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Introducing the newest Baylor Bears: Class of 2020

Introducing the newest Baylor Bears: Class of 2020

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James Sylvester

Newton’s James Sylvester (right) is a four-star recruit who helped his team win a pair of state championships, in 2017 and 2018.

JAHDAE BARRON

School: Pflugerville Connally

Position: Cornerback

Ht/Wt: 5-10/165

Where he fits: A versatile two-way player for Pflugerville Connally, Barron is projected to play cornerback for the Bears. Barron is a three-star recruit by Rivals.com who picked Baylor over Oklahoma State, Texas and TCU. As a defensive back, Barron collected 43 tackles, four breakups and three interceptions this season. As a receiver, he made 41 receptions for 673 yards and six touchdowns, and also returned a punt for a score. Barron is rated the No. 20 player in Texas in the 2020 class and No. 127 nationally according to 247 Sports. ESPN ranks him as No. 89 player in Texas while Rivals.com ranks him No. 90.

GAVIN BYERS

School: Colleyville Heritage

Position: Offensive line

Ht/Wt: 6-5/304

Where he fits: Byers is a massive offensive lineman who helped Colleyville Heritage rush for 2,558 yards and average 6.2 yards per carry. A three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Byers graded at 91 percent with 150 knockdowns. Byers is the No. 142 player in Texas according to ESPN. He ranks No. 135 by 247Sports which also ranks him the No. 69 offensive guard in the country. Byers was a Class 5A regional qualifier in the shot put and discus last year and is also a standout basketball player. He picked Baylor over Arkansas and Texas Tech.

DRAKE DABNEY

School: Cypress Ranch

Position: Tight end

Ht/Wt: 6-4/226

Where he fits: Dabney is a big, mobile tight end with pass catching and blocking skills. Dabney announced that he would sign with Baylor on Tuesday after de-committing from Arizona. A three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Dabney made 35 receptions for 476 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior. He’s rated the No. 83 player in Texas according to 247Sports and is the nation’s No. 25 tight end. ESPN ranks him No. 102 overall in Texas and the No. 14 tight end prospect. Rivals.com ranks him No. 71 in Texas and the nation’s No. 26 tight end.

WILL GARNER

School: Klein

Position: Linebacker

Ht/Wt: 6-2/194

Where he fits: Garner, a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, is a rangy linebacker with pass rushing and ball hawking skills. As a senior, he recorded 69 tackles in 10 games with six for loss while also making three sacks, forcing three fumbles and intercepting a pass. He’s the No. 103 player in Texas according to ESPN, No. 109 by 247Sports and 98 by Rivals.com. The Houston Chronicle ranks Garner No. 39 in the state.

MOSE JEFFERY

School: Kilgore College

Position: Offensive line

Ht/Wt: 6-4/344

Where he fits: Jeffery is expected to make an immediate impact for Baylor’s offensive line as a January enrollee. A graduate of Pine Tree High School, Jeffery developed his offensive line skills at Kilgore College which finished 8-2 this year. Jeffery, a two-star recruit by Rivals.com, graded at 85 percent with 54 knockdowns this season. He’s the No. 7 junior college offensive lineman in Texas by ESPN and chose Baylor over Iowa State.

SETH JONES

School: Pearland Shadow Creek

Position: Wide receiver

Ht/Wt: 5-11/175

Where he fits: Jones is a talented wide receiver who chose Baylor over Texas A&M, TCU and Utah. A three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Jones has made 38 receptions for 643 yards and nine touchdowns for a 15-0 Shadow Creek team which will face Denton Ryan for the Class 5A Division I state title on Friday. He played for St. Pius X as a junior and finished with 15 receptions for 220 yards in 2018. As a sophomore, he played at Strake Jesuit in Houston where he finished with 31 receptions for 458 yards and three touchdowns. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football ranks him No. 99 overall in Texas and the No. 12 wide receiver. Rivals ranks him No. 106 in Texas while 247Sports ranks him No. 79.

