Meet the new Baylor Bears

Midway's Orion Stewart talks to his father Raymond after signing with Baylor on Wednesday.

ORION STEWART

Position: Defensive back

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 175

School: Midway

Where he fits: Stewart is a defensive back and kick returner who helped Midway reach the Class 5A Division I state championship game. As a senior, Stewart collected 77 tackles and four interceptions while breaking up nine passes as the Panthers finished 13-3. “Orion is extremely athletic, and he really hasn’t started dedicating himself to football until the last few years,” Briles said. “We know that he has a great upside. He has extremely good leaping ability, has good speed as a return man, and I think he can come into our secondary and make an impact for us.”

 

TRE’VON ARMSTEAD

Position: Offensive line

Ht/Wt: 6-6, 270

School: Port Arthur Memorial

Where he fits: Big, rangy offensive lineman who is ranked 10th in the state at his position by Rivals.com. Armstead is rated No. 44 nationally by Scout.com and No. 77 by ESPN.com among offensive linemen. He was named to the 2011 All-Greater Houston second team by the Houston Chronicle after helping Memorial to a 13-2 record. He’s the teammate of Baylor signee Terrence Singleton. “Tre’Von has a big-time frame, and he is very athletic and smooth,” Baylor coach Art Briles said. “We feel like he is definitely one of the top, if not the top, offensive tackles in the state of Texas. We’re very excited to have him next season.”

 

DOMINIQUE BANKS

Position: Defensive line

Ht/Wt: 6-2, 260

School: Denton Ryan

Where he fits: Banks is a quick defensive end who helped anchor a tremendous Denton Ryan defense that went 12-0 before losing to Midway in the Class 4A Division I regional semifinals. Teamed opposite of top national recruit Mario Edwards at defensive end, Banks collected 47 tackles, including 18 for losses and eight sacks. Banks is rated No. 58 nationally among defensive linemen by ESPN.com. “Dominique is extremely aggressive, and very passionate, and we think he’s got a chance to be a great football player for a long time,” Briles said.

 

TERRELL BURT

Position: Defensive back

Ht/Wt: 5-10, 165

School: Wylie

Where he fits: Burt is a talented defensive back and kick returner who is ranked the No. 59 overall prospect in the state by ESPN.com. He was named first-team all-District 10-4A after collecting 37 tackles, two interceptions and six pass breakups. He also rushed for 250 yards and two touchdowns as a senior. As a junior, Burt helped Wylie reach the Class 4A Division I state semifinals after collecting 64 tackles, two interceptions and seven pass breakups. He ran track for Wylie’s Class 4A state championship 4x100 relay squad in 2011. “Terrell was on the nation’s fastest sprint relay team last year,” Briles said. “He can fly. He can really run and flip his hips. We’re really excited about him.”

 

DEVIN CHAFIN

Position: Running back

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 200

School: Burkburnett

Where he fits: Chafin is a Class 3A second-team all-state running back who rushed for 1,246 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior. He’s also a threat as a receiver as he made 40 catches for 400 yards and four touchdowns. He’s rated No. 83 nationally by Scout.com and No. 108 by ESPN.com among running backs. As a junior, Chafin rushed for 1,287 yards and 13 touchdowns. Chafin finished sixth in the 100 meters at the Class 3A state meet with a time of 10.82. “Devin is extremely talented, he carries himself well and has good balance,” Briles said. “He also has good hand-eye coordination which is critical to us in that position.”

 

SHAMYCHEAL CHATMAN

Position: Linebacker

Ht/Wt: 6-2, 230

School: Sealy

Where he fits: Chatman is an athletic linebacker and defensive end who was named first-team all-District 24-3A after helping Sealy record an 8-3 record. As a junior, he finished with 40 tackles and eight sacks. He also plays basketball and throws the discus for the track team. “Shamycheal is a great, great player,” Briles said. “He’s a great kid who is mature. He can run, he has played defensive end and linebacker. He has tremendous upside. We think that we’ll be able to develop him through our strength and training and coaching on the field.”

