Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

An In-depth look at the Baylor Football Spring Roster

With Spring camp over halfway done, what does the roster look like going into the Fall, and where could do the Bears still need help on the defensive side of the ball.

The Bears are in the midst of their first spring camp under new coach Matt Rhule. The Bears are installing a new defensive scheme under defensive coordinator Phil Snow. Let's breakdown each position as it stands in the preseason and predict what could change in the fall. Players in italics are non on scholarship, while bolded players are returning starters. 

Defensive Tackle

# Name Height Weight Class Exp.
97 Ira Lewis 6-3 300 Jr. 1L
91 Andrew Morris 6-1 285 Jr. 1L
95 Bravvion Roy 6-2 320 So. 1L
92 Michael Johnson 6-1 270 So. 1L
98 Will Jones 6-1 265 rsFR SQ
78 Cody George 6-2 275 So. SQ

While the Bears might lack numbers at the defensive tackle position, they return all key players from the 2016 rotation.  Ira Lewis and Bravvion Roy played the bulk of the snaps early in the season before injuries began to wear them down.  Andrew Morris and Michael Johnson received more playing time as the year went on.  

Signee James Lynch will join the program this summer, looking to make a quick impact on the depth chart.  In passing down, several of the defensive ends listed below will more than likely slid down to the tackle position to give the Bears more pass rushing on the inside.  

Defensive End

# Name Height Weight Class Exp.
15 Brian Nance 6-3 250 Sr. 2L
56 KJ Smith 6-2 260 Sr. 3L
43 Jamie Jacobs 6-5 255 Jr. 2L
52 Greg Roberts 6-6 260 Jr. 2L
94 Xavier Jones 6-3 245 Jr. 2L
90 Tyrone Hunt 6-5 275 So. 1L
55 James Lockhart 6-3 260 Jr. TR

The Bears deepest and most experienced position on defense might be defensive end, with returning starters KJ Smith and Greg Roberts leading the way.  Tyrone Hunt played quite a bit on the interior of the defensive line as well, with Xavier Jones and Jamie Jacobs playing quite a bit.  Former key reserve Brian Nance has returned to the program as well, giving the Bears 6 players with extensive experience. 

Junior James Lockhart will sit out the season after transferring from Texas A&M.  Baylor will also be welcoming in a large group of athletes in the fall with Justin Harris, Demarco Artis, Chidi Ogbonnaya, Cole Maxwell, and possibly BJ Thompson (who could play at TE) joining the program for the fall.  

Baylor will have a ton of potential waiting their turn behind a very experienced group. 1-2 of the freshman might be able to play next year, with Justin Harris being the most likely to contribute early.  

Linebacker

# Name Height Weight Class Exp.
11 Taylor Young 5-10 225 Sr. 3L
50 Thomas Cletcher 6-1 225 Jr. 1L
38 Jordan Williams 6-0 220 So. 1L
44 Clay Johnston 6-3 220 So. 1L
32 Lenoy Jones Jr. 6-1 225 So. 1L
40 Deonte Williams 6-2 230 rsFR. RS
33 Iain Hunter 6-0 205 Sr. 1L
59 Koby Bullard 6-1 225 So. SQ
58 Michael McNair 6-51 215 rsFR. RS
30 Chad Kelly 6-0 210 rsFR. RS
36 Allen Anderson 6-1 190 rsFR. RS

An All-Big 12 player the last two seasons, Taylor Young looks to rebound from injury issues his junior year to finish off a stellar four-year career for the Bears. He is the star, and leader of the defense. Young's spot if the only one that is secure, as several players battle to earn the other starting spots on each side of Young.

Willams, Johnston and Jones Jr. all played for the Bears in reserve roles in 2016, with Johnston and Williams stepping up later in the year. Newcomers Bryson Jackson and Terrel Bernard could also step into larger roles, though both could use a redshirt season to gain weight and strength. 

Nickleback

# Name Height Weight Class Exp.
48 Travon Blanchard 6-2 205 Sr. 3L
49 Eric Ogor 5-11 205 So. SQ
37 Tyler Jaynes 6-2 210 Sr. 2L
40 Jonathan Hockman 5-11 200 Jr. SQ

The biggest question mark for the Bears defense right now is Travon Blanchard, who is suspended indefinitely due to allegations of abusing his girlfriend.  With Baylor investigating, Blanchard is not allowed to be a part of the team.  Eric Ogor is the Bears only other scholarship player listed at the position, though Clay Johnston could also move here if he loses out on the outside linebacker position.  Safety Jalen Pitre is another name to watch here, as he gets more reps at the position this spring. 

Cornerback

# Name Height Weight Class Exp.
27 Verkedric Vaughns 5-10 195 Jr. 2L
11 Jameson Houston 6-2 200 So. 1L
31 Grayland Arnold 5-10 185 So. 1L
22 Jordan Tolbert 5-11 180 So. SQ
35 Ezekiel Brown 6-0 165 rsFr SQ

There is a reason the Bears took a large defensive back class, as depth at the cornerback position is limited.  Arnold, Vaughns, and Houston all started opposite of Ryan Reid last year, so two of those three are most likely to start.  Tolbert, who was considering transferring earlier in the spring, is back to provide depth. 

Signees Harrison Hand and Timarcus Davis will both be in camp this fall, and both could move up the depth chart quickly.  

Safety

# Name Height Weight Class Exp.
21 Davion Hall 6-2 205 Sr. 3L
26 Taion Sells 5-10 190 Sr. 3L
18 Chance Waz 6-0 185 Sr. 3L
23 Jourdan Blake 6-0 185 Jr. 2L
16 Chris Miller 6-0 185 So. 1L
28 Henry Black 6-0 200 So. 1L
25 Rajah Preciado 5-11 185 So. 1L
13 Raliegh Texada 5-10 165 rsFR RS
42 Jairon McVea 5-9 175 rsFR RS
29 Jarrod Koym 6-0 200 Jr. SQ
45 John Singeltary 6-0 195 rsFR RS

The Bears are loaded at safety position, with three seniors with starting experience.  Hall and Sells are most likely the starters, with Waz and Henry Black as key reserves.  Black is even getting reps at cornerback, mainly due to lack of depth at that position.  Miller and Blake have been depth options during their time, mainly playing special teams.  Texada was one of the rare redshirt freshman last year, and has a ton of upside.  He is a guy to watch in the future along with signees Trevon Lewis, Ashton Logan and Jalen Pitre (who could both move up to nickleback). 


Bears Illustrated Top Stories