WACO, Texas -- Baylor University football head coach Guy Morriss announced Wednesday the signing of 29 players to National Letters of Intent for the 2006-07 academic year. Included in Morriss' fourth Baylor recruiting class are 24 high school standouts, four junior college transfers and one Division I-A transfer.
"I believe that this is arguably the best of the four classes we've signed so far," said Morriss. "We've added size, speed and athleticism to our roster. There are some players who I expect to come in and contribute early in their careers.
"There is no question that our improvement last year on the field helped us get in on a higher level player than in past years. Now, we've got to start working on next year's class and continue to make improvement on the field. If each class we bring in is better than the previous year's, we'll get where we want to go."
Three of the four-year junior college transfers (Connor Redfearn, Brandon Stiggers and Paul Tolbert) are currently enrolled at Baylor and will go through spring practice, which begins March 6. Adam Geib, a transfer from the United States Air Force Academy, has also joined the program and will be eligible in 2007 after sitting out a year per NCAA rules. Two others, Jameon Hardeman and Roman James, also enrolled mid-year at Baylor and will be eligible for spring practice and the 2006 season.
Ranked as nation's 42nd-best safety by Rivals.com and No. 90 on Rivals.com's Texas Top 100 list ... No. 5 on Waco Tribune-Herald's Central Texas Top 25 list ... The defensive MVP of 2005 Waco Tribune-Herald Super Centex team also earned first-team Class 5A all-state honors from both The Associated Press and 5ATexasFootball.com as well as second-team recognition from the Texas Sports Writers Association ... 3-star ranking from Rivals.com ... Registered 147 tackles, six interceptions, three blocked kicks and a fumble recovery as a prep senior en route to District 13-5A defensive player of the year honors ... Returned two of his six interceptions for touchdowns and also took a blocked kick into the end zone for another score ... 2005 Dave Campbell's Texas Football Texas Top 300 selection ... Helped 2005 Bulldawgs to a 12-1 record, a district title, the quarterfinals of the 5A Division II playoffs and a final state ranking of No. 9 ... Had 88 tackles and two interceptions as a junior en route to first-team all-district and honorable mention Tribune-Herald Super Centex honors ... In final two prep seasons led the Cove to back-to-back district titles, a pair of playoff appearances and a 22-3 record ... Coached by Jack Welch at the District 5A-13 school ... Began prep career as a running back and also played wide receiver before settling into the defensive backfield ... "Tim is exactly what you look for in a free safety," Welch said. "He could get his hips turned toward the ball carrier so fast, and when he'd hit you, it was like watching a bullet come out of a gun." ... Runs 4.52 40 ... Also considered Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Purdue, TCU and UTEP ... The son of Stacey Atchison, Tim was born Sept. 27, 1987.
Guy Morriss on Tim Atchison: "Tim has tremendous size. He is an exceptional center fielder on defense who runs and tackles better than any high school safety I've seen in recent years. With his body and athletic ability, he has a chance to play early in his career at Baylor."
In lone season as Pflugerville's starting signal caller, Tyler Beatty completed 84 of 184 passes for 1,688 yards and 13 touchdowns with five interceptions ... Also rushed 66 times for 133 yards and two touchdowns ... Earned first-team District 15-5A honors in final prep campaign ... 2005 team co-captain earned a 2-star rating from Rivals.com ... Threw for a season-high 205 yards and three touchdowns against Austin Westlake in opening round of playoffs, then came back with a 192-yard effort vs. A&M Consolidated ... Led Panthers to a 7-5 record, a district runner-up finish and the second-round of the 2005 Class 5A Division II playoffs ... 2005 Waco Tribune-Herald and Port Arthur News Top 100 member ... 2005 Dave Campbell's Texas Football Texas Top 300 selection despite seeing limited action as a junior behind Texas Tech signee Todd Walker ... Threw for 323 yards (15-of-35) with five touchdowns and three interceptions as a junior ... Made one start as a junior ... Runs a 4.65 40 ... Coached by George Hermann at the District 15-5A school ... "I think Baylor's a great program," Beatty said. "I want to be a part of building something great and putting them in a bowl game." ... Also considered Texas Tech, Purdue, Houston and UTEP ... The son of Mark and Robin Beatty, Tyler was born Sept. 11, 1987.
Guy Morriss on Tyler Beatty: "Tyler has good size and a very good arm. I was very impressed with what I saw from him in camp last summer and believe he'll be a great fit for our new spread offense."
CB 6-1 175 Dallas, Texas (Carter)
The fifth Dallas Carter Cowboy to sign with the Bears since coach Guy Morriss' arrival in Waco ... Committed to Baylor during his senior season ... 2-star ranking from Rivals.com ... Started all 12 games for the 11-1 Cowboys, who claimed the 2005 district title and advanced to the second round of the playoffs ... Totaled 45 tackles, six pass breakups and three interceptions as a senior ... Runs a 4.4 40 ... Also considered Colorado ... Coached by Allen Wilson at the District 9-5A school ... The son of Roderick and Shawanda Davis, Antareis was born May 20, 1988.
Guy Morriss on Antareis Bryan: "Antareis has tremendous size and speed. I was very impressed with how he plays press coverage - he just smothers the receiver."