 

COREY COLEMAN

Position: Receiver

Ht/Wt: 5-11, 180

School: Richardson Pearce

Where he fits: One of the jewels of this year’s class, Coleman is a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and Scout.com. He’s rated No. 17 nationally among receivers by ESPN.com, No. 23 by Scout.com and No. 38 by Rivals.com. During his final three seasons at Richardson Pearce, he collected 3,864 all-purpose yards and 61 touchdowns. As a senior, Coleman caught 69 passes for 932 yards and 11 touchdowns while rushing for 567 yards and 15 scores. As a junior, he caught 69 passes for 1,003 yards and 11 touchdowns while also rushing for 426 yards and 13 touchdowns. “Corey is going to be the guy,” Briles said. “He’s a big-time player and a great young man with tremendous upside. Once he gets involved in our system, the sky’s the limit and we’re going there. We were very excited about him committing to us early. He fought off people and stayed loyal to Baylor. He’s going to have a great career here.”

 

AIAVION EDWARDS

Position: Defensive back

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 210

School: Stephenville

Where he fits: Edwards was a big, physical running back for Stephenville, but he’s expected to play safety for the Bears. He’s rated No. 22 nationally among safeties by Scout.com, No. 31 by Rivals.com and No. 48 by ESPN.com. As a senior, Edwards rushed for 839 yards and 10 touchdowns for a Stephenville squad that finished 11-3. As a junior, he earned second-team Class 4A all-state honors after rushing for 1,744 yards and 25 touchdowns. “He’s extremely fast and physical,” Briles said. “He was our first commitment we had last February. He stayed true to us all the way through. He’s a big kid who can run and make things happen for us on the football field.”

 

ZORELL EZELL

Position: Defensive tackle

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 265

School: Humble

Where he fits: Ezell is a promising defensive tackle who is rated No. 58 nationally by Scout.com and 78 by ESPN.com. As a senior, Ezell finished with 35 tackles, including five for losses and two sacks. As a junior, he made 58 tackles with six sacks and three forced fumbles. He’s rated the No. 8 defensive tackle in the state by 2011 Postseason Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine. “Zorell is extremely athletic and also plays basketball,” Briles said. “The kid is very quick and very aggressive. He has the chance to come in here and make a name for himself.”

 

KENDALL EHRLICH

Position: Linebacker

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 215

School: Pearland

Where he fits: Ehrlich is a two-time Class 5A all-state linebacker who is rated No. 34 nationally at his position by Scout.com, No. 35 by Rivals.com and No. 45 by ESPN.com. He collected 89 tackles, including 16 for losses and a sack as a senior for a Pearland team that finished 11-3. As a junior, Ehrlich made 165 tackles and seven sacks for a Class 5A Division I state championship team. “Kendall is a tireless worker and a tough kid,” Briles said. “He’s an impact player and fits everything that we are looking for in the linebacker position — it’s about being physically tough and mentally focused.”

 

KYLE FULLER

Position: Offensive line

Ht/Wt: 6-4, 270

School: Wylie

Where he fits: Fuller is a consensus top 100 recruit in Texas who was rated the No. 9 offensive lineman in the state by the 2011 Postseason Texas Football magazine. He’s ranked nationally among offensive lineman at No. 37 by ESPN.com, No. 44 by Rivals.com and No. 50 by ESPN.com. He was a first-team all-District 10-4A selection and was the high school teammate of Baylor signee Terrell Burt.

“We really think Kyle has a great future,” Briles said. “He has a great range, too. He’s a young kid who has the chance to really develop and play at a very, very high level.”

 

KIANTE’ GRIFFIN

Position: Receiver

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 200

School: Carrollton Hebron

Where he fits: Griffin was a two-way star at Hebron at receiver and defensive back. He’s expected to play receiver for the Bears after making 12 catches for 219 yards and two touchdowns as a senior and 19 catches for 291 yards and a touchdown as a junior. During his sophomore year, he made 33 catches for 770 yards and 11 scores. Among receivers, he’s rated No. 41 nationally by Scout.com, No. 49 by ESPN.com and No. 55 by Rivals.com. “Kiante’ is a physical specimen: tough, aggressive, physical and fast,” Briles said. “This kid is a big-time football player that we are pumped about having come to Baylor.”

