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Sunday Reading
5:55 P.M., SUNDAY, AUG. 23, 2009

Here are some recent articles on Baylor football to catch up on in case you missed them:

- today posted a Q&A by Dave Curtis with All-America candidate J.D. Walton, in which the center says he intends to put Baylor on the map.

- On Friday, the Dallas Morning News posted an article by Kevin Sherrington on Baylor's "Gifted transfer" Phil Taylor. "Cousin Phil" definitely isn't flying under the radar this fall.

- Yahoo!Sports on Thursday posted a national story, written by Baylor alum Jason King, on "Baylor's game-changer" Robert Griffin III.

- Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote a nice piece on Phil Taylor that was posted last Wednesday.

Enjoy. Sic 'em.

Baylor Alum, Singer/Songwriter Records Anthem
2:04 P.M., SUNDAY, AUG. 23, 2009

Former Baylor wide receiver and current singer/songwriter John Martin (Photo by Preston Bezant/for the Tulsa World) has written another anthem. Martin has composed and recorded an Oklahoma State anthem to be featured during the Cowboys' pregame video for home football games.

The self-taught guitarist and vocalist - who fronts a band known as August Rose - resides only a couple of blocks away from the OSU campus. His songs can be sampled at iTunes.

Last year, the Big 12 Conference hired Martin to write a theme for the league. Martin wrote and recorded "Live Your Dreams," a song that was featured prominently during the bowl season and during FOX's BCS championship telecast.

Rimington Award Fall List Released, Walton Included
2:20 P.M., THURSDAY, AUG. 20, 2009

The Rimington Award, given annually to the nation's top collegiate center, officially announced its fall watch list Thursday and included Baylor senior center J.D. Walton. Walton was on the spring watch list released in May.

A 2008 All-Big 12 honoree, Walton is on three 2009 national award watch lists this fall, including the Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award. He is one of five Baylor student-athletes up for a total of 12 national football awards this season.

ESPNU on Campus
10:29 A.M., THURSDAY, AUG. 20, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill" | Position Preview: Quarterbacks

An ESPNU camera crew filming Thursday's practice

An ESPNU camera crew is on campus Thursday morning to film portions of Baylor's practice for a piece on standouts Jordan Lake and RG3. Speaking of RG3...Yahoo! Sports writer Jason King wrote an article on "Baylor's Game-Changer" - Robert Griffin III.

Five Questions: Willie Jefferson
3:45 P.M., TUESDAY, AUG. 18, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill"

Baylor hit the practice field for the second time on Tuesday with a 3:10 p.m. start. The Bears, who practiced in pads and shorts Tuesday afternoon, will take Wednesday off before returning back to the practice fields at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Coming off his two-touchdown performance during Saturday's scrimmage, we sat down with freshman wide receiver Willie Jefferson prior to Tuesday's practice for our third installment of "Five Questions."

TIBC: What is like working and learning from the veteran receivers?
WJ: It's a privilege to learn from the receivers like David Gettis and Ernest Smith but we can always learn something new and teach them something new. Terrance Williams is always teaching me something new every day.

TIBC: You have quickly been building your reputation as a guy who can elevate for passes, how have you developed that over the years?
WJ: It's about concentration. I've done it so many times to the point where I do it is a habit and I go through a routine every time I jump for the deep ball.

TIBC: What has been the biggest adjustment to the college game thus far?
WJ: The speed change. Everything is faster now than in high school. In high school you had a lot more time to get familiar with the speed but now you just have to hop in and be ready.

TIBC: Coach Kaz runs an excellent strength and conditioning program, what is it like training under him?
WJ: Intense. Coach Kaz is very intense. He doesn't want everything to be perfect, but he wants everything to be done a certain way. Everything has a certain way to be done.

TIBC: What are your thoughts on the team and the upcoming season?
WJ: I hope we are up there in the standings by the end of the season. I know from practicing against the defense, that it's going to be tough to put points up on the board on them. This season is going to be really good.

Tuesday's Two-a-Days Media Timeout
1:30 P.M., TUESDAY, AUG. 18, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill" | Position Preview: Tight Ends

Outland Trophy, Lombardi and Rimington Awards candidate J.D. Walton is interviewed during Tuesday's media session in the Simpson Center's XTO Room.

Local media members got another chance to interview several Baylor players between two-a-day practices during Tuesday's media session in the XTO Room at the Simpson Center. Among those interviewed were Blake Szymanski, Robert Griffin III, Jeremy Sanders, Byron Landor, Antonio Jones, Antonio Johnson, Earl Patin, Justin Akers, Jerod Monk, Tim Atchison, Mikail Baker, Jay Finley, Phil Taylor, Jordan Lake, J.D. Walton and Joe Pawelek.

