Senior DT Phil Taylor is one of 18 Baylor players sporting a new jersey number in 2010.
18. That's the number of players that will be wearing different jersey numbers in 2010. Six of those players - Chance Casey, Elliot Coffey, Jay Finley, Lanear Sampson, Phil Taylor and Ivory Wade - are penciled in as starters on this week's depth chart.
Here's a look at those 18 players (in alphabetical order):
RG3 is 80 yards shy of becoming Baylor's first 1,000-yard rushing QB.
National media from coast to coast are starting to take notice of Baylor sophomore QB Robert Griffin III as he returns to the football field - nearly one year after a season-ending knee injury in 2010. ESPN College Football Analyst Kirk Herbstreit has taken note...so much so that RG3 was his choice as the nation's "Comeback Player of the Year" as part of the 10th annual Herbie Awards unveiled Monday.
Griffin III also finished fourth in Herbstreit's category for "Dual-Threat Quarterbacks", finishing behind Herbie Award winner Jake Locker (Washington), Terrelle Pryor (Ohio State) and Jerrod Johnson (Texas A&M).
Rivals.com College Football Editor Mike Huguenin concludes his preseason player rankings by ranking all 120 NCAA Division I FBS teams at quarterback. The Baylor sophomore QB duo of Robert Griffin III and Nick Florence is ranked 18th nationally by Rivals.com - and third among Big 12 schools. Texas A&M was rated tops in the Big 12 (No. 8 nationally), followed by Texas Tech in 12th. Here's a look at how Baylor's 2010 FBS opponents rank (along with the rest of the Big 12) on the Rivals.com list:
Baylor's 2010 season opener against Sam Houston State is still eight days away, but that hasn't stopped an array of NFL scouting personnel from watching practices at the Highers Athletics Complex. Over the course of fall camp, we have seen scouts representing (in particular order): Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.
Baylor head coach Art Briles and sophomore QB Robert Griffin III will appear on ESPN for a third time this week on Friday. Erin Andrews' interview with Briles and RG3 will air on ESPN College Football Live Friday at 2:30 p.m. CT on either ESPN or ESPN2 (check your local listings). On Tuesday, Briles and RG3 were interviewed by Jay Crawford on ESPN First Take, while Griffin III also appeared on ESPNU Wednesday night.
An ESPN interview with Baylor sophomore QB Robert Griffin III will air Wednesday night at 6 p.m. CT on ESPNU. Tuesday, RG3 and head coach Art Briles were interviewed for ESPN First Take and College Football Live. ESPN Big 12 blogger David Ubben shadowed RG3 throughout the day Tuesday, following him from class to class and finishing the day at practice.
Baylor head coach Art Briles and sophomore quarterback Robert Griffin III appearance on ESPN's First Take with Jay Crawford Tuesday morning. Not only was the duo asked about Baylor's upcoming 2010 season, but Crawford also questioned Briles and RG3 on the origin of the Bears nickname. Keeping with the ESPN theme, ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel likes RG3 to have a breakout season in 2010.
Let's begin a new game-day tradition, MARCH OF THE BEARS: Join the Baylor Sports Network 2.5 hours before each home football game (Sept. 4 at 3:30 p.m.) to welcome Coach Art Briles and your 2010 Baylor Bears as they arrive at Floyd Casey Stadium! The team will arrive at the Baylor Sports Network tent near Touchdown Alley on the Dutton Street side of the stadium; the Bears will march (weather permitting) through the tailgating area on their way into pre-game warmups.
Meet Walter Abercrombie and other football greats and cheer on your Baylor Bears with the Baylor Yell Leaders, fellow alumni and friends.
There will be free hot dogs and drinks for guests who visit the Baylor Sports Network tent.
12 days and counting...The 2010-11 academic year is officially underway as fall classes begin on Baylor's campus Monday. With fall camp nearing completion, it's now time for the Bears begin to simulating game-week. Here's a look at Baylor football in the news:
Baylor football will hold its second scrimmage of fall camp Friday night at Floyd Casey Stadium. While it will be closed to the general public, be sure to check BaylorBears.com later tonight for a recap and complete scrimmage statistics. Here some notes and Friday headlines to close out the week:
Baylor will be featured on the 2010 Big 12 Football Virtual Skywriters Tour on Aug. 28 on Big12Sports.com.
