Storylines from all over football made appearances, including Bryce Petty’s chance at the Heisman and the newly-built McLane Stadium on the Brazos.
“Perception hasn’t changed that much,” Oakman said. “We’re still not No.1. Nothing has changed for us. Maybe things have changed on the outside because we’re No. 2 now, but that’s nothing for us. You don’t win the Big 12 Championship and then get ranked No. 2. If OU had won the Big 12 Championship, they’d be ranked No. 1. We always don’t get the respect we deserve.”
Baylor’s coach Art Briles opened up about Petty missing out on being a Heisman Trophy finalist in New York last season, and he was not pleased.
“Personally and professionally, I’m a little upset about the way it all transpired last year,” Briles said. “I certainly felt like he should have been in New York…Do [the numbers he accomplished] again this year and he’ll be in New York. Might win it.”
Petty also commented on his thoughts about his chance to win college football’s highest honor this season.
“I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t thinking about it,” Petty said. “It’s the highest award you can get. And I feel like as a team, we did enough for me to be in New York last year. At the same time, it’s out of my hands, so I’ve just got to do what I can to get there this year.”
Baylor receiver Antwan Goodley is not worried about Bryce missing out last season.
“He’s going to win the Heisman,” Goodley said. “In my opinion, I think he can and I think he’ll get it done. I’m going to do everything I can to help him win it too.”
Briles also talked extensively about the effect that the new McLane Stadium will have on Baylor football’s brand, and the entire university.
“Some eight-year-old girl or boy is going to be sitting in the back seat buckled up, hopefully,” Briles said. “They’ll look out the window to the right or left, depending on which way they’re going, they’re going to say, Momma or Grandmother, man, look at that place. That place is beautiful. Where is that? And she’s going to say, Baylor. And then for the rest of their lives, they’re going to associate Baylor with excellence.”
Orion Stewart started in Dixon’s absence at safety for a few games, but there are question marks at every other position. Briles gave a rundown of Baylor’s plan for those positions.
“At cornerback right now going in, Freaky T (Terrance Singleton) and X-Man from Houston (Xavien Howard),” Briles said. “We also have Burt and Orion Stewart coming back. At the Bear (nickelback) position, we’ve got Collin Brence, we’ve got Travon Blanchard. We’ll probably rotate around three to four corners and couple of Bears.”
Singleton was recruited as an athlete and is listed as a safety on the active roster. At 5-foot-11, 195-pounds, bigger than current cover safety Terrell Burt, he has the size and athleticism to play deep. Briles said at this point he has the players expected to play where they are on the depth chart, but left the door open for Singleton and Burt to flip heading forward.
Briles gave an update on defensive lineman Javonte Magee, who left the program before last season to deal with personal issues.
“Javonte Magee has been unbelievable since coming back in January,” Briles said. I’ve done more things wrong since then than he has. He’s been as polished a student-athlete you could ask for, and I think that’s a testament to him and where he’s headed. When you get a second chance, you take advantage, and he’s taken full advantage.”
Baylor begins fall camp on Aug. 5 in Waco. It will hold its annual “Meet the Bears” event on Saturday, Aug. 9 at the Allison Practice Facility, located inside the Highers Athletic Complex right off of University Parks.
NOTES: Oakman said he primarily worked on footwork this summer…Bryce Hager said he is 100% and participating in all drills…Texas Tech LB Sam Eguavoen said he’s looking forward to “shutting Baylor up,” that Tech let a win against Baylor “slip through the cracks;” Baylor won 63-34 against Tech…West Virginia P Nick O’Toole said Baylor was the most fun game he played last season; the Baylor Line interacted with him throughout the game… New Texas coach Charlie Strong praised the job Art Briles has done with Baylor…Art Briles told Jimbo Fisher to “stay out of Texas, worry about the ACC” after Fisher complained the Big 12 doesn’t have a title game…