2011 Baylor Football Legends 4:56 P.M., WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2011
Beginning with Friday's season opener against TCU, Baylor will honor six former players as part of its "2011 Baylor Football Legends" series. One player will be honored each home game between the first and second quarters. Mike Bourland, who was an offensive lineman who lettered three years (1963, 1964, 1965), will be the first Baylor Football Legend.
Here's the complete list of "Baylor Football Legends" for the 2011 season: Sept. 2 vs. TCU - Mike Bourland, OL (1963-65) Sept. 17 vs. SFA - Tommy Tabor, DL (1978-81) Sept. 24 vs. Rice - Al Witcher, E (1957-59) Oct. 8 vs. Iowa State - Le'Shai Maston, LB (1989-92) Nov. 19 vs. Oklahoma - Andrew Melontree, DE (1978-79) Dec. 3 vs. Texas - Robert "Radar" Holt, WR (1978-80)
Baylor on "College Football Confidential" 1:44 P.M., WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2011
The first of two episodes featuring Baylor on CBS Sports Network's all-access series "College Football Confidential" debuted Tuesday night. The second - and final - Baylor episode airs Mon., Sept. 5, at 7 p.m. CT. In the meantime, if you missed Tuesday night's premiere, you still have plenty of chances to watch:
CBS Sports Network (formerly CBS College Sports and CSTV) is available locally in Central Texas on Time Warner digital channel 435 (1642 HD), Grande Communications digital channel 223 and via satellite on DirecTV (channel 613) and Dish Network (channel 152).
Never Too Early for Bowl Projections 2:52 P.M., TUESDAY, AUGUST 30, 2011
The 2011 college football season officially begins Thursday with 15 games on the FBS slate. Baylor's season will commence one night later in primetime against No. 14 TCU. As the new season approaches, media outlets have posted their preseason bowl projections for 2011.
And after ending its 16-year postseason drought in 2010, Baylor is among those teams projected to return to a bowl game in 2011. As it stands today, Baylor is projected for three different bowl games - Pinstripe, Insight and Texas.
Speaking of ESPN...Kirk Herbstreit announced his 11th annual Herbie Awards on Tuesday. Robert Griffin III is considered by many to be the best dual-threat QB in the nation; Herbstreit ranked RG3 second on list of the nation's best dual-threat QBs, behind Michigan's Denard Robinson.
Be Bold, Wear Gold 1:22 P.M., TUESDAY, AUGUST 30, 2011
One of the most anticipated Baylor football seasons in recent memory kicks off Friday night against No. 14 TCU on ESPN. And don't forget about one of Baylor's newest gameday traditions, March of the Bears. Beginning three hours before each home game, fans, students and spirit squads gather to welcome Coach Art Briles and your Baylor Bears to Floyd Casey Stadium (weather permitting, of course).
To be a part of March of the Bears, all you need to do is meet at the Baylor Alumni Network tailgate tent and fill the path leading to the south gate of the stadium to cheer on the team as they arrive at "The Case" for the game (approximately 4 p.m. on Friday). Afterwards, fans are encouraged to remain at the Baylor Alumni Network tent to enjoy free burgers and hot dogs from Fuddruckers and fellowship with other alumni, students and fellow fans. You will also have the opportunity to meet Baylor Legends and watch "The Voice of the Baylor Bears," John Morris, and his guests as they broadcast the 1660 ESPN pre-game show live.
As of Tuesday morning, sixteen NFL scouts - representing the Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans - have requested credentials for Friday's season opener.
Several national writers, who will be covering Saturday's LSU-Oregon game at Cowboys Stadium, will also cover the Baylor-TCU showdown, including Dennis Dodd (CBSSports.com), Pete Thamel (The New York Times), Matt Hayes (Sporting News), George Schroeder (Register-Guard [Eugene, Ore.]), Dan Wetzel (Yahoo! Sports), Stuart Mandel (SI.com), David Ubben (ESPN.com), Jeff Caplan (ESPNDallas.com), Chuck Carlton (The Dallas Morning-News), Jimmy Burch (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) and Richard Oliver (San Antonio Express-News), among others.
