May 20, 2014

Lynch, Hasty define Baylor's approach

It comes with the territory.

When recruits are labeled, that often brings visibility, much more attention and other recruits desiring to find a way to measure up to them. In some ways, they make the game of football look simple.

That's where Blake Lynch and JaMycal Hasty currently are. Two of the high profile Baylor recruits currently sit in latest Rivals 250 released Tuesday.

Lynch, the lanky and agile Troup athlete, is now ranked No. 192 and No. 23 in Texas. Hasty, the strong and swift Longview running back, is now ranked No. 210 and No. 25 in Texas. Couple those two with Temple quarterback Chad President at No. 93 and Baylor has three of its nine committed prospects in the Rivals best of the best recruits.

This the most number of recruits Baylor has ever had rated in the Rivals 250 at any point going back to 2002. But it reveals something else. When a program reaches certain levels, it puts itself in the arena for some of the nation's top players. With the 2013 Big 12 championship, Baylor is recruiting at another level.


Lynch's position changed very little despite the fact he missed the latter half of the 2013 season with a severe arm injury. He returned to football activities in March.

For Hasty, he switched from running back to all-purpose back. There's a pretty good reason for that. His versatility is his biggest asset. He's very deft catching the ball out of the backfield. The day he committed to Baylor one the moments that stood out to him was when he watched a play where current running back Johnny Jefferson caught a pass and ran 20 yards with it.

Hasty averaged better than 20 yards per reception for the Lobos in 2013. Plus, he is the kind of player that can play the slot receiver position once he arrives in college. With his low center of gravity, Hasty uses every bit of his 5-8, 183-pound frame to his advantage.

"We moved Hasty to all-purpose back to more accurately portray his skillset,'' Rivals Mid-South analyst Jason Howell said. "Hasty is not the biggest guy but he has the ability to be a playmaking threat from the running back position. He brings tremendous speed and quickness to the table, and he has shown himself to be a receiving threat out of the backfield and lined up in the slot.''

Lynch (6-4 191) is in a position where he could go anywhere. He could play quarterback - that's where he's going to be with Troup - move to wide receiver or play safety.

"Lynch is a guy I have been very high on since I saw him compete at the ETSN.fm East Texas Combine a year ago,'' Howell said. "He brings a lot of athleticism to the table whether it is as a quarterback, a receiving threat, or on the defensive side of the ball. He has size, speed, and athleticism which should make him a solid contributor over the course of his college career.''

But what the rankings do is bring the celebrity to the player. Every time they take the field, other players are going to know who they are. The question is how they are going to deal with it.

Sometimes, though, that brings out the best of the opponents and the recruits. They know they are playing to standard - their own. However, each has approached this attention with a certain amount of humility.

"Honestly, the rankings don't mean anything to me,'' Lynch said. "You can't bring rankings on the field with you. In my eyes, I'm just like any other high school player in America. I just do what I can.''



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