With the first kickoff of the 2010 Baylor football season a mere 15 days away, here's a look at the Bears' individual preseason honors:
PHILIP BLAKE 2010 Rimington Trophy watch list
DEREK EPPERSON All-America, 3rd team (Sporting News) 2010 Ray Guy Award watch list All-Big 12, 1st team (media, Sports Illustrated, Lindy's, Blue Ribbon, Phil Steele) All-Big 12, 2nd team (Athlon, Rivals.com) All-Texas, 1st team (Dave Campbell Texas Football) No. 2 rated Punter (Phil Steele) No. 4 rated Punter (Lindy's)
ROBERT GRIFFIN III 2010 Maxwell Award watch list 2010 Manning Award watch list 2010 O'Brien Award watch list All-Big 12, 2nd team (Rivals.com) All-Big 12, 4th team (Phil Steele) All-Comeback Team (Sports Illustrated) All-Comeback Team (Rivals.com) No. 17 rated Quarterback (Lindy's) Big 12's "Best Athlete" (Sporting News) Big 12's "Best Scrambler" (Lindy's)
ANTONIO JOHNSON All-Big 12, 4th team (Phil Steele)
PHIL TAYLOR All-Big 12, 2nd team (Sports Illustrated, Phil Steele) All-Big 12, 3rd team (Athlon) No. 10 rated DT (Phil Steele)
DANNY WATKINS 2010 Rotary Lombardi Award watch list All-Big 12, 1st team (Blue Ribbon)
KENDALL WRIGHT 2010 Biletnikoff Award watch list All-Big 12, 1st team (Athlon, Blue Ribbon) All-Big 12, 2nd team (Phil Steele) All-Texas, 1st team (Dave Campbell Texas Football)
Thursday's light practice was the final open practice of the fall. Baylor hit the field at 9:45 a.m. and participated in light drills, primarily with special teams to open practice. The Bears split the first- and second-team offense on the two outdoor drill fields for the final 30 minutes of practice. Baylor will hold a closed scrimmage Friday night at Floyd Casey Stadium; it will be open to only families of players, coaches and staff (not open to the general public). Here a few tidbits for Thursday's "This-N-That" segment:
Baylor participated in a light practice Thursday with the guys wearing shoulder pads and shorts. The beginning of practice was mostly special teams drills, while the second half of practice focused on offense vs. defense.
Baylor will hold its second fall scrimmage Friday night at Floyd Casey Stadium. Friday's scrimmage at 6 p.m. is closed to the general public. The Bears will have Saturday off (Sunday schedule TBA) before fall classes start Monday.
Danny Watkins and Troy Baker did not participate in practice Thursday. Watkins has not participated the last few days after rolling his ankle.
Towards the end of practice, Darius Jones made a nice juggling catch along the far sideline, hauling in a 18-yard pass from Nick Florence.
Robert Griffin III will be the subject of photo shoot this afternoon for the Killeen Daily Herald.
And finally...16 DAYS until Baylor opens the 2010 season against Sam Houston State on Sept. 4 at 6 p.m.
Waco Tribune-Herald's John Werner (right) interviews Mike Sims prior to the start of Tuesday morning practice.
Mike Sims, considered one of the nation's best college athletic trainers, is in his 28th year of service to Baylor's student-athletes, coaches and staff. He was promoted to Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Training in August 2006. For Wednesday's "Five Questions" segment, TIBC asked Sims about the players battling the Texas heat and staying hydrated:
This is Bear Country Blog: With the temperatures hitting the 100-degree mark for more than 17 straight days, how important is it for the players to stay hydrated and conditioned? Mike Sims: The conditioning part they went through by being here all summer long and the strength and conditioning staff worked them out very hard. They are acclimated to it; it's not like they are coming out of the A/C and running outside for the first time. We are pushing the hydration part with sports drink and water to keep them hydrated. The biggest problem is if you wait until you're thirsty, you're starting off too late. So you have to build up to the part of being hydrated before you start a workout and keep your water level up high. And by doing that, not only do you lessen the chance of being overheated and suffering muscle cramps, you're less likely to suffer some other kind of muscle injury because you're less fatigued when you are hydrated properly.
TIBC: Starting with a morning practice - say around 10 a.m. - what do these guys have to do to be prepared to hit the field? MS: First of all, they'll eat breakfast, start drinking fluids at that point. Then they'll come down to the training room to get taped. They'll also have water bottles with them so we'll be pushing fluids heavily. When they get outside, we have a different athletic training student at each one of the stations, giving them water during practice. We also have ice towels to cool them off and keep them hydrated. Hydration is not something you do once a day. It's something that is started days ahead of time - leading up to and through practice.