DE 6-4 255 Arlington, Texas (Bowie)
One of two Fort Worth Star Telegram Top 50 area recruits from Arlington Bowie in Baylor's 2006 recruiting class, joining teammate Dominique Criss ... 2-star Rivals.com ranking ... Credited with 50 tackles in five games as a senior with 12 sacks and five tackles for loss ... Also spent some time at tight end, where he recorded four receptions and 12 pancake blocks ... Earned honorable mention all-district honors as a senior and was a second-team pick as a junior ... Runs a 4.85 40 ... Also considered Missouri and Central Florida ... Coached by Anthony Criss at the District 7-5A school ... The son of Michael and Lavette Buford, Chris was born March 3, 1988.
Guy Morriss on Chris Buford : "Chris is an athletic defensive end who will add size and strength to our defensive line."
LB 6-3 200 Spring, Texas (Klein Oak)
Middle linebacker was a Houston Chronicle Texas Top 100 and Waco Tribune-Herald Top 100 selection ... Also named to Port Arthur News Texas Top 100 ... Earned 2005 preseason third-team Super Team defensive honors from Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine and was a Texas Top 300 pick ... Led a 2005 Panther defense which yielded 19.7 points per game and produced a pair of shutouts ... First-team all-area selection and two-time first-team all-district performer ... 2005 co-District 18-4A defensive MVP ... Helped team to a 9-2 record and a playoff bid as a senior ... Registered 165 total tackles, including 103 solos, in final prep campaign ... Also had an interception which he returned for a touchdown and 10 tackles for loss ... Had 23 tackles (9 solos) in 2005 season-opening victory over Klein Collins and had 19 stops (9 solos) in win over Oak Ridge to earn team's defensive game MVP honor the following week ... Two-time team defensive MVP pick ... Started at defensive tackle as a junior ... Selected Baylor over Iowa State, Missouri, TCU, Indiana, Duke, New Mexico and UTEP ... Runs a 4.7 40 ... 2-star ranking from Rivals.com ... Enjoys fishing, duck hunting and horseback riding ... Coached by David Smith at the District 18-4A school ... "Greg's an uncanny player," Smith said. "He has tremendous leverage and has a desire to play on Sundays. Greg is a great effort guy--you teach him and let him play. We call him 'Gumby' because he is so hard to knock off his feet." ... The son of Mark and Nancy Carlson, Greg was born May 11, 1987.
Guy Morriss on Greg Carlson: "Greg has a great personality. He's an aggressive linebacker with size who is always around the football."
CB 5-9 175 Arlington, Texas (Bowie)
One of two Arlington Bowie products in Baylor's 2006 recruiting class, joining teammate Chris Buford ... Rated among nation's top 50 prep cornerbacks by scout.com and is ranked as nation's 60th-best prep corner by Rivals.com ... Ranked No. 63 on The Dallas Morning News' 2006 Top 100 area list ... Member of Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Top 50 area list ... Waco Tribune-Herald Top 100 pick ... Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine Texas Top 300 selection ... Two-way standout earned a 3-star Rivals.com rating ... Three-time all-district performer (twice at defensive back and once at running back) ... Second-team 2005 all-district selection at running back ... Rushed 107 times for a team-high 423 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior in six games ... Also caught 13 passes for 132 yards and one TD ... Led Volunteers in scoring with 54 points ... Totaled 70 tackles, eight pass break-ups, one interception and three forced fumbles in 2005 ... Had 115 tackles and nine sacks as a junior in 2004 ... Runs a 4.5 40 ... Had 18 scholarship offers and selected Baylor from a list that included Texas, LSU, Minnesota, Boston College, Oklahoma State and Tulsa ... Coached by his father, Anthony Criss, at the District 7-5A school ... "I think Baylor's getting a pretty good football player," the elder Criss said. "He's a smart football player, a coach's son. He does a tremendous job studying the game, a tremendous job in the film room and the weight room." ... The son of Anthony and Patra Criss, Dominique was born Oct. 13, 1987.
Guy Morriss on Dominique Criss: "Dominique has outstanding technique, perhaps the best I've seen out of a cornerback in recent years. He can play anywhere in the back half of our secondary. He's a fast kid who I believe could step on the field right early in his career."
WR 5-10 160 Denton, Texas (Ryan)
A three-year starter and all-district wide receiver at 5A power Denton Ryan ... Ranked No. 100 on The Dallas Morning News 2006 Top 100 area list ... 2-star ranking from Rivals.com ... Caught 60 passes for 866 yards and 10 touchdowns in final prep season en route to first-team all-district honors ... 10th among all 2005 5A Metroplex performers in receiving yards ... Helped Raiders to a 7-4 record and the first-round of the 2005 Class 5A playoffs ... As a junior, caught 84 balls for 1,397 yards and 17 touchdowns ... Second-leading receiver among Class 5A Metroplex performers as a junior ... Earned first-team Texas Sports Writers Association Class 5A all-state honors and honorable mention recognition from The Associated Press ... Holds Raider single-game records for receptions (12), receiving yards (225) and longest reception (94 yards), as well as the school's single-season mark for receptions (84) ... Runs a 4.4 40 ... Coached by Joey Florence at the District 5-5A school ... "He's a great speed receiver," Florence said. "He's got tremendous explosion. In 17 years of coaching, he's probably the fastest guy I've ever coached." ... Also considered UTEP ... The son of Pamela Sheppeard, Justin was born Nov. 2, 1987.