 

LYNX HAWTHORNE

Position: Receiver

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 185

School: Refugio

Where he fits: Hawthorne is a versatile athlete who graduated from Refugio in December and is enrolled at Baylor for the spring semester. Briles plans to look at Hawthorne at receiver after he made 72 catches for 1,786 yards and 25 touchdowns as a senior for Class 2A Refugio. As a junior at Weimer, he played quarterback and passed for 1,270 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for 1,213 yards and 14 scores. Hawthorne is ranked the fifth-best receiver in the state by 2011 Postseason Texas Football. “He’s very athletic, played both sides of the ball and quarterback,” Briles said. “He’s here on campus right now going through winter conditioning and is doing a great job. We’re anxious to see him this spring and find out where he fits in our football team.”

 

EDDIE LACKEY

Position: Linebacker

Ht/Wt: 6-2, 220

School: Riverside (Calif.) Community College

Where he fits: Lackey is a junior who is expected to give the Bears immediate help at inside linebacker after transferring from Riverside Community College. He signed in December and is enrolled at Baylor. Last season, he collected 54 tackles, including eight for losses and six pass breakups. to help his junior college team to an 11-0 record. He played at Northwood (Mich.) University as a freshman. “Eddie’s fast, tough, intense, aggressive, focused and motivated,” Briles said. “Just what you look for in an inside linebacker.”

 

PATRICK LEVELS

Position: Defensive back

Ht/Wt: 5-10, 180

School: Dallas Roosevelt

Where he fits: Levels was named the Class 3A defensive player of the year by the Associated Press after an outstanding season for Dallas Roosevelt. As a senior, the defensive back finished with 177 tackles and eight interceptions with four returns for touchdowns. He also returned 18 punts for a 38.3-yard average. He runs track for Roosevelt, and has been timed at 10.66 in the 100 meters and 49.0 in the 400 meters. “The thing that excites us about Patrick is his gifted athletic ability and his return ability in the kicking game,” Briles said. “He transferred into Dallas Roosevelt and made them a better team. That’s very important in our evaluation process — he makes people around him better, and people believe in him.”

 

RASHODRICK LINWOOD

Position: Athlete

Ht/Wt: 5-9, 180

School: Linden-Kildare

Where he fits: Linwood was an all-state quarterback at Linden-Kildare, but he’s expected to play running back and receiver for the Bears. As a senior, he rushed for 2,105 yards and 25 touchdowns and passed for 729 yards and five scores. As a junior running back, Linwood rushed for 1,473 yards and 18 scores and made 14 catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns. He originally committed to TCU before switching to Baylor. “He’s going to be able to play numerous positions for us,” Briles said. “He came to camp last summer and was the highlight of the camp. He just took over when he stepped on the field and made plays on the offensive side of the ball. He’s extremely explosive, extremely fast and extremely passionate and mature.”

 

JAVONTE MAGEE

Position: Defensive end

Ht/Wt: 6-5, 265

School: San Antonio Sam Houston

Where he fits: Magee is the biggest catch in this recruiting class. The gifted defensive end is rated No. 65 nationally among all players and No. 7 at his position by Rivals.com and No. 11 by Scout.com. Magee played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl following his senior year and was a first-team Class 3A all-state player after collecting 85 tackles and six sacks. “Javonte might be the most heralded defensive recruit we’ve signed,” Briles said. “He’s got tremendous, tremendous upside. He’s extremely agile, athletic, and is a person who just possesses everything you look for on that side of the ball.”

