Baylor's surprising factor in recruiting

DALLAS -- Next fall and beyond, games will be played that don't feature anyone in a Baylor uniform. Some of them will happen on the other side of the country from Baylor's Waco, Texas, campus.

Even still, they'll have an effect on the Bears' recruiting.

"When I talk to recruits, they're not asking, 'Coach, how are you doing, boy, sure would like to come visit,'" Briles said. "They're saying, 'Coach, tell me about RG3, let me know me how's he doing, how's he going to be, how's he going to do in the NFL?'"

RG3 was drafted No. 2 overall to the Washington Redskins after winning the Heisman Trophy. The same Redskins who happen to be the Dallas Cowboys' biggest rival. Those Cowboys happen to be the favorite team of a multitude of Texas recruits around the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

If RG3 succeeds in the NFL, those same recruits will take notice, and Briles stock will rise. If he fails, it's hardly a knock, but it doesn't help.

RG3's success at the next level proves Baylor can be a breeding ground for high schoolers to bridge the gap to NFL stardom, on and off the field.

"His name is going to stay hot through this area," Briles said. "And we're going to continue to thrive on that because it's something that he earned and that we earned as a university and that players respect, and they do respect the impact he's had off the football field as well."

The impact won't be monumental, but it will be noticeable. The better RG3 does with the Redskins, the more attractive Briles looks to high schoolers trying to choose where they'll play college football.

Briles noted that right now, Baylor's national profile is as big as it's ever been in the wake of RG3's rise and the Bears' historic season. It's paid off. The Bears have 18 commits, including two in the nation's top 300 and rank in ESPN's top 25. That checks in at third in the Big 12. Five of Baylor's commits are four-star athletes and eight more have three stars.