Before the start of Fall Camp last week, Baylor's football program posted an updated version of the 2012 roster that hadn't been changed since Spring Training ended this past March. That roster included new heights/weights for many players, nearly all of the incoming freshmen, and significant position changes for several players.
With the caveat that these things are always subject to change and there may be a little fudging on player measurements-- though Baylor has been proven by recent NFL Draft Combines to be one of the best schools in the country in terms of posting correct numbers-- there are a few things on the roster worthy of note. Hit the jump for my thoughts from looking over it and a few things I have heard/read.
UPDATE: This post was getting incredibly long, so I split it into two parts. Offense will be first up today.
First, the offensive line:
- As always, I'm going to start with the big uglies on the offensive line. From the post-spring depth chart and early practice reports, our starting offensive line goes, from LT->RT, Drango (RSFR), Richardson (JR), Wade (SR), Kaufhold (SR), Baker (SO). That we're going to replace two departing seniors and a junior that has been tied to the NFL already should tell you why we're recruiting JUCO interior OL so hard. If that line starts in almost 26 days against SMU, Baylor will field an OL with heights of (L-R) 6-6, 6-5, 6-4, 6-4, 6-6 and weights of 310, 335, 310, 310, and 300. That's an average size of 6-5, 313. Read that again. Now add Jordan Najvar (6-6, 260) and you have six beasts protecting Nick Florence and mauling defensive lines.
- This first point brings up a recurring theme from the rest of the roster. When he got here a year ago, Spencer Drango was already tall. He probably wasn't going to grow upward all that much after the age of 18. But he was tall and relatively skinny; his Rivals profile lists him at 6-6, 264. Drango gained over 40 pounds in 14 months at Baylor. Look at the difference between the picture on his Rivals profile and the one at BaylorBears.com. Like I said, we'll see this trend again in other places; Baylor's strength and conditioning staff are doing an incredible job. Hopefully we'll see the same kind of growth from freshman Trevon Armstead, who is listed at 6-6, 255 after being recruited at 270, and redshirt freshman Pat Colbert (6-5, 275).
- I am so glad to see that LaQuan McGowan is back, if only because he's an absolutely enormous human being at 6-7, 375 (look at him!). When I said Baylor might be fudging numbers a bit, this is one of the situations I mean. After missing most of the spring for personal reasons and only barely being back at it, I'd be surprised if he wasn't pushing 400. He obviously redshirted last season and won't see time this year unless something terrible happens. A project in every sense of the word, but the reward could be as immense as his frame.
- Kelvin Palmer (6-4, 290) is listed on the two-deep as Drango's backup at LT, but I'm curious if we might see a move across the line for him in his senior year (he's a junior this season) after both Johnsons graduate. People talk about him like he is the most athletic lineman on the team, and his size (or relative lack thereof) may be more conducive to play on the DL. I'm not saying it will happen, it just wouldn't surprise me.
- I've never heard of Drew Earnest (RSFR, 6-4, 275) before in my life.
- Ivory Wade is still listed as an "OG" even though he's clearly playing center. His backup, Stefan Huber (JR, 6-4, 295) is listed as a center. Cyril Richardson is listed as a tackle even though he moved to guard.
- The first thing I noticed here is that Kiante' Griffin is on the roster and listed as a WR, the position he played in HS. I thought there was a chance that he might play safety, but Briles gets what he wants. He's listed at 6-0, 200, so he's probably an outside receiver in our system. Good to see him there.
- I expected to see more striation between inside and outside receivers in terms of size than I actually did. Think Terrance Williams (6-2, 205) vs. Tevin Reese (5-10, 165). It may be that some of the younger guys have yet to be split into one position or the other, or it may be that some guys like Corey Coleman (5-10, 180) and Antwan Goodley (5-10, 220) were recruited to play both positions. Little tidbit on Goodley; he squats a legitimate 660 pounds. That's amazing. Word is that Goodley has absolutely incredible hands. Good luck pressing him at the line, opposing DBs.
- Corey Coleman got Kendall Wright's old #1 jersey. Those are big shoes to fill, but he's been planning to fill them since he first committed to Baylor.
- Tevin Reese is the smallest person on the roster in terms of weight at 165. Probably the fastest, too, unless a fellow track star like Kaleb Moore unseats him.
- Only four of them on the roster, two of whom are likely to play at any given time. If one of Najvar or Jerod Monk gets hurt, we could be in big trouble at this position. Monk's seniority and the lack of other options on the roster made this a huge point of emphasis in the 2012 class. We don't want to have a converted LB (Matt Richey) or a southern gentleman (Rhett Butler) as our primary backup to Najvar next year.
- Jerod Monk came to Baylor in the summer of 2009 as a 6-5, 230 pound QB that was never going to see the field there. He'll leave after this season as a very good 6-5, 275 pound TE. That's good player development.
- I don't know who Jeff LePak is, but he's listed at 6-6, 215 and a WR. Might he be a receiving TE in the making?
- I really hope this is the year that Glasco Martin puts it together. He has great size (6-1, 220) and speed. So far, his problem on the field has been holding on to the ball and off the field his work ethic. Does he want to be as good as he can be? I hope so. True freshman Devin Chafin (6-0, 210) has similar size but probably not the same talent or work ethic issues. He's probably being groomed for more of a fullback-type role in Baylor's offense. A power back.
- If the season started today, Jared Salubi would probably get the majority of the carries at RB. I'm not 100% comfortable with that, but I've never been sold on Salubi. I felt like he was always trying to get to the corner but didn't have the elite speed to pull it off. That was ok when Terrance Ganaway was killing defenses inside, but does it work when he's the go-to guy? I don't know. He's put on good size since he came to Baylor and the practice reports are good, so maybe I'm just being paranoid. I didn't see Ganaway's year coming, so I might not be the best judge.
- My worries about Salubi and status as an unabashed starswhore (recruiting stars, I mean) are what drive my hope Lache Seastrunk, the highest-rated RB recruit at Baylor since Chuck Reedy was here, can use his insane speed and ideal frame (5-10, 205) to become the RB he was meant to be. He's come a long way according to Briles' quotes about him, but there's still a lot of work to be done. I
- Really interested to see how they use BJ Allen, who is basically a Jared Salubi starter kit. He's got good speed-- there was talk during his recruitment that he might play corner-- but no real role yet. Maybe he works into the offense more next year as a sophomore.
- Finally, the most important position on the team and the one facing the biggest questions going into 2012. The depth chart is pretty well set; senior Nick Florence (6-1, 205) will start with sophomore Bryce Petty (6-3, 235) backing him up. Petty probably takes over the following year with Seth Russell (who will be a RSFR then like Petty was this past season) backing him up. Interestingly enough, if you're like me and always thought Petty looked huge, Russell is already as tall and could be as big (he's listed at 6-3, 200).
- The other two QBs on the roster are Andrew Frerking and Travis Wallis. I've never heard of Wallis before this moment. We're probably finding out about him together. If either of them play at any point, we're either blowing a team out mercilessly or something horrible happened.
- Those being the only QBs means someone that I predicted would move has done so. Who is it? 2012 recruit Terrence Singleton, who now #24 and listed as a DB. Whether the freshman will play corner or safety after what will certainly be a redshirt year in 2012, I have no idea. He's in the tweener size (5-11, 185) where he could go either way. As you'll see tomorrow, however, Phil Bennett absolutely has a "type" when it comes to corners.