TIBC: During practice, what are your main concerns? MS: As far as hydration is concerned, we keep an athletic training student with each group. They follow that group around all practice long. They know the players so they know when a player is acting differently or having problems. The big deal is they push the fluids down the whole time. Halfway through practice, the players will get a sports drink and some time to relax and let the fluid get absorbed into their system. The second part of practice (indoors) is the same way....We'll push fluids before, during and after practice.
TIBC: How important is it that the second half of practice is indoors after being outside in the heat? MS: It makes a difference. The players can go more plays and continue to work hard. I had a player tell me the other day that after three plays outside, he was gassed, tired and had to get water and take a break. Then, when we went inside, the same player said I'm going five, six, seven, eight plays and not having any problems. That comes from the temperature outside and your body not overheating. So in actuality you are getting more work done in a shorter period of time by going inside.
TIBC: After practice, many players are required to get into ice baths before heading to the locker room. What is the purpose of the ice baths? MS: Couple of things: it gets their body temperature down and cools their body down. It also cuts down on soreness and lactic acid building in the muscles. So it allows for their legs to be less sore, less fatigued and less tired. That way they can recover faster and be ready for the next practice quicker.
For the first time in a while during fall camp, temperatures were not soaring into the 100s when the Baylor football team hit the practice field. Instead, the temperature was 91 degrees, but the humidity was hovering around 80 percent. That made for quite unpleasant conditions during the first half of practice - especially with the Bears in full pads Tuesday. Here are some notes from Tuesday's practice:
Big12Sports.com correspondent Wendell Barnhouse was at the Highers Athletics Complex Tuesday for the Baylor portion of the Skywriters Tour. Barnhouse interviewed head coach Art Briles, RG3, Clifton Odom, Danny Watkins and Tim Atchison. Check out Big12Sports.com later today for more.
For the second straight day, there were three NFL scouts in attendance, representing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Ravens (second consecutive practice).
Three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American and legendary Baylor QB J.J. Joe was also in attendance Tuesday.
Jay Finley, Brad Taylor and Tim Atchison participated in drills and the majority of Tuesday's practice session - the most practice time the three have seen in fall camp.
Byron Landor knocked off Terrance Williams' helmet while breaking up a pass from Robert Griffin III.
Baylor's cornerbacks were making good breaks Tuesday and appeared to be playing more aggressive.
Cyril Richardson got a lot of reps with the first-team offensive line at left guard.
Glasco Martin ripped off a 25-yard touchdown scamper, running up the middle before tapering off down the right hash.
Wendell Barnhouse interviews Danny Watkins prior to Tuesday morning's practice.
Big12Sports.com correspondent Wendell Barnhouse visited Baylor football practice Tuesday morning as part of his Big 12 Skywriters Tour 3.0 series on www.Big12Sports.com. Barnhouse interviewed senior FS Tim Atchison, junior QB Robert Griffin III, senior DB Clifton Odom and senior LT Danny Watkins. Look for Wendell's assessment of the Baylor Bears on Big12Sports.com later today.
Central Texas was blanketed with yet another day of 100-degree temperatures on Monday. And along the banks of the Brazos River at the Highers Athletics Complex, temperatures reached 106 degrees at the start of Monday afternoon's practice (according to Assistant AD for Athletic Training Mike Sims). Halfway through practice, the skies opened up, giving the players a much-needed respite from the heat with a cool summer shower.
The Bears practiced in the rain for 15 minutes before heading inside the dry confines of the Allison Indoor Practice Facility. Here are a few notes from Monday's practice:
Three NFL scouts - representing the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals - attended practice. Pittsburgh's scout is very familiar to Texans - "Mean Joe" Greene.
Monday marked the first time all fall camp that Baylor practiced under overcast skies.
Senior FS Tim Atchison is still wearing a black non-contact jersey in practice. No timetable has been given to us on when he will switch back to green.
As has been the standard all fall, sophomore QB Robert Griffin III continues to impress with his arm strength in practice. He did, on occasion, overthrow his receivers, but he continues to make good reads and hit his receivers in stride.
Included in some of RG3's throws Monday were a 25-yard over-the-middle pass to Lanear Sampson and a 20-yard slant to Terrance Ganaway for a touchdown.
Speaking of Ganaway, he was hitting the line of scrimmage hard and broke off a pair of runs for more than 15 yards.
Glasco Martin showcased his speed with a 25-yard run and he would have been off to the races had the whistle not blown the play dead.
