss and six interceptions. His junior season was cut short by a knee injury. As a sophomore, Pitre made 78 tackles and had six interceptions.

Rhule: “Jalen is the anchor of this class — he stayed with the program through it all. He was very productive in high school, and is a fast, instinctive, high-character guy.”

ROB SAULIN

Position: Defensive line

School: Pennsville (N.J.) Memorial

Ht/Wt: 6-5/250

Where he fits: Saulin played tight end and defensive line at Pennsville Memorial but is projected to play defensively at Baylor. He’s rated the 90th-best strongside defensive end prospect by 247Sports and 118th by ESPN. He was named to the 2016 All-South Jersey second team as defensive lineman following his senior year. He totaled 84 tackles and two sacks on defense and caught 20 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns offensively. As a junior he had 73 tackles and 10 sacks and added 16 receptions for 194 yards and a touchdown.

Rhule: “Rob is a nimble, big, hard-working athlete. He’s voracious, driven and has a great work ethic to bring into our program.”

ABRAM SMITH

Position: Running back

School: Abilene

Ht/Wt: 6-0/200

Where he fits: Smith is a two-time all-state running back who is rated the nation’s 29th-best prospect in by Scout, No. 64 by 247Sports and No. 77 by ESPN. He’s the all-time leading rusher in Abilene history with a school-record 4,955 career rushing yards in 33 games over four prep seasons. He also holds school records for career all-purpose touchdowns with 77, 100-yard rushing games with 31 and 462 points. As a senior he earned 2016 Class 6A all-state second-team after rushing for 1,939 yards and 34 touchdowns on 237 carries. As a junior, Smith collected 1,814 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns.

Rhule: “Abram is a big, strong, fast runner — a home-run hitter. He has great growth potential to be an all-purpose downhill runner. He’s punishing, bruising and has the ability to break long runs.”

R.J. SNEED

Position: Receiver

School: Cypress Ranch

Ht/Wt: 6-2/185

Where he fits: Sneed ranks among the top players in Baylor’s class and is a national top 200 recruit and prep All-American. He’s rated the nation’s 194th-best overall prospect on ESPN300 and No. 225 on the PrepStar Top 350 All-America listing. As a receiver he’s rated No. 28 nationally by ESPN, 42nd by 247Sports, 72nd by Scout and 91st by Rivals. He finished with 700 yards and eight touchdowns on 40 receptions as a senior.

Rhule: “R.J. is a downfield threat with good size and playmaking ability. He combines his length, size and speed with a unique catching ability and great ball skills.”

B.J. THOMPSON

Position: Defensive end

School: England, Ark.

Ht/Wt: 6-6, 220

Where he fits: Thompson was an all-state tight end at England, Ark., but is projected to play defensive end for the Bears. He’s rated the nation’s 17th-best athlete prospect by 247Sports and ranked No. 53 among defensive ends by ESPN. As a senior he led England to a 14-1 record and the 2016 2A state semifinals as he caught 37 passes for 601 yards and 10 touchdowns. Defensively, he made 29 tackles, including 16.5 for loss and 7.5 sacks. As a junior he collected 91 tackles, 13 sacks and one interception return for a touchdown.

Rhule: “B.J. is freakishly athletic for his size. His length and explosive leaping ability make him a factor in the red zone. His relentless nature gives him the ability to be a great pass rusher.”

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