The Baylor Bears have declined to release most 2016 signees from their binding National Letters of Intent despite the university's ongoing scandal and termination of head coach Art Briles, but a report from HornSports indicates that the gambit could pay off with highly-rated offensive lineman Patrick Hudson, one of the players who initially wanted to go elsewhere.
We were told a couple of weeks ago that Hudson was starting to turn towards enrolling at Baylor for the second summer session. In talking to some people this week, we learned that the thought is picking up steam. Hudson might have been a victim of some scare tactics by the Waco staff, because the previous indications we received from his family stated that Hudson had no plans to enroll at Baylor. We are still waiting for official word on the LOI resolution, but it looks like Baylor could have saved themselves here.
The second summer session begins on July 7.
The Texas Longhorns are believed to be the top choice for Hudson if he does follow through with his original plan, but combining the lack of a release with the fact that the entire coaching staff besides Briles is still there is likely helping the Bears -- just as Baylor wanted.
Unlike other signees like Parrish Cobb and JP Urquidez, Hudson and his family have remained largely silent on the issue of securing a release from Baylor, which has 30 days to respond and has not been accommodating of most requests.
"We're just going to follow NCAA protocol, but at some point they're going to have to make up their mind whether they want to be at Baylor or not," new head coach Jim Grobe said at his introductory press conference.
However, the situation isn't quite that simple, as it would be up the NCAA to determine whether the signees are free to go elsewhere without penalty if Baylor denies the releases, as appears likely right now. And players like Cobb and Urquidez have been vocal about not wanting to enroll at Waco, yet the Bears have not granted releases to them despite the fact that their minds are made up.
So far, junior college defensive tackle DeQuinton Osborne, now at Oklahoma State, is the only player to receive a release, though it's not clear why the Bears have granted one to the consensus low three-star prospect and not other more talented players from the high school ranks.
The stonewalling from Baylor on granting releases led Waco Tribune columnist Brice Cherry to call for Baylor to "do the right thing" by granting them:
Good grief. Baylor is missing an opportunity to take the high road. It's already failing to live out Grobe's day-one declaration that Baylor would be a place where winning does not supersede "character and integrity."
Texas is currently pursuing attempted Baylor wide receiver signee Devin Duvernay and is believed to have interest in Baylor signees Cobb, Urquidez, Hudson, Duvernay's twin brother, Donovan, and possibly running back Kameron Martin.