Guy Morriss on Justin Fenty: "He's an exceptional play-maker with tremendous speed. He makes the defender miss in the passing game and then he takes it the distance. He'll likely play at inside receiver and I believe he also can help us as a return specialist."
RB 5-11 180 Corsicana, Texas (Corsicana)
Committed to Baylor prior to the start of his senior year at Corsicana High School ... Rated as the nation's 49th-best running back by Rivals.com ... No. 82 on the 2005 Dallas Morning News All-Area list ... 3-star ranking from Rivals.com ... Honorable mention all-state by Texas Sports Writers Association ... In two seasons at Corsicana, he rushed for 2,148 yards and 18 touchdowns while averaging 7.2 yards per carry ... Carried 206 times for 1,404 yards and 12 touchdowns in senior season while helping Tigers to an 8-3 record, a district runner-up finish and the second-round of the Class 4A playoffs ... Averaged 6.8 yards per tote in final prep season to garner unanimous first-team all-district honors ... 11th-leading Class 4A rusher among 2005 DFW Metroplex preps ... Registered seven 100-yard rushing performances as a senior, one of which was a career-high 220-yard effort on 19 carries against Willis ... Rushed for 201 yards and one TD against Waco's University High ... Recorded double-digit carries in every 2005 contest ... Also threw a touchdown pass and caught 14 passes for 119 yards and one touchdown ... Led team in scoring with 78 points ... Rushed for 744 yards and six touchdowns on just 94 carries as a junior despite missing Tigers' first three games ... Produced three 100-yard efforts as a junior when he helped the Tigers capture a district title, advance to the Class 4A Division II regional semifinals and post an 11-4 record ... Runs a 4.5 40 ... Also considered Oklahoma State, Utah, Louisiana-Monroe and UTEP ... Coached by Dave Henigan at the District 14-4A school ... "He's got as good lateral movements as anybody I've seen in high school, as far as making people miss," Henigan said. "If you watch him, he runs like Roger Craig or O.J. Simpson. He's real lanky, and he's got a real high running style. He's just a playmaker." ... The son of Willie Mae Curry, Jay was born May 15, 1988.
Guy Morriss on Jay Finley: "We believe Jay is a real sleeper in this class. He's a big back with speed to close at the second level and the size to run between the tackles."
WR 6-4 198 Los Angeles, Calif. (Dorsey)
Standout two-sport athlete will play football and run track for the Bears ... Signed with Baylor in 2004 but did not enroll and is slated to join the program in June 2006 after inking again today ... Committed to Baylor during the 2005 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the first time the Bears landed a participant from the prestigious prep event ... Caught a 39-yard touchdown pass in the All-American Bowl ... Rivals.com ranked Gettis as California's 50th-best prep, while he was the nation's 26th-best receiver in 2004 ... SuperPrep rated Gettis as the Golden State's 38th-best player ... Caught 31 passes for 600 yards and nine touchdowns in final prep season en route to All-City honors ... Also played free safety for the Dons' defense totaling 40 tackles, three interceptions and six pass breakups ... Had 23 receptions for 496 yards and seven scores as a junior ... Played for coach Ralph Caldwell ... California's first prep ever to capture three consecutive state 400 meter titles he also won Los Angeles City 400 crowns as a junior and senior ... Won state 400 title in 47.1 seconds as a sophomore, then ran a 46.3 to claim his second state 400 gold medal in 2004 and smoked the field by nearly two seconds to win in 45.84 as a senior in 2005 ... His 45.84 400 in 2005 was nation's fastest by a prep ... Also anchored Dorsey's victorious 4 x 400-meter relay team and ran second leg of its gold-medal 4 x 100-meter relay team at 2005 state meet ... Selected as The Los Angeles Times' 2005 Boys' Track & Field Athlete of the Year ... Owns a 4.35 40-yard dash best ... Had football scholarship offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Washington and San Diego State, as well as a track offer from Southern California ... The son of Dale and Valeri Gettis, David Alexander Gettis was born Aug. 27, 1987, in Cherry Point, N.C.
Guy Morriss on David Gettis: "David can absolutely fly; he's got great speed and athletic ability. I believe the sky is the limit for him. He's a world-class quarter-miler, but his first love is football. We were sorry that he couldn't be here last year, but we are glad that he still wants to be a Baylor Bear and we look forward to getting him on the field in 2006."
DE 6-5 220 Waco, Texas (Midway/United States Air Force Academy)
Transferred into the Baylor program in January from the United States Air Force Academy and will sit out the 2006 season per NCAA rules, then have two seasons of eligibility remaining ... Expected to play at defensive end for the Bears ... Spent first season at Air Force Prep School, one year on the Air Force freshman team before leaving the program at the end of the 2005 fall term ... First-team all-district and honorable mention all-state as a senior at Midway High School ... Totaled 143 tackles as the Panthers' starting middle linebacker in just 10 games as a senior ... High school teammate of Baylor senior defensive end Marcus Foreman ... "I thought it (Baylor) was a good opportunity to come into the program when it's kind of on the upswing," said Geib. "The coaches are definitely turning the program around, and I saw this as an opportunity to be a part of that." ... Coached by Kent Bachtel at the District 16-4A school ... The son of Harry and Judy Geib, Adam was born June 25, 1984.
