Cactus Bowl Football.JPEG-0627

Taylor Young (1) led a defense that recorded four sacks.

Associated Press—Rick Scuteri

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Baylor coach Matt Rhule watched his new team beat Boise State, 31-12, in the Cactus Bowl from an unfamiliar place.

While interim coach Jim Grobe coached his final game on the sidelines at Chase Field, Rhule watched from a suite high above the field Tuesday night.

“My wife and I were laughing that we’ve been 19 years together and we’ve never watched a game together,” Rhule said. “We’re going to start arguing about play calling.”

Rhule was hired Dec. 6 after posting the first back-to-back 10-win seasons in Temple University history. Since then, he’s been busy putting together a coaching staff and getting his feet wet recruiting.

The Bears got their first verbal commitment since Rhule’s arrival from Houston Lamar safety Trevon Lewis on Wednesday. Rhule and his staff have contacted many players from Texas and other states and are expecting many more commitments in the upcoming weeks.

“I would say we have a lot of kids who are right on the cusp,” Rhule said. “There’s a lot kids who have questions and should have them. We’re not worried. We’re very confident. We just want to do it the right way and at the right time. I bet on the first recruiting weekend we’ll have five, six or seven commitments.”

Rhule also hopes to finish completing his coaching staff very soon.

“I have some guys who are college coaches who have some things in their contracts,” Rhule said. “We’re just kind of going through the process. We have a good idea of who is going to be on staff. We’ll wait to the college and NFL seasons are over to announce.”

Rhule gets verbal commit

Houston Lamar safety Trevon Lewis is excited to become Baylor coach Matt Rhule’s first verbal commitment since his arrival three weeks ago.

Lewis likes the energy of Rhule and the coaching staff he’s putting together. The 6-0, 183-pound Lewis had offers from Utah and Central Arkansas.

“I just felt like Baylor is my best option,” Lewis said. “I like Coach Rhule’s attitude and that they’re ready to jump on board.”

Lewis was a three-year star for Lamar and was named the Houston Touchdown Club’s defensive player of the year this year.

“I bring to the table an arsenal,” Lewis said. “I can see things well and I bring a good angle when I’m defending passes and I’m a sure tackler.”

Lewis is the second commitment in Baylor’s 2017 class as he joins Stafford defensive back Jalen Pitre, who signed with Baylor this month and will enroll in school in January.

Baylor defense opportunistic

Baylor’s defense was outstanding as it forced three turnovers including an interception and fumble recovery by Orion Stewart and Travon Blanchard’s interception.

The Bears also delivered four sacks including two by Tyrone Hunt and one apiece by Stewart and K.J. Smith.

“I feel like we dominated,” Stewart said. “We came out with a purpose. People on the back end were making plays they were supposed to make. We flew to the ball.”

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