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QB Tanner Mordecai: 'I've always been a Baylor fan'

April 18, 2017
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Need a reason why Tanner Mordecai is considered a major target in Baylor's search for a 2018 quarterback? Ask Jarrett Stidham.

Before transferring to Auburn, Stidham, the former Baylor quarterback, stayed in shape and remained sharp by serving as the nation's most talked-about scout-team quarterback in football practices for Midway High School. The starting quarterback on that Midway team is Mordecai, who gravitated to Stidham and, while receiving tutelage, earned the respect of Stidham with his play on the field.

"He's the real deal," Stidham said of Mordecai in a one-on-one interview in November, when he was taking junior college courses at McLennan Community College. "I saw it firsthand. He's the real deal."

Insider Notes: More on Mordecai in SicEm365 Premium

Stidham's endorsement was more than enough for Mordecai to continue shooting for his personal and team goals. As a junior, Mordecai didn't disappoint, throwing for more than 1,700 yards, rushing for more than 500 and accounting for 21 total touchdowns, despite missing the first quarter of the season because of injury.



Now with 14 offers, the latest coming two weeks ago from South Carolina, Mordecai is focused on a great senior season, not only for himself but also for his team.

"I expect a lot out of our guys," Mordecai said. "We have several D-1 players on our team, and if we come together, it should be hard to beat us. We should have a fantastic year."

Mordecai's leadership and ability to adapt in every play is part of the reason why Baylor's highly interested in keeping him close to home. The Bears and offered the 6-foot-2, 212-pound athlete on Dec. 30. He was one of the first players coach Matt Rhule offered at the start of his tenure.



Baylor's spring game is on Saturday, but the quarterback is not expected to be in attendance. He and his family are planning on traveling to Stephenville to watch his sister, Taylor, play softball. Taylor is a college sophomore at Midwestern State, and the Mustangs will play Tarleton State the same time as Baylor's spring game.

The good news for Baylor is that Mordecai, who has been to the campus multiple times, has said on multiple occasions -- and reconfirmed on Monday -- that Baylor is still very high on his list.

"I've always been a Baylor fan," he said. "There's a good culture around the practice and locker room. I want to know eveyrthing about their football staff and how they handle themselves. I like [co-offensive coordinator] Coach [Glenn] Thomas, and Coach Rhule is a great guy. I think they're all going to lead the team the right way."

Mordecai added that he was a huge fan of Rhule's move to hire three high school coaches with Texas ties to his staff. He said he has built a solid relationship with coach Shawn Bell, formerly the head coach Cedar Ridge High School and, as a former Baylor quarterback, someone who Mordecai can relate to as he continues his recruiting process.

"He's a really good dude, and we talk a lot," Mordecai said of Bell. "With all the high school coaches on the staff now, I think it was a great idea. Coach Rhule's doing a great job. They all are."

Baylor will have a fight in landing him, as Mordecai has other offers from Texas Tech, Houston, SMU, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss and several other programs. The new South Carolina offer is one to watch, as well. Mordecai said he'd like to make a visit to South Carolina this summer if his schedule permits.

And what will the winning school ultimately get in Mordecai? It will have a quarterback who can be an strong-armed pocket-passer in some situations, a reliable running option in others. Mordecai is trained by Kevin Murray, who is over Air 14 Football, a quarterback academy that's produced several college quarterbacks -- including Oklahoma two-sport standout Kyler Murray, who quarterbacked Allen to three consecutive high school state football championships 2012-14.

Mordecai has been taught well to take what defenses give him, and his football IQ has helped him become a nationally known prospect in the 2018 class. Baylor's hoping to earn his commitment this summer. Mordecai said he'll commit before the start of his senior season.

"I'm going to do what's best for me," said Mordecai, who added that proximity won't be an ultimate factor in his decision. "Whether it's me being 15 hours from home or 10 minutes from home, I don't think it's a big deal. Wherever, I go, I just want to win. I'm a competitor. I want to win worse than anyone else on the field."

Damon Sayles is a feature columnist for SicEm365. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles
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QB Tanner Mordecai: 'I've always been a Baylor fan'

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