Guy Morriss on Adam Geib: "We are excited to have Adam in our program. The opportunity to use the redshirt year to gain some strength will benefit our defensive line when he's eligible in 2007."
OL 6-7 260 Shiner, Texas (Shiner)
The tallest player in Baylor's 2006 recruiting class committed to Baylor in June 2005 ... Rivals.com 2-star rating ... Earned first-team 2005 Class A all-state honors from The Associated Press and second-team recognition from the Texas Sports Writers Association as an offensive guard ... Unanimous first-team all-district pick as a senior ... First-team Victoria Advocate all-area pick ... Member of Dave Campbell's Texas Football 2005 Texas Top 300 ... Also played defensive tackle in final prep campaign ... Led 2005 Comanches to a 10-3 record and the Region IV area title ... Helped pave the way for Shiner's 2004 Class A state championship team which finished 16-0 ... First-team all-district pick at offensive guard as a junior when he also saw time at defensive end and defensive tackle ... Also drew interest from Texas A&M, Northwestern, Duke, Rice and SMU ... Played for coach Steve Cerny at the District 31-A school ... The son of Mark and Gloria Hagens, Dylan was born March 10, 1988.
Guy Morriss on Dylan Hagens: "Dylan will add size and strength to our offensive line. He has a tremendous frame, and once he gains some weight, I expect him to be a force in the trenches. He's very athletic for his size."
DE 6-1 240 Dallas, Texas (Justin F. Kimball)
One of seven players to join coach Guy Morriss' program in January 2006, Hardeman originally signed a National Letter of Intent with Arizona State in 2005 but never joined the Sun Devil program ... Selected to The Dallas Morning News' second-team 2004 all-area squad and was a first-team all-district pick by the same publication ... Member of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's State 100 ... Ranked 47th on The Dallas Morning News' Top 100 area list ... Rated among the nation's top 50 defensive linemen by Fab 50 Recruiting ... 2004 first-team all-district performer after earning second-team recognition as a junior ... Collected 70 tackles, six quarterback sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery as a senior en route to honorable mention all-state honors ... Played in the Coca-Cola Bowl All-Star game ... Helped Knights to back-to-back district titles with perfect 5-0 marks each season ... Coached by Darrell Jordan at the District 13-4A school ... Cousin of Baylor redshirt freshman Jeremy Williams ... The son of Juan Hernandez and Gloria Hardeman, Jameon was born Jan. 19, 1987.
Guy Morriss on Jameon Hardeman: "Jameon is a little undersized, but his speed and athletic ability make up for that. He has a great motor, and I believe having the opportunity to shake off the rust this spring will give him an opportunity to be a factor in 2006."
WR 6-2 175 Waco, Texas (Midway)
Gifted wide receiver is three-sport standout at Midway High School ... Ranked No. 7 on Waco Tribune-Herald's 2005 Central Texas Top 25 list ... Earned second-team 2005 all-state honors from the Texas Sports Writers Association and honorable mention from The Associated Press ... 2005 Waco Tribune-Herald Super Centex honoree after leading region in receiving ... 3-star recruit by Rivals.com owns a 4.45 40-yard dash ... 2005 District 16-4A co-Offensive MVP after hauling in 77 passes for 1,306 yards and 14 touchdowns ... Helped 2005 Panthers to an 8-4 record and a bi-district title ... 2004 honorable mention Tribune-Herald Super Centex and first-team all-district selection after catching 46 passes for 867 yards and nine touchdowns ... 2005 Tribune-Herald Super Centex Soccer Player of the Year ... As a junior, he scored 28 goals and assisted on 18 others in leading 2005 Panthers to a 25-3-1 record and within one goal of the state tournament ... Began playing soccer at age 8 ... Also ran on Midway's 2005 regional-qualifying 4x100- and 4x200-meter relay teams ... Played for coach Kent Bachtel at the District 16-4A school ... Also considered Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and SMU ... "He takes care of his business in the classroom and is a class young man," Bachtel said. "He really came into his own this season." ... The son of James and Debra Hicks, James Garfield Hicks was born Nov. 5, 1987.
Guy Morriss on Garfield Hicks: "Garfield is an exceptional athlete. He has very good size and athletic ability. Garfield can play anywhere on the perimeter and will add speed to our team."
S 6-1 180 Sharon, Mass. (Sharon)
Roman James first signed a national letter of intent with Baylor in February 2004, but did not enroll in school until January 2006 ... The son of former New England Patriots standout strong safety Roland James, the younger James was a star running back, wide receiver and defensive back for his father at Sharon (Mass.) High School ... As a senior in 2003, he racked up 782 rushing yards and 527 receiving yards while scoring 10 touchdowns (four rush, six receiving) ... Averaged 23.5 yards per kickoff return and 18.0 yards per punt return in final prep season ... Ranked as the Eagles' No. 2 tackler in 2003 with 75 stops to go with six interceptions ... Had 18 interceptions in three-year varsity career ... Earned All-Scholastic honors from the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald as a senior ... Named all-Hockomock Conference as a junior (wide receiver) senior (defensive back) ... Selected as the Boston Globe's MVP of the 2003 Thanksgiving Day clash between Sharon and Easton's Oliver Ames as he recovered a fumble for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass in the Eagles' 28-7 win over their longtime rivals-the school's first Thanksgiving Day victory since 1990 ... "Roman has good knowledge of the game," his father and high school coach said. "He runs well, is a hard hitter and covers a lot of ground." ... Played four seasons of varsity basketball at Sharon ... His father, Roland, was a first-round draft choice by the New England Patriots and spent 10 seasons (1980-90) with the organization, including four years (1984-87) where one of his teammates was current Baylor coach Guy Morriss ... The elder James ranks third on the Patriots' all-time interceptions list with 29 picks and is 10th all-time in punt returns ... The son of Roland and Carmelle James, Roman was born Dec. 5, 1985.
