Looks like this season is almost ready to ... kick off. YEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
The lunch hour is now upon us, and what better way do you have to spend it than by reading over the impressive Season Outlook posted on BaylorBears.com? It is an extremely detailed, comprehensive look at all aspects of Baylor's football team heading into the 2012 season with links to the roster, schedule, and, most importantly (to me, anyway), updated depth charts. You also get a rare look at the thought processes behind the choices on the two-deep at each position from both Head Coach Art Briles and the responsible position coaches.
The depth chart only has a few surprises from what we've seen in the past and been told to expect this fall, but I have a few comments that I've posted below the jump. Before you check them out, take a gander at the link above and get excited for the season opener that is now just 10 days away!
First, the offense:
- Cameron Kaufhold's time out because of his surgery has allowed Jake Jackson to take over a starting spot at RG. Despite the fact that he is a fifth-year senior, Jackson is probably the weakest link in an otherwise stout offensive line. The right side is set with Jackson and sophomore Troy Baker. There were no other changes on the offensive line from the post-spring depth chart or what we saw in the scrimmages.
- I'm slightly disappointed that Michigan transfer Darryl Stonum didn't take firm control of a starting spot in fall camp, but it was probably unreasonable to expect that he would with two seniors already established at the outside positions. Jay Lee took advantage of a strong camp to earn himself a second spot (along with Stonum) behind Lanear Sampson, and basically guarantee that he'll see playing time this fall. He's a very exciting player, as you can tell from Briles' quotes about him.
- Levi Norwood at IR is a bit of a mystery to me because nothing he about him just jumps off the page. He's a jack of all trades and master of none. The coaches have lauded his consistency both in practice and during games before, however, and it may be that aspect of his game that earned him the spot. He's a very good route runner and solid athletically, I just expected that incoming freshman Corey Coleman or the aforementioned Stonum would force them to make a move to keep someone else on the field. Both players are listed behind Tevin Reese, not Norwood, which may indicate there is something different between the two IR positions that isn't readily apparent. We'll see about that position as the season goes on.
- I need to get over not liking Jarred Salubi because he's the starter. Neither Glasco Martin nor Lache Seastrunk was able to push him out of the spot he earned in the spring and it looks like we'll go into the season with Salubi getting the majority of the carries at RB. I hope he performs like it sounds Briles and Montgomery expect. We should expect, probably, to see quite a bit of rotation considering the situation and package used.
- Redshirt freshman Trevor Clemens-Valdez is your starter at NG opposite Nick Johnson, ladies and gents, though it is probably a function of Kaeron Johnson's injury limiting his time in fall camp than anything else. Briles makes it sound like we will see a healthy rotation on the inside -- something Phil Bennett has been known for in previous stops-- with the two Johnsons, Valdez, and fellow RSFR Beau Blackshear getting the vast majority of the playing time. I've heard that our elder Englishmen, Jason Osei, is in no shape to play in the Big 12 at this point. I doubt there are any plans to redshirt him.
- The cat is out of the bag on former Gonzaga PG Demitri Goodson. He's listed as a co-starter at CB with incumbent Joe Williams, the presumptive starter coming into fall camp. Goodson, according to reports, was one of the most impressive players on the field and is also listed as one of the primary kick returners. His speed is by far his best asset.
- True freshman and 5* recruit Javonte Magee is officially on the two-deep roster at DE behind Terrance Lloyd. Aside from MLB Bryce Hager, Magee is by far the player I'm most excited to see. I'd also expect for him to get the majority of time in the modified 3-4 front Baylor may roll out due to his size. Freshmen defensive ends aren't supposed to be 6-4, 260 right out of the gate.
- Another true freshmen also made the two-deep at deep safety behind senior Sam Holl. Terrell Burt, long rumored to be one of Phil Bennett's favorite recruits in the 2012 class, is one of only three true freshmen on the entire two-deep roster. The reports from fall camp about his performance were extremely positive. Junior Chance Casey is the backup at the other safety spot behind Mike Hicks, encouraging news as he tries to come back off a major injury last season.
- Finally, the primary kick returners are going to be Antwan Goodley, who I expected to see there, and Demitri Goodson, who I didn't. Stonum and WR-turned-CB Darius Jones are the backups. Levi Norwood looks to be getting the initial punt returning duties after handling the job quite a bit last season in relief of Kendall Wright.