AJ McCARTY

School: Brownwood

Position: Cornerback

Ht/Wt: 5-11/173

Where he fits: McCarty was better known for his receiving skills at Brownwood, but he projects as a cornerback at the college level after he picked Baylor over Notre Dame. As a senior this year, McCarty recorded 46 tackles, six pass breakups and an interception as he helped the Lions reach the third round of the playoffs. He made 44 receptions for 1,037 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior after making 50 catches for 757 yards and five scores as a junior. Texas Football ranks as the No. 101 player in the state and the No. 11 athlete. 247Sports ranks him as the No. 100 player in Texas. He’s a four-sport athlete who earned all-district honors in football, basketball and baseball and won the 2019 Class 4A state triple jump title with a mark of 47 feet and six inches. He’s a two-star recruit by Rivals.com.

TAYE McWILLIAMS

School: Lamar Consolidated

Position: Running back

Ht/Wt: 6-1/205

Where he fits: McWilliams is a gifted running back who finished his senior year with 1,582 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns while also adding189 receiving yards with three scores. A four-star recruit by Rivals.com, McWilliams completed the season with three consecutive 200-yard rushing games. As a junior in 2018, he totaled 743 rushing yards and nine scores, and finished his high school career with 33 touchdowns. 247Sports ranks him the No. 57 player in Texas and the No. 28 running back nationally. He’s ESPN’s No. 77 player in Texas and the No. 40 running back nationally. Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 37 player in Texas and the No. 22 running back in the nation. McWilliams, who chose Baylor over Texas and Texas Tech, will enroll in January.

BROOKS MILLER

School: West Monroe (La.)

Position: Linebacker

Ht/Wt: 6-1/195

Where he fits: Solid, all-around defensive player who could be a linebacker or safety in Baylors’ 3-3-5 scheme. Miller, a two-star recruit by Rivals.com, helped West Monroe finish 12-2 this season as he recorded 66 tackles with five pass breakups, two interceptions and a forced fumble. As a junior, he helped his team reach the state championship game with a 14-1 record as he finished with 56 tackles and seven interceptions. As a sophomore, Miller made 51 tackles and six interceptions. 247Sports ranks him the No. 65 player in Louisiana while ESPN ranks him No. 57. He chose Baylor over TCU.

DEVIN NEAL

School: Lexington (Ky.) Douglass

Position: Safety

Ht/Wt: 5-11/192

Where he fits: Hard hitting safety who committed to Baylor on Sunday after previously being committed to Cincinnati. The Rivals.com three-star recruit helped Douglass High School to a 14-1 record and a Kentucky state championship appearance as a senior. He was the runner-up for Kentucky player of the year as a two-way player. As a running back, he carried 70 times for 602 yards and nine touchdowns and made 12 receptions for 300 yards and three touchdowns as a senior. As a safety, he made 79 tackles with nine for loss and two interceptions as a senior after making 55 tackles and one interception as a junior. Neal was the 247Sports’ No. 9 player in Kentucky.

JAMES SYLVESTER

School: Newton

Position: Defensive end

Ht/Wt: 6-4/243

Where he fits: One of the premier signees in Baylor’s 2020 class, Sylvester is a Rivals.com four-star recruit who amassed 85 tackles and 15 sacks as a senior. He helped Newton win consecutive Class 3A Division II state titles in 2017-18 as he recorded 100 tackles and eight sacks as a junior and 82 tackles and eight sacks as a sophomore. Sylvester is ranked 247Sports’ No. 46 player in Texas and the No. 13 weakside defensive end nationally. He’s No. 236 overall nationally in the ESPN300 and the No. 36 player in Texas. Rivals.com rates Sylvester as the No. 38 player in the state. He chose Baylor over TCU, Alabama, Georgia, Florida State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and LSU. Sylvester plans to enroll at Baylor in January.

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