On the defensive side of the ball, Ahmad Jenkins, Byron Landor and Antareis Bryan came up big with keep pass break-ups in the red zone.
And finally...Baylor will be out on the practice fields early Tuesday with practice scheduled to begin around 9:30 a.m.
A fourth-year junior and returning starter at defensive end, Zac Scotton is featured in our third installment of "Five Questions" Monday. Scotton, one of five returning starters on defense, is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree. The Houston native played all 12 games in 2009 and started the final eight at defensive end. He totaled 22 tackles, one sack and one QB hurry on the season.
This is Bear Country Blog: You're one of five returning starters on defense. What advice do you give the younger guys? Zac Scotton: Get out there and go as hard as you can. Don't let anything distract you. Just go out and play the same game you've been playing since you've stepped onto the field.
TIBC: You're a two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection and four-time Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll recipient. How important is the term "student-athlete" to you? ZS: It's really important. I feel like you have to be a complete person in every sense of the word 'student-athlete'. You have to go to class in order to play. If you are going to try to exceed expectations on the field, you need to exceed expectations in the classroom as well.
TIBC: What are your goals for the upcoming season? ZS: My goals are to go out there and give my best effort every single snap and put myself in the best position possible from the direction of my coaches to make as many plays as a I can.
TIBC: Describe yourself as a football player in 10 words or less: ZS: Bigger, stronger, faster, physical and ready to go
TIBC: What are your thoughts on the team and the upcoming season? ZS: We're excited. Our defense is big, fast, physical and very athletic. Our offense looks strong and we're ready to take it one game at a time. We're ready to tear up everyone who steps in front of us.
Seniors Tim Atchison (above) and Derek Epperson received their undergraduate degrees Saturday.
Congratulations to Baylor seniors Tim Atchison (speech communications) and Derek Epperson (management information systems) who received their undergraduate degrees Saturday. Baylor's 2010 roster now boasts six student-athletes who have earned their undergraduate degrees: FS Tim Atchison, DB/KR Mikail Baker, DT Chris Buford, P Derek Epperson, RB Jay Finley and TE Brad Taylor.
An additional four student-athletes are on pace to graduate in December; the quartet includes seniors Antareis Bryan (CB) and Phil Taylor (DT), junior Terrance Ganaway (RB) and sophomore Robert Griffin III (QB).
"Trust in Robert Griffin's knee lands the Bears here, significantly higher than they're used to considering the strong quarterback tradition across the Big 12 for the past decade. But Griffin will still have to regain his status as the conference's most electrifying player on a reconstructed knee after missing the final nine games of the previous season with a torn ACL. Baylor also has a nice situation at backup quarterback because of the injury with sophomore Nick Florence, who threw for (a school-record) 427 yards in Baylor's lone conference win - at Missouri - last season."
Texas A&M QB Jerrod Johnson topped the list of the league's top quarterbacks. Missouri's Blaine Gabbert was third, followed by Landry Jones of Oklahoma in fourth. The Texas Tech duo of Taylor Potts and Steven Sheffield ranks fifth.
With the high temperature expected to reach 103 degrees Friday in Waco, the Baylor football team endured another hot day on the practice fields at the Highers Athletics Complex. Despite the heat and humidity, the energy level was still high as the Bears practiced in shorts a day before their first scrimmage of fall camp. Here a few notes from Friday's practice:
Midway High School product Ahmad Dixon took the opportunity during red zone drills to deliver two crushing hits that earned him "Oohs" and "Aahs" from teammates and coaches.
Junior RB Terrance Ganaway broke off a pair of nice 20-yard scampers.
Romie Blaylock, Sam Holl and Mike Hicks got some reps with the first-team defense. Blaylock opened practice with the 1s, while Hicks stepped in at safety for Tim Atchison who has been wearing a black no-contact jersey all week. Hicks later picked off Griffin's pass intended for Willie Jefferson.
Once again, punts by All-American punter Derek Epperson were ricocheting off the Allison Indoor Facility ceiling.
RG3 had his share of "juke-and-jive" moments when running out of the pocket...
In red zone drills, senior LB Earl Patin drilled Glasco Martin in the backfield for a loss. Patin received loud cheers from his defensive mates...
Freshman inside receiver Tevin Reese also earned "Oohs" and "Aahs" when he made a one-handed catch over the middle for a 15-yard gain.
Walk-on redshirt freshman kicker Aaron Jones drilled a 53-yard field goal towards the end of practice. From our vantage point, it would have been good from 60 yards...
