Baylor continues to hemorrhage players.
The latest Bear on his way out of Waco is quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who announced that he's decided to transfer via his Twitter account on Thursday.
Stidham, who after the dismissal of coach Art Briles initially said he would stay with the program, was a four-star member of Baylor's 2015 class who stepped in to take over for an injured Seth Russell last season. He came on in relief against Kansas State, throwing for 419 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-24 Baylor win. He then started against both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State before succumbing to his own season-ending injury against the Cowboys.
He finished his freshman season throwing for 1,265 yards, 12 touchdowns and two interceptions over 10 games. So what does his transfer mean for himself and the Bears? Let's break down the key takeaways.
1. Baylor's depth chart at quarterback is awfully thin. You'll remember last season that, following the injuries to Russell and Stidham, Baylor had to turn to wide receiver Lynx Hawthorne to help fill the void. Well, now that Stidham is gone, Baylor will enter 2016 with Russell as its starter, which in itself is not a bad thing.
The problem is that Russell is coming off of neck surgery. He had the procedure done last October to repair damage to the cervical vertebra, which is a fancy way of saying he had broken bones -- in his neck. That's never not scary.
Even if he's recovered from it now, and there are no concerns going forward, Baylor still doesn't have a lot behind him. The only other quarterback on scholarship is true freshman Zach Smith, who was a three-star recruit in Baylor's latest class. While coaches may be high on his potential, I don't think anybody really wants to rely on him in 2016.
2. Speaking of Smith, he's one of the few 2016 Baylor recruits still with the team. While Stidham's transfer can be tied to the recent sexual assault scandal at Baylor -- odds are if Briles is still in Waco, Stidham would be, too -- he's certainly not the only Baylor defector because of it.
Baylor's 2016 recruiting class featured 22 players on national signing day in February. Only 10 of those players are actually with the team now.
Now that Deonte Williams is on campus, the final count: Baylor kept 10 of 22 NSD signees in 2016 class. pic.twitter.com/Lmze9yaFfj— Max Olson (@max_olson) July 7, 2016
3. Baylor's future is a bit murky. As long as Russell remains healthy, Baylor should still be pretty good in 2016, even with all the turmoil and turnover on the coaching staff. Where things get a bit hazy is a few years down the road.
You can't lose over half a recruiting class and expect to make up for it in your next class. Plus, we really don't know how well Baylor will be able to recruit in the next few years, due to both the recent problems, and the uncertainty of the coaching situation in the long-term.
So what's Baylor going to look like in three or four years? It's impossible to say for certain, but I'm of the belief that the school has done enough with the program recently to keep it from reverting to its not-so-distant past as a Big 12 doormat. Unfortunately for Baylor, I don't see it maintaining its position as a true Big 12 threat and a College Football Playoff contender, either.
As I said, it's impossible to know anything for sure, because things -- and perceptions -- can change very quickly, but I think seven or eight win seasons are far more likely to be the norm from here on out than 11-win campaigns.
4. Jarrett Stidham will have no shortage of suitors. We don't know what Stidham is going to do, or where he's going to go. He may choose to go the juco route for a season before enrolling somewhere else in January, or he could transfer to another FBS program before the 2016 season and sit out a year.
Whatever he chooses to do, he won't have to worry about feeling wanted. There will be plenty of teams interested in bringing Stidham into the fold. This is a kid that was ranked as the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the 2015 class, after all, and he performed well when thrown into the fires during a crucial portion of Baylor's season.
His second recruitment will be an interesting story to follow, because he could easily end up at another major program.