Friday's showdown is scheduled to kick at 7:06 p.m. CDT on ESPN and ESPN3.com. Joe Tessitore (play-by-play), Rod Gilmore (analyst) and Samantha Steele(sideline) will serve as the on-air talent for the ESPN broadcast.
Coaching Legends Talk Baylor 4:40 P.M., THURSDAY, AUGUST 25, 2011
Coach Briles on Scott Van Pelt Show 9:50 A.M., WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2011
Baylor head coach Art Briles was a guest Tuesday on the Scott Van Pelt Show and talked about the direction of the program and Heisman Trophy candidate Robert Griffin III. Towards the end of the interview, SVP co-host Ryen Russillotold Coach Briles that he had received one of the RG3 Heisman trading cards distributed by the Baylor Athletic Communications office.
Fresh off its first bowl appearance in 16 years, Baylor opens the 2011 season Fri., Sept. 2, against defending Rose Bowl champion TCU, which is ranked No. 14 in the preseason AP Top 25. Kickoff is set for 7:06 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPN.
Position Preview: Running Backs 4:40 P.M., THURSDAY, AUGUST 18, 2011
The Baylor backfield returns all but one member from its productive 2010 edition; but the loss is significant in honorable mention All-American tailback Jay Finley, who broke the school's single-season rushing record with 1,218 yards in 2010.
The battle to fill Finley's vacancy is likely to be the most interesting position race of fall practice, as four veterans are vying for the starting tailback spot that Briles termed "undecided" heading into the fall.
Penciled in at No. 1 on the post-spring depth chart is fourth-year junior Jarred Salubi, a scatback from local Waco High School who has rushed for 513 yards in two seasons as a backup. Number two on the depth chart is third-year senior and former transfer Terrance Ganaway, a bruiser who has rushed for 495 yards in two reserve seasons at Baylor as well as 550 as a true freshman at Houston under Briles in 2007 (1,045 career yards).
The sleeper of the race is third-year hard-running sophomore Glasco Martin, who had nine carries for 21 yards as a redshirt freshman in last season's crowded backfield. Second-year senior Isaac Williams, a former junior college transfer, is the fourth option at tailback (93 yards in 2010).
The "Art" of Nicknaming 4:55 P.M., WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 17, 2011
Baylor head coach Art Briles is synonymous for coming up with creative nicknames or off-the-wall sayings. Here's a list of the nicknames Briles has bestowed out to some of the players:
Aaron Jones - Stork Jerod Monk - Funky Monkey Jarred Salubi - Salubinize Robert T. Griffin - RG2 Ivory Wade - Capital I Tracy Robertson - Clyde Levi Norwood - Little No-No Andrew Frerking - Freak On Prince Kent - King Marcus Santa Cruz - Santa Claus Clay Fuller - RBI Jordan Najvar - Navajo Tevin Elliott - Mr. East Texas / Terminator Tevin Reese - Spinmaster Sam Holl - Sambo Philip Blake - Canada Darius Jones - Daddy D Chance Casey - Pretty Man / CC Glasco Martin - Glass-pack Joe Williams - Little Joe Bryan Swindoll - Sunshine Terrance Williams - T-Diddy Elliot Coffey - Coff Terrance Ganaway - G-Way Gary Mason, Jr. - G-Dog Brody Trahan - Bo-Bo Mike Hicks - Hicksy Cameron Kaufhold - K-Mo Nicholas Jean-Baptiste - Tricky Nick Nick Florence - Trick (Tricky) Bryce Petty - Petty-bone Beau Blackshear - Bo-Bo Tyler Stephenson - T-Steve / Stevie Lanear Sampson - Long Chain
RESULTS: Mount Rushmore of Baylor Football 2:45 P.M., TUESDAY, AUGUST 16, 2011
L-R: Grant Teaff, Mike Singletary, Walter Abercrombie & Robert Griffin III
More than a 100 fans voted and officially chose Grant Teaff, Mike Singletary, Walter Abercrombie and Robert Griffin III as being the "best" version of Baylor football's Mount Rushmore.
GRANT TEAFF, 1972-92 (Received 75% of the votes) Teaff was hired to coach Baylor's program in 1972 when many people said the Bears should drop out of Division I. When the final gun sounded on the 1992 John Hancock Bowl - Teaff's last game as a head coach - he had accomplished one of the most distinguished coaching careers in history.
