It did not take long for TCU, and most schools in the Big 12, to act when the respective football coaching staffs heard the news that Baylor did the right, and obvious, thing.
The recruits who were signed by football coach Art Briles in February of 2016 no longer are bound to honor that commitment and have been released. After a few weeks of lobbying and repeatedly asking Baylor to release them from their national letter of intent, Baylor has done just that for those parties.
On Thursday, five would-be freshmen were granted their full release: defensive back Parrish Cobb, running back Kameron Martin, offensive lineman Patrick Hudson, offensive lineman J.P. Urquidez and defensive back Donovan Duvernay. They are free to go where they want without restriction.
Parrish Cobb’s father, Collis, said he heard the news when a reporter in Waco called him, but he did not believe it until he began to receive text messages from the parents of the other players who wanted to attend another school.
“We are very thankful. We understand it could have gone the other way and he possibly would not have been playing this season,” Parrish Cobb’s’ father, Collis, told me. “He understood that as well. We are going to sit down and talk about where his options may be. I think he wants to stay in the Big 12.”
That would include TCU. Collis Cobb said TCU is one of the schools that has reached out to talk to his son about possibly playing there.
“We think the world of (cornerbacks coach Paul) Gonzalez,” Collis Cobb said. “He’s a great person.”
Parrish Cobb played at Waco La Vega high school where he was named an All-American for a team that went undefeated and won the state title. He originally committed to play at Oklahoma but switched to Baylor shortly before national signing day.
As much damage as Baylor’s decision will do to the depth and future of the Baylor football team, this was a fair move for the players. There must be some language in place to ensure players will honor their initial written commitment but when a situation changes as dramatically as it did for Baylor when Briles was fired on May 26 that must be taken into account.
Baylor wanted to allow acting head coach Jim Grobe enough time to talk to all of the ‘16 signees and give them the chance to listen to his sales pitch. The majority of the class of ‘16 elected to remain at Baylor, but a few had reservations and wanted out.
Baylor did right by Grobe for giving him the chance to talk to everybody, and then the school did right by the kids.