Speaking of JoePaw, he was joined by RG3, "Cousin" Phil and Kendal Wright for a special interview session for with Big 12 Correspondent Wendell Barnhouse. During that time, Akers and Monk took a moment to sit down with the "Voice of the Bears" John Morris for Tuesday's Practice Report.

Pawelek, Walton on Lombardi List
11:25 A.M., TUESDAY, AUG. 18, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill"

A spring watch list for the 2009 Rotary Lombardi Award was announced back in April. That list included Baylor linebacker Joe Pawelek. A preseason list was announced Tuesday morning; this list includes both Pawelek and center J.D. Walton.

The Lombardi Award is given annually to the nation's top collegiate lineman - offensive or defensive - including tight ends and linebackers. It is not necessarily the most concise of lists: more than 130 names.

Baylor concluded its first practice session of the day around 11:45 a.m. CDT. The Bears return to the field at 3:10 p.m.

Sic 'em.

Stark White and Mean Greene
9:25 A.M., TUESDAY, AUG. 18, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill" | Position Preview: Tight Ends

Baylor broke out white helmets for Tuesday morning's practice. It was the first time the Bears have donned the white tops for practice. Tuesday is the second and final two-session practice day for the Bears, who will conclude the morning drills around 11 a.m. CDT and return to the field at 3:10 p.m.

Meanwhile, NFL Hall of Famer and former Pittsburgh Steelers' All-Pro defensive end "Mean" Joe Greene was in attendance for Tuesday morning's practice. Greene (who we can report has quite a formidable handshake) was in attendance to see linebacker Joe Pawelek. Could JoePaw become Mean JoePaw?

Sic 'em.

Five Questions:  Justin Akers
12:45 P.M., MONDAY, AUG. 17, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill"

Baylor concluded its first practice session of the week shortly after noon Monday. The Bears, who practiced in full pads Monday, have two sessions Tuesday (8:30 a.m. CDT and 3:10 p.m.).

We sat down with senior tight end Justin Akers prior to Monday's practice for our second installment of "Five Questions."

This is Bear Country:  How much have things changed with this program in your five years?
Justin Akers:  There's more excitement. There's really a new attitude, and that's the biggest difference I've seen.

TIBC:  What do you think about the new facilities and the opportunity to go inside?
JA:  It's nice, it's really nice. You can get a lot more out of people, especially when we go half practice outside and half inside. Some people might think that when we go inside people will slack off, but when you're outside the entire time people will dog it. So, it definitely helps.

TIBC:  Do you see it as an advantage to practice in the 100-degree heat whereas some of our non-conference opponents may be practicing in much cooler weather right now?
JA:  Definitely. Of course, once we get to the games, it may be 80 degrees. But I think this helps us a lot. When you're out in the 107-, 108-degree heat everyday, anything in the 80s will feel like a vacation.

TIBC:  In this offense, the tight end spot often can be a quick read or a safety valve. How do you like knowing that you can be a go-to guy in that spot?
JA:  It's nice knowing that if (Griffin) gets in trouble, he can look in my direction and I'll come down with it. And there are some plays designed just for me; it's nice having that in there, as well.

TIBC:  You've grown the hair out and we see the facial hair is slowly coming back. Will we see dreadlocks anytime soon?
JA:  (laughing) I'm going through a mid-life crisis right now, so I haven't decided what's going to happen yet. I've talked about doing a few different things, but definitely no dreadlocks. Absolutely not.

Sic 'em.

Monday Morning Newsstand
10:45 A.M., MONDAY, AUG. 17, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill"

The Bears hit the practice fields at 9:40 a.m. CDT today, a morning practice after their third off day of preseason camp. This is the first of four practice sessions this week. The Bears have two sessions Tuesday (8:30 a.m.; 3:10 p.m.) and one Thursday (9:40 a.m.) before another scrimmage Saturday (9:45 a.m.). Times are subject to change.

Now a few things from the Internet newsstand:

- Frank Hayes, senior college football editor for The Sports Network, has a preview on the Bears.

- The Sporting News ran a brief Saturday showing the Big 12 South to be the toughest division in college football, slightly more difficult than the SEC West.

- Wake Forest went through its first preseason scrimmage Saturday, as well. Here's a report from the Winston-Salem Journal.

Sic 'em.

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