Teaff finished his career 170-151-8 overall in 30 years as a head coach. He was 128-105-6 at Baylor, 83-74-4 in the Southwest Conference and 4-4 in bowl games.
He was named SWC Coach of the Year six times and national coach of the year once. He coached 16 first-team all-Americans and 83 all-conference performers.
Teaff finished his career as the nation's second-ranked coach for tenure at his present school, the fourth-ranked coach for SWC wins, third-ranked coach for games in the SWC, second-ranked coach for seasons in the SWC, sixth-ranked coach for wins by an SWC coach, ninth-ranked active coach for career wins and 20th-ranked active coach for winning percentage.
MIKE SINGLETARY, 1977-80 (Received 97% of the votes) The Baylor linebacker legend tallied a school-record 662 career tackles before being taken in the second round of the 1981 draft by the Chicago Bears.
In 1978 he had 35 tackles in a game against Arkansas and 31 against Ohio State. He was a two-time All-America selection and three-time all-Southwest Conference honoree. Singletary is the only two-time recipient of the Davey O'Brien Award (1979 & 1980).
Singletary earned the nickname "Samurai Mike" as the central component to a dominant Bears defense during his 12 seasons in Chicago. During that stretch the defensive captain went to the Pro Bowl 10 times and missed just two games. Baylor's only member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Singletary was inducted in 1998, his first year eligible.
WALTER ABERCROMBIE, 1978-81 (Received 45% of the votes) As a standout running back for Baylor during the Grant Teaff era, Abercrombie would leave a legacy unmatched by future Bears.
As a two-time consensus All-Southwest Conference selection and the school's all-time leading rusher, Abercrombie would lead Baylor to a 26-15 record on the field during his standout career that stretched from 1978-81. During his first collegiate game in 1978 against No. 12 Texas A&M, Abercrombie set the standard for what was to be expected by rushing for 207 yards, establishing an NCAA record for rushing yards in a first contest. He went on to earn 1978 Southwest Conference freshman of the year honors, despite playing in just six games.
During his remarkable career, he would lead Baylor to the 1979 Peach Bowl, the 1980 Southwest Conference title and an appearance in the 1981 Cotton Bowl. Abercrombie finished atop the Baylor record books in many offensive categories including yards rushed (3,665), rushing attempts (732), career 100-yard games (19) and yards per game (94).
Following a remarkable career at Baylor, Abercrombie was a first-round draft pick (12th selection overall) by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1982. He played for the Steelers from 1982-87 before spending his final two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1988-89. Abercrombie currently serves as the executive director of the Baylor "B" Association, the school's 700-member organization of former letterwinners.
ROBERT GRIFFIN III, 2008-Present (Received 50% of the votes) Entering his redshirt junior season, Griffin III has become the face of Baylor during the resurgence of BU football.
A Heisman Trophy and All-America candidate for 2011, Griffin III is the BU career leader in 14 categories; passing yards (6,073), total offense (7,628), passing efficiency (143.3), passing TDs (41), completion percentage (64.4), TD-to-interception ratio (3.73), interception percentage (.0139), TD responsibility (64), rushing TDs by QB (23), total offense per-play (6.70), total offensive plays (1,139), consecutive attempts without an interception (209), 200-yard passing games (17) and 300-yard passing games (4).
Griffin III made headlines his freshman season when earned freshman All-America and Big 12 top freshman honors (as 18-year-old). He burst on national scene in third game of 2008 (second start), rushing for a then-school-record 217 yards and two TDs and throwing for 129 yards and a score in a 45-17 win over Washington State.
Headed into the 2011 season, Griffin III has already been named to the Davey O'Brien Award watch list, the Manning Award watch list, the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award "players to watch," the Maxwell Award watch list and the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.