And finally...Baylor will hold its first scrimmage of fall camp Saturday at the Highers Athletics Complex. The Bears will start will drills at 2 p.m. and the scrimmage will begin at approximately 2:45 p.m. Following the scrimmage, Baylor's annual "Meet the Bears" event will be held at 4:15 p.m. inside the Allison Indoor Facility.
He's baaaack...Sophomore QB Robert Griffin III is back under center for the Baylor Bears after suffering a season-ending knee injury in 2009. Arguably the fastest quarterback in the nation, RG3 is on the Manning, Maxwell and Davey O'Brien Awards watch lists a year after only playing three games. Griffin enters the 2010 season with 2,572 career passing yards with 19 TDs and 3 INTs. He is also the Baylor career leader in passing efficiency (141.01) and interception percentage (.0089).
We caught up with RG3 Friday morning for our second installment of "Five Questions"(complete with a few bonus questions, as well):
This is Bear Country Blog: How does it feel to be back on the field, healthy, practicing and ready to go? RG3: It feels great. When something is taken away from you, it makes you love it. And I love to be back out here.
TIBC: What do you hope to work on during fall camp now that you are able to participate more than in spring drills? RG3: You know, getting that team chemistry. Getting the team to flow and click on all cylinders. And right now, we are doing a pretty good job of that.
TIBC: After the injury last season, you were forced to watch from the sidelines. What did you do during practice and games? RG3: I didn't practice. I wasn't actually a part of practice at all. In the games, I helped the coaches with coverages and gave them play suggestions to run on the field.
TIBC: How does it feel to be on the Maxwell, Manning and O'Brien Awards watch lists? RG3: It means a lot, but if you come away with one of those awards, your team is pretty good. So if I come away with one of those awards, it's not a testament to how well I did, but how well our team is doing.
TIBC: After beginning practice outside, what does moving practice indoors do for the guys? RG3: It gets your energy level back up. Not necessarily because it's air-conditioned or anything but sometimes it's unbearable outside with the heat and humidity. It can really attack you. For us to go inside, it helps us to get a better practice in the second half. When you go inside, it helps you pick up the tempo back to where it was.
Two bonus questions for the road... TIBC: Who has impressed you the most thus far in camp? RG3: We have a lot of talent out here. The offensive line has been doing a good job and a couple of the young receivers have done a really great job - Tevin Reese, Antwan Goodley and Levi Norwood.
TIBC: What are your thoughts on the team and the upcoming season? RG3: The sky is the limit. Our offense is going to click and we're going to move the ball and score points. But our defense has to step up and they are doing a good job of that right now.
Be sure to catch RG3 and the Baylor Bears for their first scrimmage of fall camp Saturday at the Highers Athletics Complex. The Bears will open with drills at 2 p.m. and are scheduled to scrimmage at approximately 2:45 p.m. Fans are also encouraged to stick around after the scrimmage for "Meet the Bears", presented by Texas Farm Bureau Insurance, at 4:15 p.m. insider the Allison Indoor Practice Facility.
The Voice of the Baylor Bears, John Morris, interviewed Baylor President Ken Starr for BaylorBears.com after Thursday's football practice inside the Allison Indoor Practice Facility. President Starr addressed the team after practice and thanked them for their hard work and dedication. Check out the photo gallery for more.
Baylor's 2010 season opener against Sam Houston State is now just 23 days away. Thursday morning, the Baylor football team hit the field in full pads for the first time during fall camp. Sophomore QB Robert Griffin III continues to look impressive and much stronger with each day, while his receiving corps looked solid, as well. Here a few notes from Thursday's practice:
Tight ends Willie Jefferson and Daniel Hill switched jersey numbers Thursday. Jefferson went from #17 to #88, while Hill changed from #88 to #80.
Did we mention RG3 looked sharp? Griffin made great throws to Kendall Wright, Jefferson and Lanear Sampson. Sampson also made an impressive one-handed catch in the back of the end zone, but did not get his foot down in time before falling out of bounds.
A Seattle Seahawks scout attended Thursday's practice, a day after a scout from the New England Patriots stopped in to check out Danny Watkins.
Baylor President Ken Starr spoke to the football team after practice. President Starr commended the players on their hard work and let the team know that Baylor Nation will fill up Floyd Casey Stadium this season.
Freshman QB Bryce Petty warms up prior to practice Thursday.
