By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
Baylor football signed junior college offensive lineman Johncarlo Valentin on Wednesday as a part of National Signing Day.
The signing completed head coach Matt Rhule’s first full recruiting class at Baylor as the Bears inked 22 players.
Valentin, a native of Philadelphia, Penn., is ranked as the No. 21 JUCO recruit in the country by ESPN and No. 1 offensive guard.
Valentin played the 2017 season at ASA College in Brooklyn, N.Y and helped ASA College to a 9-1 record and a win in the Valley of the Sun Bowl. He was named a member of the All-Northeast Football Conference team.
Rhule said Valentin’s physical style of play will help solidify the Bears’ offensive line moving forward.
“He’s a big, powerful, physical young man,” Rhule said. “I think he’s really gonna help us on the offensive line as we move into next season.”
The Bears missed out on 4-star wide receiver Tommy Bush Wednesday after the Schertz opted to sign with Georgia.
Houston native and 3-star linebacker Joseph Ogunbanjo also turned down Baylor on Wednesday after signing with California.
Baylor started the day as the No. 18 ranked recruiting class, but after missing out on Bush and Ogunbanjo, the Bears dropped to No. 23 in the rankings.
Rhule said the top-tier recruiting class despite a 1-11 season is because of the fan support.
“I think one of the reasons we had a top-20 signing class is because, even though we had tough season, people saw what Baylor stood for,” Rhule said.
Rhule and his staff are bringing in six four-star recruits, including Earle, Ark., quarterback Gerry Bohanon and Miami wide receiver Tyquan Thornton, who both enrolled in the spring semester.
Joining the Bears in the fall are four-star recruits cornerback B.J. Hanspard, wide receiver Joshua Fleeks, running back Craig Williams and offensive lineman Connor Galvin.
Baylor begins spring drills on March 15 and will play the Green and Gold spring game on April 21.