OTHERS RECEIVING NUMEROUS VOTES: Ronnie Bull, Cody Carlson, Santana Dotson, Thomas Everett, Lawrence Elkins, Bill Glass, Neal Jeffrey, J.J. Joe, Jack Lummus, Daniel Sepulveda, Don Trull
Team Mottos Stick With Players 4:35 P.M., MONDAY, AUGUST 15, 2011
Pizza Hut, BU Athletics Partner to Support Mission Waco 2:55 P.M., MONDAY, AUGUST 15, 2011
Pizza Hut, home of America's favorite pizza, has been an Official Corporate Sponsor of Baylor Athletics for the past decade, and for the second consecutive year is taking that partnership to the community to help those less fortunate.
From now through Sept. 25, Pizza Hut is offering a local promotion in 13 greater Waco, Killeen & Temple area locations. Every time someone places an order for their Stuffed Pizza Rolls (Spicy or Original), $1 will be donated back to Mission Waco.
This is the second year of Pizza Hut's partnership with Mission Waco, a 19 year-old urban ministry committed to empowering the poor through numerous programs and mobilizing middle-class folks to become more engaged in the lives of the poor and marginalized.
"National corporate franchises sometimes seem disconnected from the local communities where they serve. Pizza Hut in Central Texas is the exception," said Jimmy Dorrell of Mission Waco. "Pizza Hut has been involved with Mission Waco's work among the poor and marginalized in ways that continue to amaze me."
Check back on Dec. 3rd when the Baylor takes on Texas to see how much Pizza Hut has donated!
Position Changes During Fall Camp 5:15 P.M., FRIDAY, AUGUST 12, 2011
Just for Kicks: Jones Preps for Sophomore Campaign 6:50 P.M., THURSDAY, AUGUST 11, 2011
Back to handle field goal and PAT duties is Groza Award candidate Aaron Jones, a record-setting sophomore who earned All-Big 12 and Freshman All-America honors as a rookie in 2010. Jones set or tied five school records including field goals made (19), PATs made (46) and scoring by a kicker (103 points).
Jones, a former walk-on who won the starting job in fall of his freshman year, currently ranks fifth all-time at Baylor with .979 career PAT percentage and tied for ninth on school's career field goals list (19).
The sophomore from Crowley, Texas, hit two 50-yard field goals and was 5-for-8 from 40-yards and beyond. Jones had career-high three field goals twice, in win at Rice (3-4) in fourth game and win at Colorado (3-4) in seventh game.
Fans Want to Know: Cameron Kaufhold 5:25 P.M., WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
Special thanks to all the fans who submitted questions via Twitter and Facebook. Sic 'em.
New-Look Defense Anxious for Start of Season 6:45 P.M., TUESDAY, AUGUST 9, 2011
Baylor football returned to the practice field and donned full pads for the first time this fall on Tuesday afternoon at the Simpson Center. The Bears returned from their first day off during fall camp with a focus on overhauling the defense under new coordinator Phil Bennett.
The 32-year coaching veteran joined the Bears in January, but fall camp has given him the first chance to see exactly what he'll have to work with when Baylor opens the 2011 season against TCU on Sept. 2.
"If you look at the defense right now, it's a complete overhaul," Bennett said. "Our top five tacklers are gone. Our first-round pick is gone. This is a new defense, a new identity. I like the way they're working and I like their attitude."
Along with a new identity, Bennett brings a strong resume of leading some of the nation's top defenses. Prior to joining the Bears, he guided a Pittsburgh defense that finished in the top 30 nationally in all three seasons he was coordinator. The Panthers went to a bowl game all three years and saw their defense climb higher the national rankings each season. Pitt's defense finished 27th nationally in 2008, 23rd in 2009 and eighth last season.
Though the Bears lose their top five tacklers, they return five starters and 23 lettermen. Linebacker Elliot Coffey, defensive tackle Tracy Robertson, nose guard Nicolas Jean-Baptiste, cornerback Chance Casey and defensive end Gary Mason Jr. return from starting roles in 2010, though some players are shifting positions in an effort to get more speed on the field.
Coffey has shifted from outside to inside linebacker, while former defensive back Ahmad Dixon is now lining up as the nickleback - a hybrid safety-linebacker. One of the more dramatic changes has been former quarterback Brody Trahan switching to the other side of the ball as an outside linebacker.
Bennett says he's seen improvement in the unit as a whole, but he's always looking for more.
