Tiger teammates David, Pelzel commit early to Baylor

While they have one more year together as Rockdale Tigers, seniors-to-be James David and Josh Pelzel will remain teammates for a bit longer.

David will commit to Baylor Thursday, joining Pelzel who committed May 1 to play football for the Bears.

Both said a major factor was the proximity to Rockdale.

“Yes, it was close to home,” David said. “And, I like the way they do things up there to help the students in the classroom and the way they keep up with you.”

“It meant lot to be able to play close to home,” Pelzel said. “I didn’t want to be too far from my family. I like the location.”

Both Tigers were being hotly recruited and had offers from a number of schools.

David, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker, was being pursued by Colorado, Houston, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon St., TCU and Washington.

The 6-foot- 6, 324-pound Pelzel also had solid offers from Texas Tech, Washington St., Rice and Houston.

Both were ranked in the Hook’ Fab 55; Pelzel at No. 28 and David at No. 48.

David—a two-time all-state selection— has received immediate attention ever since he was a freshman.

Pelzel’s stock has been skyrocketing after a great showing at the Under Armour Underclassmen Combine in Florida in January.

David expects to play right away, but Pelzel has already been told he would redshirt his first year, then move in at a guard slot.

“I was looking for a school according to how much playing to I would get,” David said. “That’s why I looked at Baylor more.”

“It will give me some time to get used to the atmosphere,” said Pelzel said of his idle time. “And it will give me the chance to put on that weight they want me to.”

Each individual has a different set of priorities when choosing a school, despite the fact that Pelzel and David wound up in the same place.

“It was the third-best campus that I visited, but as far as football was concerned, Baylor was the best,” David said. “I just wanted a place where I could play and graduate from college.”

For Pelzel, it cam down to Baylor and Texas Tech.

“There is a lot of opportunity for me to play there as far as my position,” Pelzel said. “They are definitely building a program here and I want to help build a program.

“That was a really big selling point for me.”

David is coming off a knee injury and knee surgery that caused him to miss three games last season.

He continues to rehab and estimates that by the start of twoa days he will be 100 percent.

The game

Both David and Pelzel were in a group of Rockdale players that attended the Baylor- Oklahoma game in 2011, which probably won the Heisman Trophy for Robert Griffin III after an incredible 45-38 come-from-behind victory.

And of course, more importantly, did either meet RG3?

“I stood behind RG3 when he was getting interviewed after the game,” Pelzel said. “It was pretty crazy.”

That instant classic was Pelzel’s first college football game.

“I took a picture with him with a large group of people after the game,” David said. “You can’t see me but you can see part of my forehead.”

Perhaps someday, some young recruit will have their picture taken with a couple of Rockdale products.

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2013-05-23 digital edition

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