Guy Morriss on Roman James: "Roman is a tremendous all-around athlete and the son of an NFL standout. Having him in our system now may give him the opportunity to contribute this fall. He has good size and speed."
OL 6-2 280 Tyler, Texas (John Tyler)
Committed to Baylor prior to start of his senior season at John Tyler High School and joins Lion teammate Ernest Smith in Baylor's 2006 recruiting class ... Ranked as the nation's 59th-best prep defensive tackle by Rivals.com but is expected to play along the offensive line for the Bears ... 3-star recruit by Rivals.com ... Waco Tribune-Herald Top 100 selection ... Ranked 96th on San Antonio Express-News Top 100 list ... Played in Max Emfinger's 2006 All-American Bowl Game Classic ... Earned first-team Class 5A all-state honors as an offensive guard from the Texas Sports Writers Association ... Unanimous first-team all-district selection as an o-lineman (center) in final prep season ... Averaged five pancake blocks per game as a senior ... Helped 2005 Lions to an 8-3 record and a playoff berth after 2004 team fashioned a 2-8 mark ... Also drew interest from Oklahoma State and Kansas State ... Runs a 5.00 40 ... Also a standout track and field performer, he placed fifth in the shot put and 23rd in the discus at the 2005 USTAF Junior Olympics which came on the heels of a sixth-place state meet performance in the shot ... Coached by Thomas Brooks at the District 12-5A school ... The son of Angela Pulley, Adrian was born Nov. 26, 1987.
Guy Morriss on Adrian Johnson: "Adrain is a very aggressive lineman on both sides of the ball. We believe he has the attitude to play along the offensive line. He sustains his blocks very well and is always around the football at the end of the play."
OL 6-5 280 Bradenton, Fla. (Manatee)
As a senior, he started at right guard for a Manatee High School team that won its first regional title since 1994 and boasted the area's leading rusher in Chris McNear ... 2-star rating by Rivals.com ... Selected to participate in the PAL Bowl and the Florida Athletic Coaches Association North-South Football All-Star Classic ... Captained the South squad at the coaches association all-star game ... Earned Class 5A second-team all-state honors ... All-area and all-district pick as a senior ... Also served as the Hurricanes' deep snapper ... Runs a 5.2 40 and owns a 380-pound bench press and a 470-pound squat ... Plans on majoring in pre-med ... "All the coaches are great, they have really nice facilities and the people are fantastic," Michel said. "I was really impressed with Guy Morriss. They're an up-and-coming program, and he's been the coach there for three years, and they've risen every year he's been there." ... Played for coach Joe Kinnan at the Class 5A school ... "He's got a great work ethic, and he's not afraid of the work," Kinnan said. "He's got a good comprehension of the game." ... Selected Baylor over offers from Louisville, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati ... The son of Vince and Laura Caruso, Jeremy was born Feb. 24, 1988.
Guy Morriss on Jeremy Michel: "He has tremendous size and is an excellent pass blocker. Once he adds some muscle to his frame, he'll become a dominant force along the line."
LB 6-3 260 Lancaster, Texas (Lancaster)
Two-way standout defensive lineman and tight end at Lancaster High School, but will move to linebacker for the Bears ... Rivals.com 2-star recruit ... Credited with 112 tackles (43 solos), seven sacks and three fumbles caused as a senior ... Earned unanimous first-team all-district honors as a d-lineman ... Also picked up an all-district award as a tight end ... Began his prep career as an offensive lineman ... Coached by Andrew Jackson at the District 14-4A school ... The son of Shon Hayes, Chris was born Jan. 17, 1988.
Guy Morriss on Chris Mitchell: "Chris has exceptional size for a linebacker. He's a very aggressive player and is always around the ball."
QB 6-1 175 Dallas, Texas (Skyline)
One of four Dallas Skyline products to have signed with the Bears since Guy Morriss' arrival in Waco, following in the footsteps of Josh Bell, Corey Ford and Mikail Baker, Anthony Norice is ranked No. 92 on The Dallas Morning News' Top 100 area list ... 2-star ranking by Rivals.com ... 2005 Dave Campbell's Texas Football Texas Top 300 member ... 2005 second-team all-district pick ... Completed 61 of 135 passes as a senior for 1,311 yards with 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions ...Led District 9-5A in both passing yards and touchdown passes as a senior ... Also rushed 102 times for 241 yards and four touchdowns in senior season ... As a junior, threw for 498 yards in three starts before being sidelined for the remainder of the year with a broken collarbone ... Runs a 4.52 40-yard dash ... Also considered Wyoming and UTEP ... Coached by Reginald Samples at the District 9-5A school ... The son of Lashonda Sample, Anthony was born May 11, 1988.
Guy Morriss on Anthony Norice: "Anthony is an exceptional athlete. He has a strong arm and is a dual-threat play-maker. His athletic ability sets him apart from traditional drop-back quarterbacks."