Last summer, freshman QB Bryce Petty - as team captain - led USA Football's junior national team to the 2009 Junior World Football title in Canton, Ohio. In Team USA's 41-3 rout over Canada, Petty completed 14-of-14 passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns. A nationally-rated quarterback out of Midlothian (Texas) HS (No. 25 by Rivals.com, No. 35 by Scout.com, No. 54 by ESPN.com), Petty enrolled at Baylor in January and participated in spring 2010 drills.
Prior to the start of Wednesday's practice, we met up with Petty our first installment of "Five Questions":
This is Bear Country Blog: What's it like working with veteran quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Nick Florence? Bryce Petty: It's always a really good deal for us younger guys especially when mental reps are key and that's what your role is right now. I know my role in practice is to learn from (Robert and Nick) and get as many mental reps as I can. Robert and Nick do a great job of answering any questions the younger guys may have.
TIBC: What's been the biggest adjustment to the college game thus far? BP: Definitely the first thing you think is speed and the overall massiveness of these guys. They're huge; they're fast. You're not the best player on the field anymore like you were in high school. It's definitely a learning experience now that you have work as a team.
TIBC: You played with the USA Football junior national team in 2009. How has that experience helped you prepare for football at the college level? BP: It was fun to be around guys that you knew were going to play college football at the Division I level. That was a good opportunity in terms of adjusting to speed. (The USA Football) defense was unreal. It was a lot of fun going up against them in practice every day. Overall, it was a really good college football atmosphere.
TIBC: After beginning practice outside, what does moving practice indoors do for the guys? BP: When we move indoors, it's a huge energy boost. You can tell that when we move inside; the energy level picks up. Morale picks up and everyone is ready to go full speed again especially when they turn the music on. It gets loud.
TIBC: What are your thoughts on the team and the upcoming season? BP: We look great. I can't wait to get out there in 23 days and show Waco, the Big 12 Conference and the nation what Baylor football is about in 2010. It's going to be fun."
"No team relies more on one individual than Baylor does Griffin. With Griffin two years ago, Baylor made a run at its first bowl since 1994. A postseason appearance seemed possible in '09 until an injury knocked Griffin out for the year early in the sesaon. Now, Griffin has returned and so has hope for Baylor to reach a bowl game..."
RG3 and the Bears are also listed as the "Team That Will Surprise" in the Big 12 in 2010:
"With Griffin back at quarterback, the Bears aren't the patsies they are most seasons. In fact, with an advantageous schedule, Baylor could be bowl eligible before Halloween. Six of the Bears' first eight opponents did not post winning records last season and four of them travel to Waco..."
Baylor practiced for approximately 90 minutes Wednesday morning at the Highers Complex practice fields and Allison Indoor Facility. We are officially 24 days from opening the 2010 football season Sept. 4 against Sam Houston State. Here a few notes from Wednesday's practice:
Redshirt freshman RB Glasco Martin participated in his first full practice of fall camp Wednesday. Martin, who earned Baylor Co-Offensive Bear Squad award for his work on the scout team in 2009, suffered a late-season knee injury and had off-season knee surgery. He is wearing a black jersey (no contact) during fall camp.
Thursday's practice will feature full pads for the first time during fall camp.
New England Patriots scout attended practice, watching OT Danny Watkins.
On his way to an end-of-practice interview with Fort Worth Star-Telegram sports writer Dwain Price, sophomore QB Robert Griffin III drop-kicked a 35-yard field goal down the middle of the uprights (south end zone).
RG3 threw for two touchdowns and ran for another score, while LB Tevin Elliott had a pick-six.
And finally...Freshman safety Prince Kent was the last player in the Allison Indoor Facility after practice concluded Wednesday. Kent was seen running sprints and routes (defensive drills) by himself. When the small group of media left, Kent was still there.
Six days into fall camp and position battles are beginning to heat up. Both sides of the ball are loaded with upperclassmen, but the younger players have been very impressive thus far, too. Prior to the start of fall camp, there were some position - as well as roster number - changes. Here are a few PRESEASON ITEMS OF NOTE:
MINIMAL POSITION CHANGES Compared to recent seasons, minimal positional changes occurred during the offseason - six during spring drills and three at the start of fall camp. The spring moves included only one player switching sides of the ball, as former defensive lineman Kaeron Johnson made a permanent switch to fullback, and four other prominent Bears made slight changes, as senior Tim Atchison returned to safety after two seasons at cornerback, sophomore Willie Jefferson moved from outside receiver to tight end, junior Tracy Robertson moved from defensive end to the interior of the line and junior Philip Blake moved from offensive tackle to the center position. In the fall, three redshirt freshmen made moves, including two that switched sides of the ball as Kelvin Palmer moved from the D-line to the offensive line and Jeramie Roberts made the switch from offensive line to defensive line. Additionally, Darius Jones moved from the inside receiver to outside receiver position.