 

KALEB MOORE

Position: Receiver

Ht/Wt: 5-11, 180

School: Cypress-Fairbanks

Where he fits: Moore is a late pickup who will use his speed and jumping ability to help Baylor’s receiving corps. As a senior, he caught 31 passes for 563 yards and 13 touchdowns and was also a punt returner. He finished third at the Class 5A state meet in the high jump. “Kaleb is a great jumper,” Briles said. “He’s a 24-foot long jumper, 47-foot triple, 6-8 high jump all as a junior last year. This is also a guy who just started playing football two years ago. We think that the sky’s the limit for him because he can do a lot of things on the field with his athletic ability.”

 

BRIAN NANCE

Position: Linebacker

Ht/Wt: 6-2, 210

School: Euless Trinity

Where he fits: Nance is a four-star recruit who will bring great athleticism to Baylor’s linebacker corps. Nance was named a SuperPrep All-American and played in the U.S. Army All-America Bowl. He’s rated the No. 18 outside linebacker in the country by ESPN.com, No. 27 by Rivals.com and No. 31 by Scout.com. He’s ranked as the No. 2 outside linebacker in the state by 2011 Postseason Texas Football. After recovering from an ACL injury, Nance collected 67 tackles and five sacks in eight games as a senior. As a junior, he was named Class 5A all-state after collecting 160 tackles, including 20 for losses and 13 sacks with six interceptions. “Brian is just a great, great football player, a sideline-to-sideline guy,” Briles said. “He’s a great leader with great instincts and great passion. We’re really excited for him to get here and get after it full-tilt. We know that he’s got an outstanding future in front of him and we’re glad that it’s at Baylor.”

 

JAMAL PALMER

Position: Defensive end

Ht/Wt: 6-2, 230

School: McKinney Boyd

Where he fits: Palmer is a quick, athletic defensive end who is ranked No. 69 nationally by Scout.com and No. 98 by ESPN.com. He finished his senior year with 64 tackles, including 25 for losses and six sacks while forcing seven fumbles. As a junior, he was named Class 5A second-team all-state after making 113 tackles. “Jamal has a quick-twitch, turns well and is extremely explosive,” Briles said. “We’re really excited about the speed factor that he brings to the defensive side. He’s an extremely gifted athlete.”

 

RYAN REID

Position: Defensive back

Ht/Wt: 5-10, 180

School: Sherman

Where he fits: Reid is a versatile defensive back who played receiver and quarterback while also returning kicks for Sherman. Reid is ranked No. 74 overall among Texas recruits by Rivals.com and is rated the No. 6 safety in the state by 2011 Postseason Texas Football magazine. As a senior, Reid collected 60 tackles, 20 pass breakups and three interceptions. “Ryan is a great track guy, great cover guy, and can really turn and run,” Briles said. “He’s going to be a big-time player. We’re extremely pumped about him coming on board and fighting off people trying to come after him.”

 

SETH RUSSELL

Position: Quarterback

Ht/Wt: 6-3, 195

School: Garland

Where he fits: Russell will give the Bears a young quarterback who can develop behind Nick Florence and Bryce Petty. He recently switched his commitment from Kansas to Baylor, and is ranked No. 47 nationally among quarterback prospects by ESPN.com. As a senior, Russell passed for 1,502 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed for 471 yards and seven scores for a 9-3 Garland squad. “I’m probably as excited about Seth as anyone else in the class because of what he brings to the table,” Briles said. “He’s a big, athletic guy that can run and throw the ball well. He’s another one that elevates a football team. He’s a great leader and a tough kid.”

 

TERRENCE SINGLETON

Position: Athlete

Ht/Wt: 5-10, 175

School: Port Arthur Memorial

Where he fits: Singleton was a first-team Class 5A all-state quarterback who threw for 2,565 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushed for 1,605 yards and 22 scores as a senior. Because of his 5-10 frame, he could play receiver or defensive back at Baylor. He’s rated No. 42 nationally among quarterbacks by Scout.com and No. 50 as an athlete by Rivals.com. “Terrence is just an extremely gifted player,” Briles said. “He’s tough, aggressive and fast. And he elevates the people around him. If you walked into Memorial High School, the one guy who has the respect of the people is Terrence.”

 

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