April 6, 2012

The Baylor Blitz

D.J. Green wants to be sure. He wants to be professional about it.

When SicEmSports.com was tipped by our SMU colleagues about his potential commitment to the Bears, we reached out to him and talked with him Friday morning.

"It's probably a guarantee that it's leading up to that,'' the Mesquite Horn linebacker said. "I'm just trying to find the right time and place. I want to bring class and pride to it. This is the biggest decision I've made in my entire life.
"I think it's something I need to do in person. I know it could be done over the phone, but I think it's important to do this the way it should be done.''

That may come as early as the spring game on April 14. Green is weighing whether to go to the game or take the ACT.

Green has offers from Baylor and SMU and drawing heavy interest from Colorado. He was at Baylor's junior day on Jan. 29 and appears to be the kind of candidate the coaching staff wants in a middle linebacker. At 6-2, 220 and a respectable 4.7 time, he holds the physique. Green benches 315 and squats 480.

SMU was the first to offer back in December, but Baylor has always been on his mind ever since he went to one of its camps last summer.

"Instead of just doing timing and drills, they actually taught us,'' Green said. "They wanted to make us better football players. That was a great camp.''

Internet rumors can be the worst kind of rumors.

SicEmSports.com checked on something it had heard about West Orange-Stark's Travon Blanchard and the strength of his commitment to the Bears.

"Tell everybody I'm 112% committed to Baylor,'' Blanchard said. "Teams still contact me and everything. But it's a no go. I had a chance to go to UT's junior day (Feb. 3) and Arkansas, LSU and [Texas] A&M's junior day. But after I committed, I shut it down.''

In fact, Blanchard's eagerness to play in college is such that he said he soon will be meeting with his high school counselor to find out what he can do to graduate in December. Refugio's Lynx Hawthorne went through that for the 2012 class and enrolled this past January. Copperas Cove product Trevor Valdez and Lago Vista's Jemarcus Johnson also did that for the 2011 class.

Usually, the path for those student-athletes is to go through summer school and take a couple of online core classes.

"I want to get to Waco earlier,'' Blanchard said. "But as far as my grades and the SAT, I'm fully qualified.''

Blanchard is also acting like another recruiter for the Baylor staff. He said he has been talking to Wichita Falls Rider QB J.T. Barrett, Southlake Carroll QB Kenny Hill, Fort Worth Southwest WR Robbie Rhodes and Livingston WR Chevoski Collins.

West Orange-Stark begins spring football workouts Monday. Blanchard said he will be at Baylor's spring football game on April 14.

The recruitment of Blanchard's former teammate Justin Thomas may not be over either.

SicEmSports.com has learned that Thomas may be back in play within the next year.

Baylor made a strong push for Thomas at the end of the 2012 recruiting season before Thomas wound up signing with Utah. A late in-home meeting with Utah coach Kyle Wittingham sealed Thomas' decision.

However, it appears Thomas won't be going to Utah. We understand that he should be signing with either Trinity Valley Community College in Athens or Blinn Junior College in Brenham.

Of course, if that happens, that would re-open his recruitment. Depending on how things go, Thomas could transfer as early as one year.

And don't think for a moment the Baylor coaching staff isn't aware of it.

Also, the news isn't the best on Euless Trinity LB Brian Nance. Throughout his recruitment, we mentioned that there was a chance he may not qualify and get into Baylor.

And remember on National Signing Day, we mentioned that Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, VA. was very much in the picture.

The process isn't over but one source we talked to said, "He's probably going to end up at Hargrave, but he still has a slight chance to make it.''

Nance announced his commitment to Baylor at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 7. Of course, Baylor coaches were well aware of his academic challenges.

College football fans may soon be getting their wish about the sport moving toward a playoff system.
A recent memo obtained by USA Today indicated that BCS leaders are discussing several methods to tweak their championship format.

One aggressive move would be a four-team playoff including semifinals and a championship game. The newspaper said a "four teams plus" format could expand to six teams to involve the Rose Bowl, which would pit the Big Ten champion against the Pac 12 champion. A plus one model is also being considered.

BCS leaders are meeting in Hollywood, Fla April 24-26. Outgoing Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas is expected to attend those meetings.

"We favor the plus one,'' Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw said. "Some of the other four-team playoff models that preserve the bowl system and value the regular season have merit as well.''

Look out for that train that is the Baylor baseball team. Because of the Easter weekend, series started on Thursday instead of Friday. The Bears opened their Big 12 road season at Missouri last night and pulled out a 3-1 victory.

Left-hander Josh Turley (4-0) pitched 8 1/3 innings to get the win. Max Garner got the last two outs to collect the win. The Bears scored all three runs in the sixth, two on Jake Miller's two-run double.

Baylor (23-7, 10-0) has now won 12 consecutive games. The Bears became the first team in Big 12 history to begin conference play at 10-0. The winning streak is also the longest since a 14-game streak in 1999.

The series continues at 6:00 p.m. with Trent Blank. Saturday's game starts at 11 a.m.

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