Top 5 Camp Position Battles

With the Bears replacing 7 starters on defense, and a handful on offense, there are quite a few open positions on both sides of the ball. Which position battles look the most intriguing?

With the Bears replacing 7 starters on defense, and a handful on offense, there are quite a few open positions on both sides of the ball. Which position battles look the most intriguing? Here are five position battles that fans should keep an eye on.

Left Guard

The Contenders

Front-Runner

Challenger

Challenger

Challenger



Blake Muir
Junior
6-6, 300



LaQuan McGowan
Sophomore
6-7, 385



Jarell Broxton
Junior
6-5, 330



Blake Blackmar
Freshman
6-5, 325

Others to watch: Devonte Jones (FR), Sean Muir (rsFR), Jason Osei (SO), Josh Pelzel (FR)

This is the biggest question on the offensive side of the ball. Who will slot next to Spencer Drango at the left guard position. With the graduation of 3-year left guard Cyril Richardson, the Bears have a rather large hole to fill. Luckily for the Bears, they seem to have two very good options, including the largest Bear on the roster. LaQuan McGowan is currently receiving the bulk of the playing time with the First Team, while Blake Muir is backing him up and getting time with the 2s.

McGowan’s size and strength is truly special, but there are doubts about his ability to get to the 2nd level defenders and also, to simply play enough snaps. Muir on the other hand, has the agility, stamina and ability to play guard, but might be better suited for tackle.

Behind them are junior college transfer Jarrell Broxton and 4-star true freshman Blake Blackmar. Broxton was a highly touted junior college prospect last year, with offers from UCLA, Arizona State, Syracuse and Wisconsin among many more. He has prototypical size for the guard position and is an experienced option. Blackmar is an 18 year old man, who physically looks the part already. He might have the highest upside of any option here, but a redshirt year would probably help him develop and grow more.

Weak-side Linebacker

The Contenders

Front-Runner

Challenger

Challenger

Challenger



Aiavion Edwards
Sophomore
6-1, 225



Taylor Young
Sophomore
5-10, 225



Grant Campbell
Junior
6-1, 225



Raaquan Davis
Redshirt Freshman
6-2, 220

Others to watch: Xavier Phillips (rFR)

With two-year starter Eddie Lackey graduating, the Bears have an All-American sized hole at this spot. Currently, the starter is Aiavion Edwards, who backed up Bryce Hager at inside linebacker primarily last year, but did receive some playing time at the weak-side spot. Edwards is the most highly touted of the three, and has the best size/speed combination of the group.

Pushing him hard is redshirt freshman Taylor Young, an undersized linebacker from DeSoto, TX. Young is a pick your cliché type player. He is “just a football player” and “knows the game” and “Always is in the right place”. Through spring practice, those seem to be true. With good-enough speed, and an aggressive playing style, Young is one to watch.

The third primary candidate is Grant Campbell, a junior college transfer from California. Pretty much, the Bears went looking for another Eddie Lackey, and think they might have one in Campbell. An above-average athlete with better size than his predecessor, Campbell can play inside or outside. He is listed as the 2nd string middle linebacker right now, but with a strong fall-camp, could make a push to earn the spot next to Bryce Hager, instead of behind him.

Cornerback

The Contenders

Front-Runner

Front-Runner

Challenger

Challenger


Terrence Singleton
Sophomore
5-11, 195




Xavien Howard
Sophomore
6-2, 200
Not Ranked



Chris Sanders
Junior
6-0, 185



Ryan Reid
Sophomore
5-11, 190

Others to watch: Tion Wright (SO)Tuswani Copeland (SR), Jourdan Blake (FR), Verkedric Vaughns (FR), Chance Wax (FR)

With both spots wide open and at least 5-contenders pushing for playing time, this is the most widely contested position battle on campus. Currently, Singleton and Howard are receiving snaps with the first team, while Ryan Reid and Tion Wright head up the second team defense. Chris Sanders is out with a hamstring injury, after battling injuries for most of the spring as well. Wright has slid into his 2nd team spot. Terrence Singleton is one of the most athletic guys the Bears have, and after moving over from Safety last year, he seems to have a found a home at cornerback. Howard was the Bears 4th corner last year, behind three senior players.

The Bears also have a few freshman that are trying to make a dent in the 2-deep roster, with Jourdan Blake, Chance Waz (also seeing time at safety) and Verkedric Vaughns. All three could use a redshirt season to grow physically and learn the defense better, but each one of them could bring some needed depth to the position.

Defensive Tackle

The Contenders

Front-Runner

Front-Runner

Challenger

Challenger



Beau Blackshear
Junior
6-4, 300



Javonte Magee
Sophomore
6-5, 280



Byron Bonds
Sophomore
6-2, 280



Terell Brooks
Senior
6-4, 295

Others to watch: Trevor Clemons-Valdez (JR), Andrew Morris (FR), Ira Lewis (FR)

One of the two starters is pretty much locked up on the interior defensive line, with Andrew Billings more than likely winning the job at Nose Tackle. The defensive tackle spot has several very intriguing possibilities. Last year’s starter, Beau Blackshear, is back and after a solid season at that position with 12 starts, Blackshear is a known commodity for the Baylor staff. Pushing him though (and listed as a co-starter right now) is Javonte Magee, the former 4-star defensive end. After sitting out 2013 due to some personal issues, Magee is back and is slotted inside. The very talented sophomore has reportedly looked excellent during the offseason and hopes to earn the coaches and players trust back with a strong fall.

Behind those two is another player with several starts last year in Byron Bonds. The sophomore tackle started 7 games last year, and showed great chemistry late in the year next to Andrew Billings.

Backup Running Back

The Contenders

Front-Runner

Challenger

Challenger



Devin Chafin
Sophomore
6-0, 225



Johnny Jefferson
RS Freshman
5-10, 200



Terence Williams
Freshman
6-2, 225

Others to watch: None

With Shock Linwood pretty much the unquestioned starter at this point, the main question for the Baylor back-field is who will get the carries behind the talented sophomore. The Bears have a lot of young options to choose from. Right now, Devin Chafin is listed as a co-starter with Linwood, but most presume he is just the top “big-back”. Chafin displayed a good mix of power and speed last year as the backup for some games.

Behind the two sophomores are redshirt freshman Johnny Jefferson and true freshman Terence Williams. Jefferson is a future star at the position, with a great all-around game. He might be the fastest of any of the running backs on campus right now, and could help them very quickly this year. Williams is much more suited for the big-back power role that Glasco Martin popularized the last few years.


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