Baylor has released its depth chart for the game against Stephen F. Austin on Saturday:
Quick preamble: Matt Rhule is notoriously disdainful of depth charts because in his own words, “The depth chart changes everyday.” Thus, there is only so much one can glean from looking at these, as someone who is missing/not starting just might be hurt.
A few thoughts:
- The OL looks different than many preseason prognostications. We knew that last year’s starting Center, Sam Tecklenburg, was moving off the position and that Jake Fruhmorgen, that talented-but-injured-last-year transfer from Clemson, was taking over.
- But! We thought Tecklenburg was moving to RG to takeover for Blake Blackmar who graduated last year. This was assumed because last year’s starting LG, Xavier Newman, is a young, returning talent. Nevertheless, the coaches decided that to get the best 5 OL on the field, they needed to bench Newman and get redshirt freshman Prince Pines in at RG, moving Teck to LG.
- Pines was an interesting recruit, and one that the recruiting services quite clearly missed, rating him as a middling 3 star and the 48th best prospect in the state of Louisiana. But his offer list was pretty great (including the likes of TCU, Arkansas, Mississippi State, etc.). You’ve got to think that Pines finished with such a middling rank simply because LSU did not offer him. But Baylor loved him. Rhule stated on signing day that Pines came to a Baylor camp and George DeLeone said “We have to offer this guy,” which, according to Rhule, DeLeone has only said 2 or 3 times previously in his time with Rhule.
- As I noted a few weeks back, Baylor is loaded at WR. I’m really happy for now-starting WR R.J. Sneed, whom I noted in my preview was a sleeper to crack the rotation. Sneed has been featured in many of the Baylor Football Twitter Videos making tough, contested catches. When he first signed, my impression of Sneed is that he looked like a slower James Washington to me.
- Overall the group is loaded. I don’t really think there is much of a rhyme or a reason as to where each guy is listed and who is who’s backup. For instance, Marques Jones and Tyquan Thornton are not going to play similar roles in this offense.
- We see why Baylor has switched to basing out of the 3 man front this year: the DL group is not extremely deep. There are a lot of talented guys to be sure, but 2 out of the three spots are backed up by true freshmen.
The Back Eight
- The linebackers are the same as last year, led by seniors Clay Johnston and Blake Lynch. Lynch going from good to great could be the difference between a 6 and 8 win season for Baylor.
- The corners are solid but after the starting two very young. I’d guess that Kalon Barnes is injured since he is not listed.
- I’m pumped about the safeties. Once Christian Morgan comes back this will be a very formidable group.