Kedrick James, No. 9-ranked tight end, decommits from Baylor

Hours after Baylor announced that coach Art Briles was going to be fired in response to an investigation into the school's response to allegations of sexual assaults by students, the Bears lost a key member of their 2017 recruiting class.

Kedrick James, a 6-foot-5, 245-pound tight end from Waco (Texas) La Vega High School, announced on Twitter on Thursday afternoon that he was backing away from his longtime commitment to Baylor because of Briles' departure.

James, the nation's ninth-ranked tight end and the No. 259 player in the ESPN 300, originally pledged to the Bears in July 2015 and was the third-highest-ranked recruit in the Bears' class.

Even before news of Briles' pending dismissal broke, James had been looking at several other schools, namely Texas A&M, which he visited in early April. James also has scholarship offers from more than a dozen other schools, and he said Thursday afternoon his "phone has blown up with texts from recruiters all over the country."

It's unlikely that James will be the only recruit the Bears lose.

Kellen Mond, the nation's No. 2 dual-threat quarterback and the Bears' top commitment, said he is going to have an in-depth conversation with his parents about his status. Even though Mond has been committed to Baylor since last June, he has been looking at other schools, such as Ohio State and Auburn.

"I'm not sure yet how it will affect my recruitment," said Mond, who attends Bradenton (Florida) IMG Academy but is originally from San Antonio. "I definitely committed there because of Art Briles, but I won't know or do anything until I talk to my parents more in depth."

Asked for his thoughts on the situation, Baylor ESPN 300 receiver commit Hezekiah Jones of Stafford (Texas) High School said, "It's crazy."

When asked if he'll decommit, Jones said, "We'll see." Despite his pledge, Jones has continued to be heavily recruited by Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and many others.

In addition, four-star Baylor running back signee Kameron Martin will not enroll next week and has requested a release from his letter of intent, a source close to the situation told ESPN's Max Olson.

Martin had been committed to the school since July 2014, and he was one of the leaders of the Bears' No. 17-rated recruiting class. Baylor has not announced whether it will release its signed recruits from their letters of intent.

The incoming freshman class is scheduled to enroll at Baylor on Monday.