Baylor suffered a double dose of decommitments Saturday evening, when ESPN 300 receiver Hezekiah Jones of Stafford (Texas) High School and three-star safety Donovan Stiner of Houston Bellaire announced on Twitter that they were no longer part of the Bears' 2017 recruiting class.
No interviews please....... pic.twitter.com/WVCCgdtzbf
— 9️⃣ (@_hezekiahh) May 29, 2016
— DONO▼AN (@dstiner3) May 28, 2016
Both prospects declined interview requests. But Jones and Stiner did say their decisions to back away from the Bears were because of the school's announcement that coach Art Briles was going to be fired in response to a scathing review of Baylor's handling of sexual assault allegations made against students, including several football players.
Sources also told ESPN's Gerry Hamilton that Patrick Hudson, the No. 1 offensive guard in the 2016 class and Baylor's top signee in February, will not enroll in summer classes on Monday as originally planned and is looking at other options. Hudson and a number of Baylor's 2016 class are waiting to see what happens over the next few weeks, and at least three signees have told ESPN that they want to be released from their national letters of intent.
Baylor has not indicated yet whether it will release any members of its top-20 2016 recruiting class.
Jones backing off his commitment is a big loss for the Bears, but it also isn't a major surprise. Jones, the No. 16 receiver and the 109th-ranked player in the country, has continued to be heavily recruited by Notre Dame, Alabama, Oregon, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and many others even though he had been committed to Baylor for almost a year.
Stiner picked the Bears in July 2015, and had indicated throughout the spring recruiting window he was solid with the Bears, but that didn't stop other schools such as Missouri, UTSA, SMU and Houston from offering scholarships and stepping up their pursuit.
This is the fourth decommitment for Baylor since the school announced Briles would not return on Thursday. Hours after the Bears made the announcement, Kedrick James, the No. 9 tight end and the No. 259 player in the ESPN 300, backed away from his commitment. Then on Friday, Houston (Texas) Bellaire lineman Jayden Peevy said he was opening things up and would be considering offers from UCF, Kansas State, Houston, Indiana and Maryland.
With Saturday's news, the Bears' class is essentially down to one commitment. While both ESPN 300 quarterback Kellen Mond of Bradenton (Florida) IMG Academy and three-star safety Jalen Pitre of Stafford High say they are committed, Mond is actively looking at Ohio State, Auburn and other schools.
Gerry Hamilton contributed to this report.