"Without question we're better than we were at the end of spring, but that's not good enough," Bennett said. "The next step is basically a conference championship. That's the next step after a bowl game. We've set that goal and that's what we want to do."
Baylor football completed its fourth day of fall practice with a two hour workout Sunday afternoon at the Simpson Center. Today, 'This is Bear Country' will preview the receiver position.
Baylor's deepest and most talented position is arguably its receiving corps. Back are the top four receivers from 2010, all of whom caught 42 or more passes last season. The group is led by All-Big 12 returnee Kendall Wright.
"The receivers have to be the bell cow for us," Briles said. "They're good and they want to win. They need to lead the team with attitude and production."
Wright, an All-America and Biletnikoff Award candidate, is an electrifying inside receiver and the school's career receptions leader (194). The senior and fourth-year starter is a two-time All-Big 12 honoree and caught a school-record 78 passes for 952 yards and team-high seven TDs in 2010.
"Kendall is coming off his best spring here," Briles said. "He's a passionate leader who gives everything he's got every snap."
The other starter at inside receiver is Tevin Reese, a lightning-quick sophomore who totaled 401 yards on 45 receptions in his first season in 2010. Depth at IR will come from Antwan Goodley and Levi Norwood, a pair of talented redshirt freshmen.
The wide receiver position boasts several proven veterans, including two juniors in the starting rotation: Lanear Sampson and Terrance Williams.
Sampson and Williams are fourth-year juniors who had 42 and 43 receptions last season, respectively. Sampson is a sure-handed speedster with 21 career starts and brings a 17-game reception streak into 2011. Williams is a steady receiver/kick returner who caught four TDs last season and brings his own 14-game reception streak into 2011.
Providing depth at wide receiver are sophomore Darius Jones and senior Travis McClain.
Three Bears Receive More Preseason Honors 4:59 P.M., SUNDAY, AUGUST 7, 2011
Junior QB Robert Griffin III(Pictured), senior C Philip Blake and senior IR Kendall Wright added more preseason honors Sunday, earning All-Big 12 recognition from Rivals.com. RG3 and Blake were named to the first-team offense, while Wright received second-team accolades. Baylor's offensive backfield was ranked No. 4 in the Big 12. Olin Buchanan had this to say about Baylor's backs: "QB Robert Griffin III is in the backfield. That's all you need to know."
With Baylor's 2011 season opener a mere 26 days away, eight different Bears have been named to various preseason All-Big 12 teams. Here's a complete list of Baylor's preseason honors:
PHILIP BLAKE Rimington Trophy watch list All-Big 12, 1st team (Blue Ribbon) All-Big 12, 1st team (Rivals.com) All-Big 12, 2nd team (Sports Illustrated) All-Big 12, 2nd team (Lindy's) All-Big 12, 2nd team (Phil Steele) All-Big 12, 3rd team (Athlon) All-Texas, 1st team (Dave Campbell's Texas)
CHANCE CASEY All-Big 12, 3rd team (Phil Steele)
TEVIN ELLIOTT All-Big 12, 1st team (Sporting News) All-Big 12, 2nd team (Athlon) All-Big 12, 2nd team (Lindy's) All-Big 12, 4th team (Phil Steele)
ROBERT GRIFFIN III Maxwell Award watch list Walter Camp Award watch list Davey O'Brien Award watch list All-America, 3rd team (Athlon) All-Big 12, 1st team (Athlon) All-Big 12, 1st team (Rivals.com) All-Big 12, 2nd team (Sports Illustrated) All-Big 12, 3rd team (Phil Steele) Texas Offensive Player of the Year (Dave Campbell's Texas) All-Texas, 1st team (Dave Campbell's Texas) No. 7 QB nationally (Lindy's) Big 12 "Best Athlete" (Sporting News) Big 12 "Best Running QB" (Sporting News) Big 12 "Best Scrambler" (Lindy's) "Best Quarterback" in Texas (Dave Campbell's Texas) 2011 AFCA Good Works Team nominee (Allstate)
ROBERT T. GRIFFIN All-Big 12, 3rd team (Phil Steele)
AARON JONES Lou Groza Award watch list All-Big 12, 3rd team (Phil Steele)
CYRIL RICHARDSON All-Big 12, 3rd team (Athlon) 2011 All-Spring Team (Rivals.com)
IVORY WADE All-Texas, 2nd team (Dave Campbell's Texas)
KENDALL WRIGHT Biletnikoff Award watch list All-Big 12, 2nd team (Sports Illustrated) All-Big 12, 2nd team (Lindy's) All-Big 12, 2nd team (Phil Steele) All-Big 12, 2nd team (Rivals.com) All-Big 12, 3rd team (Athlon) All-Texas, 1st team (Dave Campbell's Texas) No. 6 WR nationally (Lindy's)
Five hours after starting the day on Highers Complex practice fields for day three of fall member, Baylor players and coaches took the official team photo Saturday afternoon...indoors. It wasn't as warm inside the Allison Indoor Practice Facility as it was outside, but players certainly worked up sweat taking various individual and group photos. Coaches and support staff took group photos for the game program, while players took headshots for the game program, BaylorBears.comand the 2011 Baylor Football Media Almanac.
