Five freshmen from Baylor’s heralded 2016 signing class were granted releases from their National Letter of Intent on Thursday.

Those players included La Vega defensive back Parrish Cobb, Port Arthur Memorial running back Kameron Martin, Silsbee offensive lineman Patrick Hudson, Copperas Cove offensive lineman J.P. Urquidez and Sachse defensive back Donovan Duvernay.

Baylor had 30 days to respond to the players’ requests to be released from their NLIs, and now they are free to go to other schools. The players requested their releases after Art Briles was fired on May 26, but interim coach Jim Grobe wanted a chance to talk to them before Baylor signed off.

“I wanted the opportunity to talk with our signees and their families before providing any releases,” Grobe said. “This has never been about whether or not we would ultimately provide individuals with a release. We simply asked that we go through the process outlined by the NLI, take some time and have the chance to speak with the student-athletes and their parents.”

The five players were among the most highly touted in the 2016 class.

Cobb was the No. 12 rated cornerback in the country by Rivals after leading La Vega to the Class 4A Division I state championship.

“Wow, I have no words,” said Collis Cobb, Parrish’s father. “I’m sad that my son won’t be in Waco where he wanted to be where everyone could watch him. But I’m glad he can move forward with his life.”

ESPN rated Hudson the nation’s No. 1 guard prospect and Urquidez the 17th best tackle. Scout rated Martin the No. 6 running back in the country while ESPN rated Duvernay the 42nd best athlete prospect.

Mesquite Horn receiver Jared Atkinson announced earlier this week that he has decided to enroll at Baylor in July after originally asking for a release from his NLI. The five other freshmen who asked for releases still have the option of returning to Baylor.

If the five players sign with other schools, Baylor will have lost 10 of the 22 players in the 2016 signing class that it announced on Feb. 3.

Receiver Devin Duvernay will play for the University of Texas while receiver Tren’Davian Dickson has committed to the University of Houston. Defensive lineman DeQuinton Osborne, a transfer from Kilgore College, has committed to Oklahoma State.

Baylor announced two weeks ago that junior college transfer defensive lineman Jeremy Faulk and offensive lineman B.J. Autry are no longer with the team.

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