RB 5-10 185 Mesquite, Texas (Rowlett)
Enjoyed an outstanding all-around senior season at Rowlett High School, helping Eagles to a 9-3 record and the 10-year-old program's first-ever playoff berth ... Rivals.com 2-star recruit ... Metroplex's second-leading rusher among all classes (and in 5A) in 2005 totaled 2,301 yards on 312 carries with 24 touchdowns en route to first-team all-state honors from the Texas Sports Writers Association and second-team Associated Press recognition ... Averaged 7.4 yards per rush as a senior, 6.7 yards over final two varsity seasons ... Also had 16 receptions for 227 yards and two touchdowns ... Rushed 30 times for a career-high 332 yards and three touchdowns in 24-6 homecoming victory over Garland Sachse ... Had scoring runs of 66 and 58 yards against Sachse ... Named The Dallas Morning News player of the week after rushing 40 times for a then-career-high 295 yards and four touchdowns, the last of which was a game-clinching 80-yard run, in a 45-41 victory over No. 16 Plano West ... Earned Dallas Morning News 11-5A offensive player of the year honors and was an all-area pick by the same publication after posting five rushing efforts of 250-plus yards as a senior and topping the century mark 10 times ... Sustained a knee injury as a junior, but still rushed 163 times for 896 yards and seven touchdowns ... Owns a 37-inch vertical jump ... Working on a Harry Potter book ... Runs sprints for Rowlett track team ... Coached by former Gatesville head coach Kiff Hardin at the District 11-5A school ... "I think he'll be a tremendous college back," Hardin said. "He's a versatile kid who catches the ball real well. He'll be somebody's really good running back/utility back." ... Selected Baylor over Iowa and UTEP ... Runs a 4.78 40 ... The son of Adrienne Pierce, Andre was born Feb. 18, 1988.
Guy Morriss on Andre Pierce: "Don't let Andre's size fool you. He's a very versatile back. Andre is a power runner with speed. He has the speed to score anywhere on the field at any given time."
OL 6-4 255 Frisco, Texas (Highland Park)
Baylor's third commitment in the class of 2006, he pledged to the Bears in June 2005 ... Rated as nation's 58th-best prep offensive guard by Rivals.com ... 3-star ranking from Rivals.com ... Port Arthur News Texas Top 100 member ... Earned third-team Class 4A All-State honors from the Texas Sports Writers Association and honorable mention recognition from The Associated Press ... First-team all-district and all-area selection by The Dallas Morning News ... Helped pave the way for Highland Park's 15-0 Class 4A Division I state championship team which averaged 490.5 yards and 48.1 points in 2005 ... Allowed only one quarterback sack in final two prep seasons ... Also earned all-district honors for the Scots as a junior ... 2004 Ray Guy Award winner and two-time All-American punter Daniel Sepulveda, also a Highland Park alum, hosted Prince during his official visit to Baylor ... Selected Baylor over TCU and SMU ... Coached by Randy Allen at the District 11-4A school ... The son of Jarrell and Connie Prince, Reid was born Feb. 18, 1988.
Guy Morriss on Reid Prince: "Reid is a smart offensive lineman with exceptional pass protection skills. Once he adds some upper body strength, he'll be a very good player for us."
WR 6-5 200 Plano, Texas (West)
The son of former Baylor and NFL standout Ervin Randle, the younger Randle is ranked No. 89 on The Dallas Morning News' Top 100 area list ...2-star Rivals.com rating ... Caught a team-high 29 passes for 732 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior for the 6-4 Wolves ... One of nine Class 5A receivers in the DFW Metroplex to catch at least 10 touchdown passes in 2005 ... Had five grabs for 124 yards and four touchdowns in 45-41 loss to Rowlett ... Averaged 25.2 yards per reception en route to second-team all-district honors as a senior ... As a junior, helped Plano West to a 10-2 record, a district championship and the 5A Division II area championship game ... Father, Ervin, lettered four seasons for the Bears (1981-84), twice earned All-Southwest Conference honors (1983-84) and spent eight seasons in the NFL, six with Tampa Bay (1985-90) and two with Kansas City (1991-92) ... Runs a 4.60 40 ... Also considered Iowa State, TCU, Utah, Houston and Tulane ... Coached by Mike Hughes at the District 8-5A school ... The son of Ervin Randle and Cindy Stephenson, Ben was born Oct. 1, 1987.
Guy Morriss on Ben Randle: "Ben has tremendous size for a wide receiver and is very athletic. He has great hands and runs good routes. He's a playmaker who knows how to get open."
One of four junior college transfers to join the Baylor program at mid-year, Redfearn has two seasons of eligibility remaining ... 2-star ranking from Rivals.com ... Spent the 2005 season at Santa Monica (Calif.) Community College where he drew eight starts at defensive tackle in his lone season of play for coach Robert Taylor's Corsair ... Earned honorable mention 2005 All-Western State Conference honors ... Spent the 2003-04 academic year as well as the 2004 fall semester as an invited walk-on at the University of Mississippi, but did not play in a game for the Rebels ... A two-time all-district defensive tackle at Mt. Pleasant (Texas) High School, he earned the Tigers' defensive MVP and team spirit awards as a senior ... Helped Tigers to a district title as a junior in 2001 ... Captured district title and advanced to the regional finals in the shot put as a senior ... Coached by Marc McDaniel at the District 14-4A school ... Also considered SMU, his father's alma mater ... The son of Joe Redfearn and Pam Hollingsworth, Joseph Connor Redfearn was born Jan. 14, 1985.
