Baron Browning

Baron Browning

After landing a flurry of top 2017 offensive commitments, Baylor secured a big-time defensive recruit Saturday afternoon.

Kennedale’s Baron Browning, the nation’s No. 1-rated inside linebacker by 247Sports, chose Baylor over powerful programs like Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State, Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.

Browning is the highest rated linebacker in Texas in the 2017 Rivals.com top 100 and is ranked eighth among linebackers nationally. Rivals.com ranks Browning 90th overall in the 2017 class.

The 6-4, 220-pound Browning said he visited Baylor on Thursday and connected with the players and coaches. He is also intrigued by how a Baylor degree can benefit him down the road.

“Baylor has a brand that a lot of schools can’t offer,” Browning said. “I believe a degree from Baylor will help me get a job after football. I got a chance to hang around with the players and got a good feel of the coaches and the university.”

Browning was also impressed by Baylor strength and conditioning coach Kaz Kazadi.

“A lot of programs can get you big,” Browning said. “But Coach Kazadi can get you big and fast.”

Browning said he’s played strong safety for Kennedale as a freshman and sophomore but expects to play the nickelback position for the Bears.

“I feel I have the speed for it because I’ve played a similar position in high school,” Browning said. “I feel like I’m going to fit into Baylor’s defensive scheme.”

Browning said he attended several Baylor games last season including the Bears’ 61-58 win over TCU at McLane Stadium. The Bears overcame a 58-37 fourth-quarter deficit to pull off the win.

“It was shocking to see the offense score so many points in the fourth quarter,” Browning said. “The defense also made some big plays. I believe in Coach (Art) Briles’ plan for the team down the road.”

With the addition of Browning, Baylor has six commitments in the 2017 class. He joins San Antonio Reagan quarterback Kellen Mond, La Vega tight end Kedrick James, Stafford receiver Hezekiah Jones, Houston St. Thomas receiver Jhamon Ausbon and Houston Bellaire defensive back Donovan Stiner.

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