July 20, 2013

Jamabo: Baylor a contender

Seeing is believing. For Soso Jamabo, what he thought Baylor was before he went for his unofficial visit on July 18 to what he thinks now has put the Bears in a far better position.

The highly sought 2015 Plano West running back went to Waco with his father and two brothers and spent a good portion of the day soaking up everything the campus had to offer. Needless to say, Jamabo came away impressed.

"I really expected a normal campus. Nothing special,'' he said. "I thought it was going to be just the regular stuff that you see on any other campus. But you can see how it's built for size. The buildings are the same [architecture style] and everything is very organized and compact. Everything in Baylor stays in Baylor.''

And the football lately hasn't been bad either.

With the Bears playing in a school-record three consecutive bowl games and a Heisman Trophy winner in Robert Griffin III, Baylor is making the case to convince the top Texas or national recruits to at least take a look. Once they get on campus, anything can happen.

"Baylor definitely moved up for me on my chart,'' Jamabo said. "I don't really have a top five. I'm still looking at my options. But they're definitely a contender.''

Jamabo (6-3, 200) has the ideal package to be featured back wherever he lands. Even before Baylor offered him, he had been watching the Bears' running game on film and focused on plays dedicated for Heisman Trophy hopeful running back Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin.

The Plano West coaches try to emulate a lot of the offensive schemes Baylor runs. Jamabo is well aware that the Bears are not a pass-happy program.

During the visit, he also visited with Seastrunk. Call it a power meeting. The two can relate since Seastrunk was such a highly decorated recruit out of Temple in 2010.

"[Lache's] really outgoing,'' Jamabo said. "We just talked about what it's like in college and that you can't give in to peer pressure and what Baylor could do for my future. That meant a lot.''

Baylor was the third unofficial visit for Jamabo as he visited Oklahoma and Texas earlier this summer. Of course, no stop in Waco is complete without visiting with strength and conditioning coach Kaz Kazadi.

"It's really impressive how much they have changed incoming freshmen and how much stronger and faster they are. My goal is to get to the [NFL]. I want something that will help me get there.''

Some programs sell their history. Baylor is selling the future so its upcoming history will influence more top recruits.

"It's not always the history or prestige that is going to be the big factor,'' Jamabo said. "You can see the intensity and how hard the guys are working to make Baylor a great program. They talked to me about being a part of that.
"I'm not rushing anything [about a commitment decision]. I want to take everything carefully and seriously. I want to look at academics, the fan base, coaching staff, facilities and how the student body interacts. I want to be sure this is the right decision.''

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