Guy Morriss on Connor Redfearn: "We believe Connor will give us some much-needed help at defensive tackle this year. His strength and experience should give the d-line a shot in the arm. He's a sure run-stopper."
CB 6-3 186 Dallas, Texas (L.V. Berkner)
The third Berkner player to join the Baylor program following Jason Lamb and Trey Bryant ... 2-star ranking by Rivals.com ... Three-sport prep standout (football, basketball, track) ... Earned 2005 first-team all-district and second-team all-area honors as a cover corner from The Dallas Morning News ... Texas Sports Writers Association honorable mention all-state ... Totaled 44 tackles, 11 pass breakups, six interceptions, a fumble recovery and a fumble caused in final prep season ... Led 2005 Rams to a 12-1 record, a district title and the Class 5A Division I Region II championship game ... Also considered Oklahoma State, Kansas and Minnesota ... Coached by Jim Ledford at the District 10-5A school ... "He was our shut-down corner," Ledford said. "We put Calvin on the other team's best receiver, and he basically shut them down. Not only is he quick, he's extremely long. With his reach, he's got the length of a 6-5 player. He could probably have gone somewhere in basketball, but I think he realized that maybe football was his ticket." ... The son of Hosie Perkins, Calvin was born Sept. 29, 1987.
Guy Morriss on Calvin Rubles: "Calvin has tremendous size for a corner. He plays with a lot of confidence and is a great playmaker. His leaping ability gives him a big edge in the secondary."
QB 6-2 210 Marlin, Texas (Marlin)
A three-year starter at quarterback for Marlin High School, Jeremy Sanders earned first-team 2005 Waco Tribune-Herald Super Centex honors ... 3-star Rivals.com ranking was rated one of the state's top 15 signal callers in Dave Campbell's 2005 Texas Football Texas Top 300 ... Completed 148 of 217 passes for 2,540 yards and 27 touchdowns with only one interception as a senior while leading the Bulldogs to an 8-2-1 record and the playoffs ... Also rushed 126 times for 882 yards and 16 touchdowns ... Earned 2005 District 18-3A offensive MVP honors ... Honorable mention 2005 all-state selection by the Texas Sports Writers Association ... As a junior, he received first-team Tribune-Herald Super Centex honors after totaling more than 3,000 total-offense yards ... He rushed for 1,391 yards and 21 touchdowns while throwing for 1,954 yards and 14 more scores ... Runs a 4.6 40 ... Played for coach Jerry Malone at the District 18-3A school ... "He's got the athletic ability to go in there and play this fall," Malone said. "I think you'll see him playing in the NFL one day. He's got that kind of ability." ... Also considered Missouri, Houston, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and SMU ... The son of Genail Sanders, Marvin was born Nov. 30, 1987.
Guy Morriss on Jeremy Sanders: I can't say enough about Jeremy. He's a complete, big-time football. He can beat you with his feet, but he also throws a nice ball. He's an exceptional leader."
WR 6-3 200 New Orleans, La. (Edna Karr Magnet School/Tyler John Tyler)
One of two Tyler John Tyler High School products in Baylor's 2006 recruiting class, joining Adrian Johnson, Smith is ranked No. 48 on the 2006 Rivals.com/Dallas Morning News Top 100 state list ... Rivals.com ranks Smith as the nation's 40th-best prep wide out ... 3-star ranking from Rivals.com ... Had a team-high 21 receptions for 283 yards and three scores in lone season with Lions ... Earned second-team all-district honors after helping Lions to an 8-3 record and a playoff berth ... Joined John Tyler program in aftermath of Hurricane Katrina... Attended Edna Karr Magnet School in New Orleans and has since resumed his education there ... Coached by Thomas Brooks at the District 12-5A school ... The son of Ernest Smith, Sr., Ernest was born March 18, 1988.
Guy Morriss on Ernest Smith: "He's a big target who uses his body well in the passing game. Ernest has the ability and speed to beat you anywhere on the field."
S 6-0 185 Houston, Texas (Alief/Compton Community College)
Re-enrolled at Baylor in January 2006 and will have two years of eligibility remaining ... Spent the 2005 campaign at Compton (Calif.) Community College, the school where he began his collegiate career in 2003 ... Earned 3-star Rivals.com ranking ... He had 121 tackles, including eight for loss, nine forced fumbles and three interceptions en route to second-team 2005 All-Western State Conference honors ... Spent the 2004-05 academic year in the Baylor program as a walk-on redshirt sophomore but did not play in any games ... Registered 59 tackles and four interceptions in his first year with the Tartars ... Three-year letterwinner at Alief Hastings High School in Alief, Texas ... Recorded 13 career interceptions as a prep ... He totaled 65 tackles and four interceptions as a senior cornerback en route to all-district honors, helping the Fighting Bears to an 11-3 record, a district title and the state quarterfinals ... Averaged 23.3 yards per punt return in his final prep campaign ... Had 45 tackles and two interceptions as a junior when the Bears finished 10-3, second in the district and earned a playoff bid ... Recorded nine picks as a sophomore ... Received scholarship offers the second time out of Compton from Nebraska, Washington, Washington State and Central Florida ... Coached by Bobby Stewart at the District 19-5A school ... The son of Dante' and Stacie Stiggers, Brandon Deshawn Stiggers was born June 5, 1985 in Houston.