The players' long Saturday - spent mostly inside - ended with meetings; the Bears will return to the practice field Sunday afternoon (12:45 p.m.) before enjoying an off-day Monday to begin preparation for summer final exams.
One of the hottest summers to ever hit Central Texas continued Friday as Baylor held its second fall practice at the Highers Complex Practice Fields and Allison Indoor Practice Facility. The mercury level rose to 104 degrees at the start of practice, but, fortunately, the Bears should get a respite from the heat Saturday; the temperature at the start of Saturday morning's practice is projected to be 90 degrees.
Friday's practice went two hours, again splitting time between the outdoor practice fields and the Allison Indoor Practice Facility. From start to finish, 'intensity' was the word of the day as Baylor's second fall practice was intense on both sides of the ball. Baylor takes the field Saturday at 9:40 a.m. for the third day of fall camp; the Bears will return to Saturday afternoon for Photo Day. Here's a look at Friday's This-N-That:
COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: Baylor will open the 2011 football season against TCU in 28 days (Sept. 2, 7 p.m. on ESPN). ESPN talent will be Joe Tessitore (pxp), Rod Gilmore (analyst) and Samantha Steele (sideline).
On Thursday, Baylor took the field in gold helmets, complete with a green-white-green striping down the middle. Friday's practice featured the Bears' white helmets, complete with the same g-w-g stripe.
Redshirt freshman wide receiver Levi Norwood has changed uniform numbers. He wore No. 6 during his true freshman season and in spring drills. Levi, son of associate head coach Brian Norwood, is changing to No. 42. His reason? It's the same number as Miami Dolphins great Paul Warfield and Washington Redskins legend Charley Taylor. It's also the mirror image of Levi's brother, Jordan Norwood, who wore No. 24 during his college days at Penn State. Jordan currently plays for the Cleveland Browns with former Baylor Bear Phil Taylor.
One of the stories early on in fall camp is walk-on Cody Fuller, a 6-1 WR from Bulverde, Texas. Baylor fans may remember Fuller, who was a member of head baseball coach Steve Smith's 2005 fall signing class. Fuller was drafted in the fourth round of the 2006 MLB Amateur Draft by the Anaheim Angels. After a six-year minor league career, Fuller is now a freshman at Baylor and a member of the Bears football team.
The former OF spent time in the Angels farm system with the Orem Owls (Rookie), AZL Angels (Rookie), Cedar Rapids Kernels (A), Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Advanced A) and the Arkansas Travelers (AA). At Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, he was the starting wide receiver on the team's district champion football team. His brother, Lance, was a safety at Texas Tech; his cousin, Clint Haney, played football at Texas. His dad, Kenny, played football at Texas Tech in the mid 1970s.
Fuller made an impressive over-the-shoulder catch, on the receiving end of a 40-yard throw down the right hash from redshirt freshman QB Bryce Petty.
Arguably the prettiest throw of the day came from junior QB Robert Griffin III, who lofted up a perfect 65-yard spiral to IR Kendall Wright, striding into the end zone. Wright later made a nifty catch in the corner of the end zone and managed to get both feet in bounds before hitting the pylon.
