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Meet Baylor's newest batch of freak athletes

Art Briles proudly told reporters on National Signing Day that he’d just signed “arguably the best class in Baylor’s history.” The class ended up ranked No. 17 by ESPN, and one-third of them were ESPN 300 talents. More important, the Bears reloaded with another batch of freaky talents. Here are five future freaks you’ll need to know:

WR Devin Duvernay: Briles calls Duvernay “the fastest guy in the United States of America that plays football,” a claim that is fully backed up by the 10.27 that he ran as a junior to win gold in the 100-meter dash at the Texas high school state championships. A lot of kids have “track speed.” Few have Duvernay’s speed. At Sachse (Texas) High, the 5-foot-10, 195-pound wideout racked up nearly 5,000 all-purpose yards and scored 40 touchdowns. He’s instant offense and should be put to use early and often this season.

OL Patrick Hudson: Coaches say the No. 1-rated guard prospect still doesn’t realize how good he can be. We’ll find out when he gets to Baylor. Whether he ends up at tackle or guard, the 6-foot-4, 325-pounder from Silsbee, Texas, is going to be special. Briles referred to Hudson as the “strongest player in America” because he’s one heck of a powerlifter, too. At the Texas high school powerlifting championships last March, Hudson finished second in his weight class after squatting 690 pounds, bench-pressing 395 and dead-lifting 715.

DE Brandon Bowen: They don’t get much freakier than Bowen, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound end who happens to be the reigning state champion in the high jump after leaping 6 feet, 7 inches at the state meet last spring. He did that with very little training, and might be able to hit 6-10 or better this year. When it comes to football, he’s a fast, explosive rusher who should make some serious gains in the next few years. Hard to predict whether he gets on the field this season, but Baylor is replacing both of its starting defensive ends.

DT Jeremy Faulk: The junior college All-American is already on campus and should be a difference-maker right away at nose tackle. Nobody was calling him a freak coming out of high school – he began his career at FAU – but Faulk blossomed into a dominant force during his year at Garden City C.C. In addition to his 87 tackles and 18.5 tackles for loss in 2015, Faulk was athletic enough to play some fullback and rushed for two touchdowns on 19 carries. Not bad for a dude who checks in at 6-foot-1 and 295 pounds.

CB Parrish Cobb: The local kid from Waco (Texas) La Vega High flipped from Oklahoma with the intention of battling for a starting job as Xavien Howard’s replacement. After what he accomplished as a senior, don’t bet against him. Cobb led La Vega to a state title as a do-it-all star. He recorded four interceptions and 16 pass breakups on defense, surpassed 1,200 total yards of offense and was an exceptional kick returner. Though only a high three-star in ESPN’s ratings, Cobb could get a shot to shine as a freshman.