DT Billings stays home in Baylor signing class
When defensive tackle Andrew Billings decided to stay home and
play for Baylor, it was more than just exciting for coach Art
Briles and his staff.
”That’s quite an understatement. … It was pandemonium, and it
was a lot of fun,” Briles said of the reaction when they found out
that Billings, the four-star recruit from Waco High School, was
signing with the Bears. ”You put in a lot of long hours, and there
is a certain amount of stress. It certainly was a relief when
Andrew decided to come here.”
Billings made it official Wednesday when he was one of 23
players who signed national letters of intent with Baylor. That
came a day after Billings made a verbal commitment to the
The 6-foot, 305-pound Billings was considered one of the top 12
defensive tackles nationally after playing both offensive and
defensive line in high school.
”When you think D-lineman, when you think great person, great
leader, passionate player, strongest guy in the state of Texas,
maybe in the United States of America, you think Andrew Billings,”
Briles said. ”I mean, you talk Robert Griffin III, you talk Ahmad
Dixon, you talk Andrew Billings. These are big-name, big-time, stud
players from central Texas, who are staying in central Texas, and
making Baylor University a university that other high school
students wish to be at.”
Some schools wanted to have the option for Billings to play
either side, but the Bears committed to him as a defensive player
like he wants to be.
Billings was among 15 defensive players in the 23-player class,
and among four defensive linemen. There were two defensive ends in
”We needed to be a little heavier defensively, because we lost
some guys, and we’re trying to make sure our numbers match out,”
Briles said. ”So we were a little lighter on the offensive side of
the ball than defensively, but that’s the emphasis that we are
making. We are doing everything we can to help both sides of the
The Bears got two other recruits rated four stars by Rivals.com,
including linebacker Brian Nance, a Trinity High School product who
was a 2012 signee before playing last fall at Hargrave Military
Academy. Nance (6-foot-2, 230 pounds) has already enrolled at
Baylor and is in the offseason program.
The other four-star signee was speedy receiver Robbie Rhodes, a
6-foot, 185-pounder from Southwest High in Fort Worth, Texas. He
had 32 catches for 945 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior, and
also ran 32 times for 296 yards and six TDs.
All but one of the Baylor signees are from Texas. Nance is among
four who are already enrolled at Baylor. Another is Chris Johnson
from Bryan, Texas, the only quarterback in the signing class.
For Briles’ high-powered offense, still productive last season
after Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III went to the NFL, the
recruiting class included two receivers in addition to Rhodes, two
linemen, a running back and a tight end.
Receiver Quan Jones (6-4, 200) had 50 catches for 934 yards and
12 touchdowns for East High in Wylie, Texas last season. Kiante’
Griffin (6-0, 200) was a two-way standout at Hebron High in