The spring is over for the Baylor Bear football team. Fifteen practices, with 12 coming in full pads, culminating this weekend with the annual spring game. Held at McLane stadium, the exhibition was a chance for the Baylor program to celebrate everything they have done so far in preparation for the 2017 season.
While the game was pretty simplistic from a strategy vantage point (No QB hits or blitzing, limited offensive sets), and might have been more important for those around the program, we can take away quite a bit from the game, as well as the practices leading up to it.
JaMycal Hasty - RB: The loss of Terence Williams earlier in camp opened up quite a bit of opportunities for Hasty. With the Bears involving their running backs in the passing game more, Hasty was the star of the camp. Electric in open space, Hasty is the prototype playmaker for this offensive system.
Tony Nicholson- WR/PR/KR: Switching back and forth from the defensive backfield to wide receiver, Nicholson has always been electric with the ball. The starting punt returner in 2016, Nicholson finally switched over to inside receiver, and it looks like he found a permanent home. Able to impact the game with short catches and even by running the ball, Nicholson is exactly the type of inside receiver that fits this offensive scheme.
Mo Porter- Left Tackle: Porter, a former 4-star high school recruit, signed with Baylor twice in his career. Once out of high school and another after junior college. At 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds, Porter looks like an NFL tackle. He was the Bears most improved player this spring on offense, as named by the Bears coaching staff, and looks to be the leader of a revamped offensive line.
Bravvion Roy - Defensive Tackle: The Bears top recruit that stayed for the 2016 class, Roy was hampered with injuries throughout his true freshman season. Possibly the most powerful player on the team, Roy was healthy this spring and it showed.
Jameson Houston - Corner back: Houston turned in a very strong spring game, after being one of the standouts in camp this year for the second year in a row. The starter going into the fall last year, Houston struggled with confidence and lost his job. With a new mindset, and another year of experience, Houston is making a big claim to one of the corner back positions.
Brian Nance - Defensive End: Welcome back Brian Nance, who sat out the 2016 season due to academic issues, Nance is back and started the spring game at defensive end with Greg Roberts and Jamie Jacobs both held out. It is a three-way battle for the spot across from K.J. Smith, but Nance is putting himself in the lead right now with a strong spring.
Blake Lynch - WR: A case of injury, and possibly understanding of the offensive scheme, Lynch struggled early in the camp and was hurt late. Wearing #82 now, Lynch is the most proven returning receiver for the Bears. They need him to step up and lead this young and exciting group of players.
Verkedric Vaughns - Corner back: With the rise of Jameson Houston, Vaughns has the most to lose. Grayland Arnold, injured late in the spring, is the favorite to win one starting spot, while Houston appears to be leading for the other.
Clay Johnston - Linebacker: While Johnston had a solid spring, it seems he has fallen behind not only Lenoy Jones Jr. on the depth chart for an outside linebacker spot, the duo of Deonte Williams and Jordan Williams are challenging hard. A key role player last year, Johnston has the physical ability to be not only a starter, but a star.
Blake Blackmar - Guard/Center: The presumed started at center, Blackmar lost his job to Tanner Thrift, who has impressed in the middle of the offensive line. Blackmar is still battling for the starting guard spot with Ishmael Wilson and Tyrae Simmons.