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Baylor Football Recruiting

Baylor just won its biggest recruiting battle of all time

August 1, 2022
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Dripping Springs quarterback and Baylor commit Austin Novosad‍ officially solidified his commitment to Dave Aranda’s program on Monday evening. The Bears held on to one of the hottest targets in the country as Novosad chose to stick with his pledge to instead of flipping to, Ohio State, Notre Dame or Texas A&M, each of which recently pushed hard to flip the four-star.

The news is massive for Baylor’s 2023 class and is arguably one of the most significant decisions in Baylor’s history. I will talk about why here in a little bit but first let's go through a short version of one of the most talked about recruitments over the past few seasons.

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Can you believe it has only been two months? Novosad got the Ohio State offer on June 1st and that led to one of the most talked about recruitments I have seen in a long time. Things progressed quickly as he went on his official visit to Columbus on June 10th then took his Baylor official visit on June 17th. It seemed like everything was going to culminate at the Elite 11 Finals at the end of June but then another wrench was thrown into his recruitment as Texas A&M offered on June 25th. That offer came the day before he and his family left for California.

@Elite 11
Austin Novosad made the Elite 11.

Of course, he went out to the Elite 11 Finals and performed extremely well — he was basically a top-five quarterback every single day. He ended up being selected as part of the Elite 11 for 2022. Then he got home and got the invite to the All-American Bowl. 

Novosad was able to go home and enjoy time with his family as there were many conversations after that trip but no decision came. Then Notre Dame offered on July 11th which provided yet another wrinkle in his recruitment.

Then the recruiting rankings finally adjusted and just about everyone in the country thought he was going to flip to another school. Novosad jumped all the way up to No. 89 in the country and the No. 8 quarterback in the class according to 247. The thing no one accounted for was that he was simply good enough to move up rankings even as a Baylor commit. The Baylor brand is growing nationally and we saw it with his jump in the rankings. Did the other offers help? Yes. But he never decommitted and he still made the massive leap.

All of this culminated last when the dead period ended. The four-star prospect went on an unofficial visit to Notre Dame on Tuesday, Texas A&M on Friday, and then Baylor on Saturday before making his decision. The Aggies gave him a lot to think about but the immediate visit to Waco on Saturday completely ended things. The staff put together an event with a bunch of the 2023 commits and that family environment built with strong relationships, the Baylor culture, solidified things.

There were tons of pros and cons about each school he was deciding between, but ultimately, the relationships, culture fit, loyalty, offensive scheme, and trust he has with the Baylor staff won out.

This decision signifies a belief that Baylor will be one of the most elite offensive teams in the country over the next few years. Novosad believes in this staff and what they will be able to get done on the field while also developing him for the NFL.

I mentioned this being the biggest decision made in the 2023 class, and honestly, this may end up being the biggest decision in Baylor football history. We will have to see how this plays out but think of it this way. Novosad is at minimum a top 10 quarterback in the country, but I think he is closer to being a top 6, elite talent. You don’t get a chance to land a prospect like this very often, and some schools never get a chance to land a prospect like this.

Going along with this theme, in today’s NIL age of football, it will be tough for a school like Baylor to compete with Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Texas A&M; especially for a player at the most important position on the field. But this staff did just that.

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Austin Novosad on an unofficial vist.

Shawn Bell and Dave Aranda went toe-to-toe with Ohio State’s Ryan Day — who is about to produce a third straight top 15 pick at quarterback — and Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher — who has been known as a quarterback whisperer for much of his career. They also beat out Notre Dame which is a program that has some of, if not the best, program history in all of college football.

Ohio State is a blue blood that scores 40 points per game and really accentuates the quarterback position in their offense. They are known as one of if not the most explosive offenses in college football and the best place for top quarterbacks and wide receivers to go in order to be successful.

As for A&M… Baylor just beat the Aggies for an Aggie legacy that they really wanted. Yes, the Aggies were late, but they were late because they believed they could offer Novosad whenever they wanted to and they would still get him. That didn’t happen. Don’t take this part for granted as it is tough for any school in the country, including Alabama, to win a battle for an Aggie legacy that is a priority. Baylor won this battle.

The Notre Dame offer came after they missed out on five-star quarterback Dante Moore‍ so they didn’t end up offering till July 11th. They were always a longshot since they arrived so late but they did get Novosad to take a trip to South Bend this past week. The trip went well, but nothing Marcus Freeman and company sold was enough to sway Novosad from his commitment to Baylor.‍

The staff took a gamble by not taking a 2022 quarterback, even though they could have. Instead, they put all their chips in for a 2023 quarterback who they think is the best quarterback in the country. That quarterback is Austin Novosad. Baylor was his first offer thanks to elite evaluations and an immediate offer following Baylor camp in June of 2021. Many thought it was a mistake to not take a 2022 quarterback but it absolutely paid off.

Baylor has its quarterback of the future and one who has the opportunity to be one of the best in Baylor history.

 
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