Baylor Spring Practice Primer

The journey for a three-peat starts this week, as the Baylor Bears take the field to start their Spring Drills February 24th.

The Baylor Bears will begin the preparation for the defense of their back-to-back Big 12 titles this week, as their Spring Practice starts Tuesday, February 24th. The Bears will have 15 practices through April 2nd. The culmination of the practices will be the "Friday Night Lights" scrimmage on March 20th at McLane Stadium. The Bears will also have their annual Pro-Day on March 18th, were Baylor graduates and other potential NFL players will perform in front of NFL Scouts.

Baylor will hold all practices at the Highers Athletic Complex. Practices are closed to the general public, but fan inquiries can be made by calling 254-710-3058.

Names to Watch

The two-time defending champion Baylor Bears return 17 starters from the 2014 squad, with a total of 56 returning lettermen. There are four scholarship newcomers joining the team this spring. Junior college transfer Dominic Desouza from San Francisco, CA could provide immediate depth on the offensive line, though he has a redshirt year available still. Safety Blake Lynch was one of the top recruits in the State and brings championship experience from Gilmer High School. 2014 signee Devonte Jones took a greyshirt and will join the Bears this January. The former 3-star guard from Houston Bellaire High School will look to provide depth on the offensive line or redshirt this upcoming season. Finally, 5-star All-American Jarrett Stidham will compete for playing time and the starting position at quarterback.

Key Questions to Answer

  • Who will be the QB?

    With 2-year starter Bryce Petty off to the NFL, the Bears have one true question on the offensive side of the ball. Who will be the new signal caller for the Bears? Whoever it is, they will have a lot of support around them, with all 5 starting offensive linemen back, one of the Big 12's best running backs in Shock Linwood, and two star receivers in Corey Coleman and K.D. Cannon.

    The leader in the clubhouse appears to be junior to be Seth Russel, the primary backup to Petty the past two seasons. Russell has started one game in his career, throwing for over 1200 yards in his career over 15 appearances. A dual threat quarterback, Russell has the ability to hurt defenses with his arms or legs. He has accounted for 17 total touchdowns in his career, with 6 of those on the ground. Chris Johnson is a sophomore next year, and spent last season as the third string QB. He appeared in 4 games throwing for 45 yards and rushing for another 29. He is a former 4-star recruit with a big upside. He still has some development to do, but his size (6-5, 225 pounds),arm strength and athleticism make him an intriguing option for the Bears. Finally, Jarrett Stidham, a true freshman and one of the highest rated recruits in recent Baylor history is the third option. The High School All-American has it all in terms of what you are looking for in a quarterback.

    • Who will replace Bryce Hager?

      The Bears also lost their quarterback on the defensive side of the ball. Hager, a 3-year started and two-time All-Big 12 linebacker is the biggest loss on the defensive side of the ball. Taylor Young solidfied himself at one linebacker position, but he profiles better on the outside. Could former starter Aiavion Edwards move back over to the middle and finally put his outstanding athleticism to use? Will Grant Campbell continue his rise up the depth chart and get the starting spot in his senior season? Could a guy like Kendall Ehrlich or Raaquan Davis put it all together and shoot up the depth chart? There are a lot of options for this key position on the defense, but

      • Will the secondary improve from within?

        The weakest part of the Baylor team last year was its secondary. With 100% of the contributors coming back for another year, most are pointing to experience and internal improvement as the way the Bears take a step forward. Both Ryan Reid and Xavien Howard will be going into their junior years next year, and both are expected to start again at the corner back positions. Do not be surprised if little used Tion Wright gets more playing time, along with backup safety/corner Terrence Singleton and Chris Sanders. Both Blake Jourdan and Verkedric Vaughns redshirted last year, and could be looked at for playing time as well.

        The safety position is a bit clearer, with All-Big 12 safety Orion Stewart back and Terrell Burt returning for his senior year. Burt played very well two years ago, but struggled at times in coverage. If he can get back to the same level he played at two years ago, the safety position will be in great hands. However, Chanze Waz, Alfred Pullom and Taion Sells will also be pushing for playing time as well this spring.

        Injured Bears

        • Safety Orion Stewart - Shoulder (Out for Spring)

          • Corner Ryan Reid - Hernia (Might be back late in Spring)

            • Defensive End Shawn Oakman - Wrist (Out for Spring)

              • Defensive End Jamal Palmer - Knee (Out for Spring)

                Around the Big 12

                • Spring practice begins: Feb. 23
                • Spring game: March 20
                Iowa State
                • Spring practice begins: March 3
                • Spring game: April 11
                • Spring practice begins: March 24
                • Spring game: April 25
                Kansas State
                • Spring practice begins: April 1
                • Spring game: April 25 in Kansas City
                • Spring practice begins: March 7
                • Spring game: TBA
                Oklahoma State
                • Spring practice begins: March 9
                • Spring game: April 18
                • Spring practice begins: March 25
                • Spring game: April 18
                • Spring practice begins: Feb. 28
                • Spring game: April 10
                Texas Tech
                • Spring practice begins: Feb. 28
                • Spring game: March 28 in Midland, Texas
                West Virginia
                • Spring practice begins: March 15
                • Spring game: April 25

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