Several hundred fans turned out for the Baylor football team's annual "Meet the Bears" event Saturday afternoon at the Allison Indoor Facility.
Before the event, the Bears took part in its first scrimmage of fall camp. Sophomore quarterback Robert Griffin shined in the 90-minute scrimmage tossing four touchdown passes to four different receivers.
Congratulations to RG3, who today was listed on another national award watch list, this the Maxwell Award, given annually to the nation's top collegiate football player. That comes on the heels of yesterday's announcement of the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list, which included JoePaw among the 55 preseason candidates for the nation's top defensive player. Earlier this week senior center J.D. Walton was listed on the 2009 Outland Trophy watch list, a group of 40 being looked at for the nation's top interior lineman.
That brings Baylor's total of national award candidates to five players up for nine different awards, and there will be more announced soon. Below is a listing:
Derek Epperson - Ray Guy Award watch list
Robert Griffin III - Maxwell Award & O'Brien Award watch lists
Jordan Lake - Jim Thorpe Award watch list
Joe Pawelek - Rotary Lombardi Award, Ronnie Lott Trophy & Bednarik Award watch lists
J.D. Walton - Outland Trophy & Rimington Award watch lists
Also, here's links to two good preview stories on the Bears published yesterday, as we near T-minus three weeks to the start of the season: John Henderson of the Denver Post wrote a nice piece yesterday on Griffin and the Bears, and Stephen Hawkins of the Associated Press wrote his annual Baylor preview.
Lastly, don't forget TOMORROW IS THE ANNUAL 'MEET THE BEARS' FAN DAY at the Higher's Complex practice fields (behind the Simpson Center on University Parks). Scrimmage is at 1:30 p.m., autographs afterward. See you there. Sic 'em.
Baylor concluded its eighth practice session right at high noon Friday. The Bears are off the rest of the day Friday and return to the field Saturday for a 1 p.m. CDT scrimmage. Don't forget: Meet the Bears is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., immediately following the scrimmage.
We sat down with senior defensive back Mikail Baker prior to Friday's practice for a new segment we're calling "Five Questions."
This is Bear Country: You've made the jump from receiver to defensive back. How are you handling the adjustment?
TIBC: In your career, you've scored as a receiver and as a kick returner. Which was more enjoyable?
TIBC: The last game of the regular season is at the new Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. How excited are you to play in your hometown?
TIBC: You're a fifth-year senior, and you've seen a lot of changes in this program. How much does this season mean to you?
TIBC: Who would win a foot race between you, Robert Griffin III and David Gettis?
Yesterday, we blogged about the potential for injuries and the cautious steps taken to avoid them during preseason drills. Well, no sooner do we discuss that than we have an injury to report. It is a minor injury, but even the thought of losing this person is scary.
Thursday, Jay Finley and co-offensive coordinator Randy Clements collided during a drill. Finley was running at full speed and looking over his shoulder; Clements had his back to Finley and was backing up slightly. The result was Finley decleating Clements. Trainer Mike Sims reported that the collision was so hard and Clements hit the deck so dramatically that no one laughed until it became apparent that "Coach Clem" was OK.
Sims said Clem is fine other than a sore neck and back this morning. He'll be able to play... er, uh... coach through the pain.
Nonetheless, Finley has a new nickname: "The Clemenator."
Ominous clouds loomed overhead as Baylor began its second practice session of the day Thursday. With a chance of afternoon thunderstorms in the Central Texas area, the Allison Indoor Practice Facility could come in handy this afternoon. That's a far cry from past years when the Bears would go through drills under the grandstand at Floyd Casey Stadium during rain storms.
Today is Baylor's first two-session practice day of this year's preseason camp. The extra practice brings extra possibilities of the injury bug. Balancing the intensity of getting better with the caution on the injury front is a juggling act head coach Art Briles knows all too well.
"It's a fine line you walk every year ... every practice," Briles said. "It's something we're constantly aware of. We gotta be tough, we gotta be physical, we gotta be intense, we have to be passionate, we have to be aggressive; but at the same time, we have to be intellectual about taking care of each other. So it's a fine line you walk every time you step on the field."
Baylor has only one other two-session day in this year's preseason camp: Tuesday, Aug. 18.
Bears Meet the Media Thursday Afternoon
2:06 P.M., THURSDAY, AUG. 13, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill" | Photo Gallery | Fall Camp Report #6
After Baylor endured the morning half of its first fall two-a-days, members of the local media gathered at the Simpson Center Thursday afternoon to interview several Bears players. Among those interviewed were Derek Epperson, Ben Parks, Mikail Baker, Lanear Sampson, Terrance Ganaway, Darius Jones, Willie Jefferson, Nick Florence, Brody Trahan, Kendall Wright, Phil Taylor, Jordan Lake, Joe Pawelek, Jay Finley, J.D. Walton and Robert Griffin III.
Once they fulfilled their media obligations, Finley and Sampson took a moment to sit down with the "Voice of the Bears" John Morris for Thursday's BaylorBears.com Practice Report.
Baylor opened the first day of two-a-days with a Thursday morning practice session at the Simpson Center. Despite the early wake-up call and the Texas heat, there were a handful of fans gathered to watch the Bears in full pads.
Quarterback Robert Griffin III appeared to be in mid-season form, hitting a streaking David Gettis in stride down the sideline. The defense jawed back with a friendly exchange of words. Later on, sophomore cornerback Romie Blaylock knocked down a pass intended for Gettis.
After a respite from the heat that includes lunch and 1 p.m. interviews with the media, the Bears will return to Highers practice fields at 3 p.m.
If you missed the annual Baylor Football preview on FS Southwest Tuesday night, tune in today at 3:30 p.m. for a replay of the Baylor Preview on FS Southwest. The 2009 Baylor preview is a half-hour special that will include interviews from the Big 12 Media Days last month.
The 2009 Preview will replay again Sunday, Aug. 23 at 4 a.m. and Tuesday, Aug. 25 and Noon.