Guy Morriss on Brandon Stiggers: "We are glad that Brandon has returned to our program because he really impressed us in the spring of 2005. He has great speed. Brandon will make an immediate impact in our secondary next fall."
Ath 6-3 210 Madisonville, Texas (Madisonville)
Dual-threat quarterback was a three-year starter at Madisonville High School ... Earned first-team all-district honors as a senior ... 2-star ranking by Rivals.com ... Was 55-of-116 for 1,010 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior in Mustangs' run-oriented option attack ... Also rushed 113 times for 661 yards and eight touchdowns ... Averaged 5.8 yards per rush ... Tossed three touchdown passes in bi-district playoff loss to Robinson ... Selected among the top 15 signal callers on Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine's 2005 Texas Top 300 ... Was a second-team all-district honoree as a junior after throwing for 709 yards and seven touchdowns and rushing for 416 yards and two touchdowns ... Mustangs finished 7-7 in Taylor's junior season ... Also considered Texas A&M, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, TCU and SMU ... Coached by Greg Morgan at the District 18-3A school ... "We've really been option-oriented, so that's why his passing numbers aren't up there with the elite in the state," Morgan said. "But his passing really improved dramatically this year. He worked on his accuracy a bit more. He was throwing right at 50 percent, and it could have been closer to 65 (percent), because he had several dropped." ... The son of Shana and Brady Taylor, Brad was born Nov. 10, 1987 ... Mother, Shana, coaches the girls' track team at Madisonville; his uncle, Terrence McCloud is the head boys' basketball coach and his father, Brady, heads up the Little Dribblers' program.
Guy Morriss on Brad Taylor: "He can play anywhere on the field, but we are going to put him at quarterback to start with next fall. He has the athleticism, speed and size to make an impact."
LB 6-1 230 Decatur, Miss. (Clinch County/East Central Community College)
Another signee who joined the Baylor program at mid-year, Paul Tolbert is expected to contend for one of the Bears' starting linebacker spots in 2006 ... Spent the previous two seasons at East Central (Miss.) Community College ... He registered a team-high 76 total tackles, including 51 solos, in seven games en route to first-team all-conference and all-state honors as a sophomore in 2005 ... Also tallied 15 tackles for loss, four of which were sacks, for coach Terry Underwood's 2005 Warriors ... A member of the Clarion-Ledger's 2005 Mississippi JUCO Top 25, Tolbert earned honorable mention 2005 preseason All-America honors from the National Junior College Athletic Association after leading the 2004 Warriors in tackles ... A three-year starter as a prep at Clinch County (Ga.) High School, he was a two-time first-team all-state selection who earned Class A defensive player of the year honors as a senior ... Credited with 163 total tackles in his final prep season and was also tabbed the all-class area player of the year following his senior campaign after leading the Panthers to the state title ... Also had 15 sacks and three interceptions as a senior ... Had 156 tackles, 10 sacks and two interceptions as a junior ... Three-time all-region selection for coach Barber at the Region I-A school ... Enjoys reading and would like to own a chain of restaurants one day ... Cousin of the Buffalo Bills' Jonathan Smith ... Attracted recruiting interest from Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Iowa State ... The son of Joe and Barbara Mingo, Paul Jermaine Tolbert was born April 29, 1984, in Homerville, Ga.
Guy Morriss on Paul Tolbert: "Paul is one of the strongest linebacker we have ever recruited. He bench pressed 225 pounds 29 times and maxed out at 430 pounds the other day. He's physical, runs sideline to sideline and is not afraid to make bone crushing tackles."
Another selection to the Clarion-Ledger's 2005 Mississippi JUCO Top 25, Ward will join the Baylor program in the fall after inking with the Bears in December ... He earned second-team all-conference honors as a sophomore at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in 2005 ... Helped coach Steven Campbell's Bulldogs finish 2005 ranked 13th in the season-ending National Junior College Athletic Association top 20 with an 8-3 record ... Mississippi Gulf Coast earned its first postseason appearance since 1984, but dropped a 21-19 decision to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in the 2005 Defenders Bowl ... Credited with 81 tackles as a sophomore, with 43 solos, to go along with two tackles for loss, a sack, seven quarterback pressures and a safety ... Voted team captain ... Did not play football in 2004, but as a true freshman at Tennessee-Chattanooga he played in 11 games for the 2003 Mocs and finished 10th on the squad in tackles with 35 stops (20 solos), with three tackles for loss, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery ... Played just two seasons of football as a prep at Hartselle (Ala.) High School, but earned first-team all-state honors as a senior ... Totaling 172 career tackles, 14 sacks and five interceptions ... A two-time all-area and all-region pick, he captained the team as a senior and played in the Alabama High School Athletic Association All-Star game ... Coached by Mike Smith at the Region 8, Class 5A school ... Enjoys fishing, reading and watching movies ... The son of Senra Ward, Jwuan Ward was born April 5, 1985 in Hartselle, Ala.
Guy Morriss on Jwaun Ward: "Jwaun has tremendous speed and is a play-maker. He has the talent to come in and play immediately."