Gilmer standout Blake Lynch graduated from high school last month, won a state championship on his final day as a Buckeye student-athlete, but took time Wednesday to say goodbye to his fellow students, teammates, and coaches.

Lynch (6-3, 195), who enjoyed one of East Texas' most well-rounded offensive seasons in recent memory last fall, will leave for Baylor on Thursday and immediately begin preparing for his college football career.

The two-way standout signed a financial aid agreement with Baylor during the summer -- a recent rule change implemented prior to the 2013 season for early college enrollees -- but still cannot sign his official letter of intent until National Signing Day, Feb. 4.

Lynch's roommate at Baylor will be fellow East Texan and receiver KD Cannon, whose freshman season for the Bears included 58 catches for 1,030 yards and eight touchdowns. Cannon, a native of Mount Pleasant, put an exclamation point on his debut campaign with eight receptions for 197 yards and two touchdowns in the Bears' 42-41 Cotton Bowl loss to Michigan State on Jan. 1.

Longview running back JaMycal Hasty is currently committed to Baylor, and several other East Texas products fill the Bears' roster -- offensive lineman Pat Colbert (Kilgore), receiver Davion Hall (Liberty-Eylau), deep snapper Jimmy Landes (Tyler Lee), running back Shock Linwood (Linden-Kildare), and Nacogdoches defensive end Greg Roberts (Nacogdoches).

Gilmer finished 16-0 and captured the third state championship in program history with a 35-25 win over West-Orange Stark in the Class 4A Division II title game on Dec. 19 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Lynch had a sizable impact in both the state final and the 15 games prior. He was voted the championship game's Offensive Most Valuable Player after putting up 117 total yards on just seven touches and scoring both Buckeyes fourth-quarter touchdowns in the come-from-behind victory.

For the season, Lynch's offensive numbers bordered on ridiculous. In an offense designed to spread production, he finished with 2,220 total yards and accounted for 38 touchdowns -- three passing, 19 rushing and 16 receiving. He had a yard-per-rush/reception average of 16.2.

Lynch transferred to Gilmer from Troup last summer. And while his time with the Buckeyes lasted just five months, Lynch certainly had a profound impact on the Gilmer program.

And the feeling was mutual, so much so that Lynch opted not to participate in last Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio in order to spend a few more days in Gilmer before leaving for college.

"Blake is not only one of the greatest athletes I have ever coached, but also one of the best people I have ever coached," Gilmer coach Jeff Traylor told on Wednesday afternoon. "He is a blessing to everyone who knows him."