2009 FRESHMEN BACK AS EXPERIENCE SOPHOMORES Baylor played 25 freshmen (10 true freshmen and 15 redshirt freshmen) in 2009. Twenty-three of those (17 scholarship players) remain on the 2010 roster as sophomores. Returning starters among the sophomore class include OL Ivory Wade (2009 freshman All-American), CB Chance Casey (2009 All-Big 12 freshman honoree), and QB Nick Florence. Quarterback Robert Griffin III is a redshirt sophomore (true sophomore in 2009) back to assume the starting position in 2010.
Let's take a look at the preseason two-deep depth chart as it stands today. We're sure there will be changes before Baylor's 2010 season opener against Sam Houston State:
OFFENSE On the OFFENSIVE SIDE, the Bears return seven starters and boast four preseason award candidates - center Philip Blake (Rimington Trophy), quarterback Robert Griffin III (Manning, Maxwell, O'Brien Awards), left tackle Danny Watkins (Rotary Lomardi Award) and inside receiver Kendall Wright (Biletnikoff Award).
Entering today, seven sophomores are penciled in with the first-string at 14 offensive positions: WR Lanear Sampson, LG Cameron Kaufhold, RT Ivory Wade, WR Terrance Williams, QB Robert Griffin III, FB Kaeron Johnson and HB Jarred Salubi.
DEFENSE Six seniors anchor the Baylor defense, including three in the secondary - safeties Tim Atchison and Byron Landor and right cornerback Clifton Odom. The trio combine for 22 career starts. Sophomore Chance Casey, who was named to the 2009 All-Big 12 freshman team by Sporting News, ESPN.com and Rivals.com, is listed opposite Odom at left cornerback. The defense features only one other sophomore - DE Gary Mason Jr. The remaining six first-string spots are upperclassmen - DT Tracy Robertson (Jr.), NG "Cousin Phil" Taylor (Sr.), DE Zac Scotton (Jr.), SLB Elliot Coffey (Jr.), MLB Chris Francis (Sr.) and FLB Antonio Johnson (Sr.).
SPECIAL TEAMS 2010 Ray Guy Award watch list member and Sporting News preseason third-team All-American Derek Epperson returns for his senior season as Baylor's starting punter. He was tabbed first-team preseason All-Big 12 by the Big 12 media, Sports Illustrated, Lindy's, Blue Ribbon and Phil Steele. Entering fall camp, redshirt freshman Aaron Jones is the first-string placekicker. Sophomore Terrance Williams and senior Mikail Baker will handle kick return duties, while senior Krys Buerck will handle punt returns.
For the second straight day, the Baylor football team practiced in pads Sunday afternoon at the Highers Athletics Complex. With a cool breeze blowing along the Brazos River, the Bears received some respite from the summer heat until moving indoors later in the afternoon.
For the majority of the two-hour practice, emotions were running high on both sides of the ball. After spending the first hour outdoors, the team headed inside the Allison Indoor Facility for the remainder of practice. While sophomore quarterback Robert Griffin III continued to impress with his arm strength, receivers Kendall Wright and Terrance Williams showcased their hands with a pair of impressive receptions. During indoor drills, RG3 hit Williams in stride for a spectacular 50-yard pass play.
On the defensive side, defensive backs Mike Hicks, Byron Landor and Ahmad Dixon delivered solid hits, breaking up several pass attempts and holding the offense to short yardage on numerous plays.
Head Coach Art Briles closed the remaining 30 minutes of practice Sunday as the Bears worked on special drills.
With four days of fall practice in the books, the Bears get Monday off to concentrate on final exams before returning to the practice field Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.
Baylor opens the 2010 season Sept. 4 at home against Sam Houston State. For single-game or season ticket information, call the Baylor Athletics Ticket Office at (254) 710-1000.
Baylor Style Pop Quiz 8:15 P.M., SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, 2010
Baylor's 2010 team photo will feature the Bears' gold uniforms with green lettering and green numbers.
Nearly five hours after starting the day on the practice fields for day three of fall camp, the Baylor Bears took their official team photo Saturday afternoon inside the Allison Indoor Facility. Coaches and support staff took group photos for the game program, while players took headshots the game program, BaylorBears.com and the 2010 Baylor Football Media Almanac.
