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Thursday Daily Bears Report: The Golden Age

Funny how a slow news day gives way to a hot one. The breaking news banner is getting a workout after football picked up two recruits over the last two days, and several Baylor teams have won/are poised to win championships, both conference and national.

Colt Kelley

We'll get to yesterday's recruit in just a moment. First, let's recognize the Baylor Men's Tennis Team. They clinched a share of the Big 12 regular season title after a 5-2 smacking of No. 7 Texas. They'll return for the Big 12 Tournament on April 24 in Fort Worth, but for right now they need to focus on rearranging the trophy case to make room for the new hardware.

Coach Briles photographed supporting the tennis team minutes after getting the commitment call from Sam Tecklenburg. What a guy.

Speaking of Tecklenburg...

He's our newest commit. He wasn't on the radar for most of us. That's because his offer came yesterday afternoon. Rankings are  bit hectic right now since ESPN just released their updated top 300, but a Bearstruth commenter noted that Tecklenburg was rated at an 85 on 247, which is in mid-high 3* range. Sam is able to play defensive tackle, tight end, and a number of offensive line positions. Check out his highlights here! Tecklenburg appears to be a good kid who loves Baylor. In fact, he told his parents that he believed Baylor was the place to be just Tuesday night- less than 24 hours before his offer and almost immediate verbal commitment. Tecklenburg is a Tech legacy, and looks to be a gifted athlete that will benefit immeasurably from an offseason or two with Coach Kaz. He's the kind of recruit we like- passionate, somewhat overlooked, and eager to do whatever is best for the team. Tecklenburg is the eighth recruit in the 2015 class, which is filling up rapidly. Most predict that we're now done at WR and OL. I personally want a linebacker, a defensive end, and a solid corner before I'm satisfied with the class.

He's the kind of recruit I never noticed, but immediately liked once I researched him. PSA to the remaining blue chips in Texas: It's time to get on board, because I don't think any of you want to face the machine the Art Briles is going in the coming decade.

Et Cetera

Baseball Returns to Big 12 Play with Series at K-State. The Bears (17-19, 4-7 Big 12) and Wildcats (20-17, 2-7 Big 12) have games scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT Thursday on FOX College Sports, 6:30 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday on ESPNU. It would be nice to take a series on the road and build some semblance of momentum after downing Texas Southern earlier this week.

Four Men's Golfers Named Academic All-Big 12. Baylor's men's golf had four student-athletes named to the 2014 Academic All-Big 12 Golf Team, as announced Wednesday by the conference office. This means that they are smarter than the average club wielding bear/cow/rule-breaking pioneer/cowboy/yeah, you get where I'm going. Three members of the women's gold team were also presented Academic All-Big 12 honors.

Read all about the 2014 Michael Johnson Dr Pepper Classic, the last collegiate track event to be held at the aged Hart-Patterson Track Complex before the program moves to its new home across the Brazos in the shadow of McLane Stadium next season.

EQ Set for NCEA Championship; to Face UT Martin. Baylor will take on UT Martin in the opening round of the 2014 NCEA Championship Thursday at 9:20 a.m. By the time you read this report, the event may well be under way or completed. I'll find results and post them in the comments as soon as my classes allow. Best of luck to Coach White, the team, and those magnificent chestnut/black/white/painted beasts they ride on.

No. 14 SB Faces OSU on Road in Crucial Series. Baylor's softball team is 7-16 all-time when traveling to Oklahoma State, but the No. 14 Lady Bears will look to build on five wins in the last six meetings with OSU Thursday-Saturday on the road. After splitting a series loss to OU last weekend, a sweep or at least a series win over the Lady Pokes/Cowgirls would go a long way towards a Big 12 regular season championship.

Dawn of a Golden Age

Since its founding in 1845, Baylor has been an incredible institution of immeasurable cultural and intellectual significance to the State (formerly Republic) of Texas. Despite having religious foundations that many would write off as shackles, the university was on the cutting edge of social progress in the state for the first century of its existence and beyond. Its first female graduate received her degree in 1855 (I've been told she was the first woman to graduate from a co-educational institution west of the Mississippi, but the internet was no help in verifying this). It has produced five Texas governors, who are responsible for the chartering of Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

For one reason or another, all of us love Baylor. Many of us have sacrificed our time, money, and gasoline on her behalf. We may have our isolated qualms or quarrels with administrative decision making, but there is an underlying sense of pride that unites a small but strong alumni base and student body.

Today, students of the past, present, and future are witnessing the dreams of the founders come alive. A state-of-the-art business school is rising next to a world-class science building. A football stadium that can compete with any venue on the continent in terms of quality is rising across the river. Tens of thousands of students from all over the world are sending in applications so that they might have the opportunity to attend a little Baptist school in an overlooked city deep in the heart of Texas. The statue of Rufus Burleson in front of Old Main still gazes across the river; his dream of seeing campus extend to the far bank has been realized. Samuel Palmer Brooks' final words as Baylor president seem more relevant than ever:

"Because of what Baylor has meant to you in the past, because of what she will mean to you in the future, oh, my students, have a care for her. Build upon the foundations here the great school of which I have dreamed, so that she may touch and mold the lives of future generations and help to fit them for life here, and hereafter. To you the seniors of the past, of the present, of the future I entrust the care of Baylor University. To you I hand the torch. My love be unto you and my blessing be upon you."

Baylor University is experiencing a golden age. People like Art Briles, Ken Starr, Bryce Petty, you, and I hold the proverbial torch. Look on in awe, because it's a great day to be a Bear.