Kameron Martin

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TCU latest to pluck four-star fruit from Baylor’s recruiting tree

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Once again, Baylor recruiting loss will be a Big 12 member’s gain.

On the first day of this month, it was reported that 2016 Baylor signee Brandon Bowen had been granted a release from his National Letter of Intent.  Less than a week later, Bowen has decided to begin his collegiate playing career at TCU.

Scout.com was the first to report the development.  247Sports.com subsequently confirmed the initial report, although it should be noted that the Horned Frogs have yet to address what if any future the defensive lineman has with Gary Patterson‘s football team.

A four-star member of BU’s 2016 recruiting class, Bowen was rated as the No. 12 weakside defensive end in the country.  He was also the No. 23 player at any position in the state of Texas.

As we have previously noted, Bowen became the 11th member of the Bears’ 22-recruit class this past cycle — that’s exactly half, for the math-deficient amongst our readers — to leave Waco over the last two months, with eight of the 11 leaving after being released from their NLIs and another becoming a recruiting free agent thanks to botched NLI paperwork. The previous 10 to leave were, in alphabetical order, B.J. Autry, Parrish Cobb, Tren’Davian Dickson, Devin Duvernay, Donovan Duvernay, Jeremy Faulk, Patrick Hudson, Kameron Martin, J.P. Urquidez and DeQuinton Osborne.

That group had been part of a class that ranked in the Top 20 nationally.

Dickson, though, transferred to Houston; Martin signed with Auburn; Osborne left for Oklahoma State and Cobb for Bedlam rival Oklahoma; and Hudson, Urquidez and the Duvernay twins all migrated to Texas.  Autry and Faulk, both JUCO signees, were initially suspended before leaving the football team and university under a cloud of controversy last month.

Add it all up, and seven 2016 Baylor signees ended up moving on to another Big 12 program where they can torment the Bears for at least the next four years, with an eighth staying in the state of Texas at an up-and-coming Group of Five program.  All in all, and setting aside the nauseating off-field issues that directly led to the mass exodus, this has been an absolutely disastrous personnel development for the football program over the last couple of months — a situation that’s not expected to get much better anytime soon as the Bears have just one commit left in its 2017 class.

That whole Biblical reap, sow thing, I guess.

Baylor grants releases to five 2016 signees

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And the exodus is nearly complete.

On the same day that a four-star 2016 signee who benefited from sloppy paperwork officially found a new home, Baylor announced that it has granted a National Letter of Intent release to five members of its most recent recruiting class.  Unfortunately, and continuing the lack of transparency demonstrated by the university throughout the sexual assault scandal, BU declined to divulge the names of those who are on the receiving end of a release from their NLI.

It had previously been reported that another four-star 2016 wide receiver signee, Tren’Davian Dickson, had been granted a release from his NLI.  At various points, it was reported that upwards of seven 2016 signees had requested a release from their NLI, including offensive linemen Patrick Hudson and J.P. Urquidez as well as defensive back Parish Cobb and running back Kameron Martin.

It’s unknown at this point how many of those four are among the five to be released, although anyone on the receiving end of a release had to request one before May 31 for it to be considered.

It’s also unknown what if any restrictions were placed on the releases, although there’s a decent chance none of the group will be permitted to transfer to another Big 12 program.

“I wanted the opportunity to talk with our signees and their families before providing any releases,” said Bears acting head coach Jim Grobe in a statement. “This has never been about whether or not we would ultimately provide individuals with a release; we simply asked that we go through the process outlined by the NLI, take some time and have the chance to speak with the student-athletes and their parents. I’ve enjoyed those opportunities to meet with these families and wish each individual success in all that they do in life.

“I am very impressed with the young men who are here at Baylor and on our team. We have great student-athletes who are working hard, committed to success and being a part of something special. I am committed to each one in their pursuit of academic and athletic excellence.”

Also in the press release, the university attempted to put a positive face on the departures:

Several members of the 2016 class enrolled for the first session of summer school, which began last month, and are participating in the Bears’ strength and conditioning program. Additional class members are expected to join the program for the second session of summer school in July.

UPDATED 8:27 p.m. ET: CFT can confirm that Martin, Urquidez and Donovan Duvernay are three of the five to have received releases. Duvernay is the brother of Devin Duvernay, also a 2016 Baylor signee who didn’t need a release from his NLI — paperwork snafu — and who signed with Texas earlier today.