Can Kendal Briles handle the OC position?
Yes this was an actually question that was asked of me this week. I looked at that person with the "c'mon man" face. I just can't grasp why anyone would think he isn't ready. He has been around this offense forever, and specifically coaching in it for about 10 years now. Do I think that he shows his inexperience sometimes? Sure. But that doesn't mean he isn't ready. I'll admit, there were some head scratchers during the Oklahoma and TCU games. Why didn't they let Stidham lose against Oklahoma? If you play in a monsoon, and your running game is effective, why are throwing the ball, errr bowling ball, 35 yards down the field? These are all valid questions. I think Baylor fans have become too spoiled. Baylor is at the top of almost every statistical offensive category, and let us not forget, Briles lost his starting QB about a month ago. Baylor isn't going to score 50 on everyone, but it is ok to expect it. College football is a game of cycles. Unless you are Alabama, you are going to be up and down. It's just the way of the beast. I think Baylor fans need to be appreciative of what they have and understand that while the offense may struggle at times, more often than not, the offense is going to be rolling. I fully expect this to happen on Saturday, against Texas.
2016 Recruiting Wish List
Baylor received BIG news, literally and figuratively, when JUCO OG Branton Autry committed to the Bears, giving Baylor 18 commitments on the year and 9 on each side of the ball. Baylor isn't done though. I believe there are still about 2-3 spots on the defensive line, that the Bears should and will fill by the time signing day rolls around. With Jordan Elliott committing to Michigan over the weekend, I expect Baylor to evaluate some HS DT's and maybe extend an offer to someone who may be under the radar. Here are some names that are most likely to be Bears, and some that are maybes:
- Marcel Southall - DT, Duncanville (TX) HS - Southall was in Waco for the Bears game against Oklahoma. This kid has been quiet on the recruiting front, but the Bears have a shot here. I can't really tell how great that shot is, but the Bears need another DT and Southall is an athletic player with a high motor.
- Darius Anderson - DT, Houston (TX) Hightower HS - Anderson is an underrated player, who the Bears have kept an eye on. Anderson is a quick twitch guy who shows a great aggressiveness off the ball. He will be one to watch as Baylor continues to evaluate prospects to close the 2016 class with.
- Brandon Bowen - DE, Trophy Club (TX) Byron Nelson HS - Many believe that Baylor has been the long time favorite for Bowen. Bowen has a great motor and is aggressive off the ball. BearsIllustrated caught up with a source close to Bowen, and there may be another school in play.
- Levi Onwuzurike - DE, Allen (TX) HS - Onwuzurike took an OV to Baylor for the Oklahoma game and had a great time. Levi has been quiet during the recruiting period, but Baylor sits well with him. His recruitment may come down to signing day.
- Amani Bledsoe - DE, Lawrence (KS) HS - Bledsoe is new to the scene, but will be in Waco for an OV when the Bears play Texas. Baylor is likely on the outside here, and will have some room to make up, but getting a player on campus helps out a ton. We will keep our eyes out on this one.
You can keep track of all of Baylor's offers and prospects here on our 2016 Recruiting Board.
Could Seth Russell be ready by Spring practice
I think this is a great possibility. From all accounts he has been progressing ahead of schedule and will be removing his next brace after the new year, I believe. There were thoughts that he may not be able to return to football, but ESPN 1660's, Craig Smoak, shared this update via his twitter account yesterday:
I think the biggest question for Seth will be whether or not he gets overtaken by Jarrett Stidham in the Spring. Seth suffered a major injury, and it is in an area where you have to think that mentally he will have a ton to overcome. I'm not saying he can't and won't do it, but it took Robert Griffin III a full year before he was back to normal. It's an unfortunate part of the game. Still, I think its a great problem to have if you are Baylor. You have two QBs who are very capable of leading you to a National Championship. If Seth is able to go full speed, in spring drills, then Baylor will have a strong battle on their hands.
Tren'Davian Dickson Talks Baylor
We caught up with Baylor commit Tren'Davian Dickson recently. Dicksons HS team was eliminated from the players last week, after a hard fought game against Carthage. In that game, Dickson had 150+ yds receiving and reeled in 2 TDs. Dickson became the new record holder, in the state of Texas, in TD receptions this year, all the while becoming one of Texas high school footballs greatest players in its history.
BI: I know the season didn't end the way you and your teammates wanted to, but have you been able to step back and think about the career you've had? What does that success mean to you?
TD: Yeah I have. I've just looked at everything in a positive way, like I've had a great career at NHS and if you ask me, I'm the greatest WR to ever play high school football in the state of Texas. I worked hard for every bit of it and thats what makes everything so great about my career.
BI: Aside from wanting to be the best, what other inspirations have you had that helped you to where you are now?
TD: My family man. Just growing up in certain circumstances. You want to be the first one to make it out and give back to those that helped me. Also, just knowing some young kids look up to me. I have to set the right example and let them know if you work hard anything is possible.
BI: Everyone wants to know why the switch back to Baylor. After being committed to Texas, what was it that made you decide that ultimately Baylor was where you wanted to be?
TD: It's just the perfect place for me to be. They've treated me great since the day I met them. Thats my family. They are the coolest coaches I've ever met. Also, the belief they had in me from the beinning. They believed in me before anyone knew who I was. That played a big part in my final decision.
BI: Since you will be enrolling early to Baylor, what are some early expectations and ultimately what would you like to accomplish during your Baylor career?
TD: My plan is always to go in and bust my butt. Eventually I want to be known as the greatest Baylor Bear ever and the future is extremely bright. I definitely want to win the Big 12 Championship and a National Championship.
Ausbon ready to imrpove this offseason
Jhamon Ausbon has been committed to the Bears since this summer, when he and two others committed on the same day. We caught up with the talented 2017 WR to get his plans for the offseason, and to see how recruiting has been since his pledge to the Bears.
BI: Looking back on your season, how would you rate it and what were some things you feel like you excelled at?
JA: I would rate it as a 7 or 8. I definitely felt like I played better than last year. One of my goals for this year was to catch a majority of the 50/50 jump balls thrown my way and play strong, and I felt like I did that.
BI: Heading in to the offseason, what are some things you plan to work on? Do you plan to play any spring sports?
JA: This offseason, my big concentration is going to be on improving my speed. I really want to work on that big time.
As for other sports, I'm may run track again this year.
BI: How have things been since your commitment to Baylor, this summer? Any schools still making a push for you?
JA: I would say schools are making an even bigger push now. I'm hearing from A&M, OU, OSU, and Ole' Miss really hard.
BI: How does that attention affect your commitment to Baylor?
Click here to read more about those schools chasing Ausbon and what that means for his Baylor commitment.
BI: How is your relationship with the Baylor coaches? Things still going well there?
JA: It's great! We are really close!
Coming later this week, I will have my 5 keys to the Texas game plus prediction, and we will catch up with Kary Vincent Jr and Kameron Martin as the Bears close out the 2016 regular season against the Texas Longhorns.