Aug. 25, 2007
Senior running back Brandon Whitaker (Edmond, Okla.), senior deep snapper Jonathan Weeks (Glendale, Ariz.) and sophomore linebacker Joe Pawelek (Spring Branch, Texas) were elected 2007 Baylor football team captains following Saturday morning's two-hour full-pad workout on the grass practice fields at Floyd Casey Stadium. The trio was elected by their teammates.
"They are all hard-working kids and they've been doing things right," said Baylor head football coach Guy Morriss on the Bears' 2007 tri-captains. "I think they've earned the respect of their teammates, obviously. I don't feel like it was a popularity contest deal like we've had in the past at times."
A three-year letterman and the team's offensive captain, Whitaker will enter his senior season 317 yards shy of becoming the 28th Bear to rush for 1,000 or more career yards. He was Baylor's third-leading receiver in 2006 with 30 receptions for 192 yards and one touchdown.
Baylor's 2007 special teams captain is another senior, Weeks, who joined the program as a walk-on long snapper in 2004 and has gone on to handle those chores for the Bears in 30 of the last 34 games. He was rewarded for his special teams work with a scholarship by the Baylor staff in January 2005.
Pawelek will captain the Bears' defense as a sophomore after earning freshman All-America honors in 2006. He led the Bears in tackles with 86 stops (46 solos), while playing in every game with 10 starts as a rookie en route to 2006 Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year honors from multiple media outlets.
"Joe's been a leader since the day he got here," said Morriss. "I'm confidant they'll all do well (as captains). "I was happy for Weeks (Jonathan) because he's a kid who does everything you ask him to do as hard as he can. Obviously, the players recognize that.
"In the other two cases, there were some other guys close to the eventual winner, but with Jonathan it was a landslide, and that's the whole team and the specialists picking the special teams captain," he added. "So, that says a lot about him."
The Bears completed a long week of practice with Saturday morning's workout and Morriss believes his team is ready for a break.
"We were moving along pretty good, but I think we hit the wall about the time we started to hit the red zone area a little bit, things dragged a little bit," Morriss said. "We've been going at it pretty hard since the first day of camp back on Aug. 2. In my mind, they are not as tired as they think they are, I really believe that. I know they aren't exhausted like they think they are, but they are probably bored.
"Mentally, they are stale right now," he added. "It's the same plays over and over for how many days now. I think with the amount of time they'll have between now and Tuesday, they'll bounce back. The adrenaline will be going and there's a piece of pie at the end of the day."
Baylor will hold a helmet and shorts practice at 6 p.m. on Sunday and take Monday off before returning to the practice field Tuesday afternoon at 4:15 p.m. All practices are closed to the public.
Notes: Sophomore offensive Thad Boatner (right knee strain) and freshman linebacker Chris Francis (left knee strain) missed Saturday's practice ... Baylor assistant head coach/special teams coordinator/wide receivers coach Kasey Dunn is a member of the University of Idaho's first athletic Hall of Fame class and will be inducted on Sept. 7 ... Dunn was a three-time All-American wide receiver for the Vandals and still holds the school's career records for receptions (268) and receiving yards (3,847), while ranking No. 2 in touchdown receptions (25).