Best Baylor Offensive Player
QB Charlie Brewer, Soph.
Out of all of the problems last season, Brewer’s emergence as a possible playmaker to work around for the next few years turned out to be one of the few positives. The 6-1, 202-pounder can move a little bit, but the key is his accuracy, hitting 68% of his throws with 11 scores and four picks after taking over the job midway though the season.
He’ll be challenged by NC State transfer Jalan McClendon – the guy didn’t come to Baylor to sit on the bench in his final season – but passers with Brewer’s accuracy are rare.
2. WR Denzel Mims, Jr.
3. WR Jalen Hurd, Sr.
4. OT Jake Fruhmorgen, Jr.
5. QB Jalan McClendon, Sr.
Best Baylor Defensive Player
NT Ira Lewis, Sr.
There are just enough good players returning on the D to hope for a few Bears to be in the mix of being the team’s best defensive player – watch out for Clay Johnson to have a huge season. However, it’s the 6-3, 295-pound Lewis who should combine with James Lynch to set the tone on the nose.
Quick off the ball, he led the team with 11.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks with 34 tackles. Doing more against the run is a must, but he’ll be dangerous behind the line.
2. LB Clay Johnson, Jr.
3. CB Harrison Hand, Soph.
4. S Verkedric Vaughns, Sr.
5. DE James Lockhart, Jr.
Key Player To A Successful Season
DE James Lockhart, Jr.
Or someone to start generating pressure from the outside. The defensive ends struggled to get to the quarterback, and now the hope is for the Texas A&M transfer to change that up.
The 6-3, 256-pounder got in a little work in College Station, and now he needs to take over a job right away and produce from the start. Very smart and very quick, he’s got the upside to be a stat-sheet filler the D desperately needs.
Key Game To The Baylor Season
Kansas State, Oct. 6
The Bears will be better. They’ll beat Abilene Christian to start the season, and they should be able to get by UTSA, Duke and Kansas to start the season – there’s a problem if they don’t. Even with the close 49-41 call against Oklahoma last year, forget about the Big 12 opener in Norman.
The real test to see how far the program has come is when Kansas State comes to Waco. Lose, and there’s a big problem ahead with three road games in the next four, including trips to Texas and West Virginia. The Bears can’t give away home games.
2017 Baylor Fun Stats
– 1st Quarter Scoring: Opponents 100 – Baylor 47
– Interceptions Thrown: Baylor 14 – Opponent 3
– Onside Kicks: Baylor 3-of-5 – Opponents 0-of-0