LeQuince McCall, Mike Hicks and Tyler Stephenson each made big-time pass break-ups against the first-team offense. Hicks broke up a Griffin III pass in the end zone, while Stephenson knocked down RG3's pass - while backpedaling - intended for Terrance Williams.
B-I-G: That's the first that comes to mind when you see Baylor's offensive line - LT Cyril Richardson (6-5, 315), LG Cameron Kaufhold (6-4, 310), C Philip Blake (6-2, 315), RG Robert T. Griffin (6-6, 335) amd RT Ivory Wade (6-4, 295).
Three senior walk-ons have been awarded scholarships prior to the 2011 season - WR Travis McClain, LB Reggie Rice and TE Bryan Swindoll.
With temperatures soaring into the 100s for the 36th consecutive day in Central Texas, fourth-year head coach Art Briles and the Baylor football team held its first practice of fall camp Thursday. As the estimated high hovered around 105 degrees at the start of practice, the Bears sported jersey tops and shorts (sans pads) and spent the first 60 minutes outside on the Highers Practice Fields.
The final 60 minutes of practice were spent in the air-conditioned Jay and Jenny Allison Indoor Practice Facility. Officially, 104 players reported Wednesday for fall camp. Post-practice, Briles said he was pleased with what he saw of his team after the first fall practice.
"(The guys) were about like they should be," Briles said. "We don't want to come out and see who hollers the most. We want to come out here and get some work done.
"There's a whole lot of retention from the spring," Briles said. "It's like we never left the field. That's a tribute to Kaz (Kazadi) and his staff and what they did this summer. Our guys are in great shape."
Despite the recent heat wave to inundate Waco and Central Texas, players and coaches are prepared to practice in extreme temperatures. Temperatures are expected to stay at or above 100 degrees through the weekend and into the early part of next week.
"Texas heat is Texas heat," junior QB Robert Griffin III said Thursday during pre-practice interviews. "I don't think it's ever been this high before, but it's still something we have to deal with."
"We try to have our workouts set up where we don't run into danger by splitting (practice between) outside and inside," Briles said. "Precaution is the best measure and we are being pretty cautious about (the heat)."
In addition to the media members and a handful of fans to attend the first practice, former Baylor All-American defensive line Robin Jones - along with his family - visited the Highers Complex. Jones, a 1991 third-team AP All-American, was a two-time All-Southwest Conference performer in 1990 and 1991. He led the Bears with 11 tackles-for-loss and seven sacks during his 1991 All-America season.
The Bears are scheduled to hit the practice field Friday at 2:50 p.m., Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and again Sunday at 12:45 p.m. On Saturday afternoon, Baylor players and coaches will take new headshots and team photo during their annual Photo Day.
Kickoff Luncheon Provides Photo Op With Legends 10:05 P.M., WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2011
The First National Bank of Central Texas Kickoff Luncheon is providing the unique opportunity for fans to have their photo made Aug. 25 with Grant Teaff, former Baylor University head football coach, and Bobby Bowden, former Florida State head football coach.
Although the luncheon is sold out, autographed copies of Called to Coach by Bowden and Master Coaches by Teaff are available for purchase at the Greater Waco Chamber at 101 S. Third St. for $30 and $25 respectively or $50 for both books. Books can also be purchased at the luncheon or immediately after the luncheon.
With the purchase of either Teaff or Bowden's autographed books, fans can get their photo taken with the authors at 1:15 p.m. immediately following the luncheon in the Stone Room of the Ferrell Center.
For more information call Blake Harris at (254) 757-5605.
Here's a rundown of the former Bears signing NFL contracts:
Tim Atchison, St. Louis Rams Mikail Baker, St. Louis Rams Antareis Bryan, Chicago Bears Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons Derek Epperson, Arizona Cardinals Jay Finley, Cincinnati Bengals Chris Francis, Oakland Raiders Dan Gay, New Orleans Saints Byron Landor, New York Jets Daniel Sepulveda, Pittsburgh Steelers Brad Taylor, San Diego Chargers Phil Taylor, Cleveland Browns Danny Watkins, Philadelphia Eagles C.J. Wilson, Carolina Panthers