Head Coach Art Briles and the Bears pose for the 2010 team photo.
The players' long Saturday will end with meetings, followed by an afternoon practice Sunday (12:45 p.m. at Highers Complex fields) and an off-day Monday.
RG3 poses for his individual shot Saturday.
Continue to check back to the This Is Bear Country blog for constant coverage throughout fall camp. Be sure to follow Baylor Football (@BUFootball) and Baylor Athletics (@BaylorAthletics) on Twitter for more updates.
After a light walk-through and weight-lifting session on Thursday, third-year head football coach Art Briles put his Baylor Bears through a two-hour workout on Friday on the first day of fall camp.
The Bears finished up the practice in the air-conditioned Jay and Jenny Allison Indoor Practice Facility after spending the first 90 minutes on the grass practice field at the Highers Athletics Complex.
"It increases the level of excitement, no doubt," Briles said of the move inside to the indoor complex. "It's a great addition, a great plus."
Briles said he got exactly what he needed from his players.
"There was a lot of intensity, a lot excitement and a lot of energy," Briles said. "We had a lot of carryover (from the spring), which was really important. That's probably the most encouraging part - these guys have retained (what they learned from the spring) and it's like we've really never left the field."
That makes it harder for the incoming freshmen to step up and be noticed, so the coaches have to "find time to work with the young guys," Briles said.
"We work with them on drills after practice when we can look at them individually and see how they react and move. That's really the only time you get to look at them until you get them in team-like situations. You don't want to throw them out there too early where they don't feel comfortable."
Health concerns carried over from the spring, with both running back Jay Finley (ankle) and Brad Taylor (shoulder) getting limited work.
But sophomore quarterback Robert Griffin III looked sharp in his return from a torn ACL in his right knee that held him out of all but 2 ½ games last season.
"He's worked hard to get back to this stage," Briles said. "He looked good, looked fresh and did exceptionally well today."
After passing all the other tests on his knee, Griffin said the only thing left to see is "how my knee's going to hold up to the quick movements that I usually make. Other than that, I trust my knee."
"I've just got to go back out there and practice and do it in an uncontrolled environment," Griffin said. "Football's football, you're going to get hit. I never want to shy away from getting hit. Just like I did my freshman year, I'm going to go out there and play fearless like I always have."
The Bears are scheduled to work out at 9:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday and 12:45-2:45 p.m. Sunday before taking Monday off for summer session final exams.
ART BRILES QUOTES: PRE-PRACTICE
Opening Statement... "What can you say at this time? The weather is hot, spirits are high and it's time to produce. We're pumped for where we are at right now. (We are) thankful to be a part of it."
On the players' excitement at start of fall camp... "They are geared up and ready to go. They'll stay that way. It's all about consistency and maintaining it. That's what you have to do to sustain throughout the season. Our guys know how to pace themselves and peak at the right time."
On what he hopes to accomplish in the opening weeks of camp... "Understanding each other - schematically, philosophically - (and) what we need to do and how we need to do it. (We need to) make sure everyone is on the same page. That's what we'll look at from a defensive and offensive standpoint. Then just make sure special teams click. We think we have a chance to be really good in that area. It all starts today."
On the first practice of the fall... "It's what you need to have: a lot of intensity, a lot excitement and a lot of energy. We had a lot of carryover (from the spring), which was really important. That's probably the most encouraging part - these guys have retained (what they learned from the spring) and it's like we've really never left the field."
On working with the freshmen and newcomers... "What you have to do is find time to work with the young guys. We work with them on drills after practice when we can look at them individually and see how they react and move. That's really the only time you get to look at them until you get them in team-like situations. You don't want to throw them out there too early where they don't feel comfortable."
On the strength of RG3's arm... "He's 220 pounds so he's a bigger person (than last season). He's worked hard to get back to this day. He looked good, looked fresh and did exceptionally well today."
On the freshmen reporting... "Most of them have been here (during the summer). Two or three just got in. We are recruiting good players. They are good football players, good guys. They're just biting to see what's going on and get on the field."
RG3 on Cover of This Month's U Monthly 1:48 P.M., WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, 2010
August issue of U Monthly is on newsstands now throughout Central Texas.
Robert Griffin IIIis on the cover of this month's U Monthly, the multicultural community magazine of Central Texas. The August 2010 issue can be found throughout Central Texas in many local business in Waco, Temple, Belton, Killeen and Austin.