Dave Aranda had a 30 minute press conference. The Bears open the season at 11:00 am on Saturday.
Baylor released a depth chart for the opener. Travis had a great breakdown here.
Here are some takeaways from Aranda’s press conference:
Xavier Newman is not on the depth chart. Aranda said, “We’ll get him back the next game; we’re looking forward to having X back for the next game.” When asked by John Werner of the Waco Tribune-Herald why he was out, Aranda said, “It’s an off the field issue with him.”
One major surprise is that Ashton Logan is starting over Will Bradley-King. Aranda didn’t go in-depth on that spot, but he said, “Ashton Logan brings a great physical IQ and toughness...his improvement as a pass rusher I give credit to coach Joey McGuire...his improvement as a pass rusher is very evident.”
Aranda praised Jalen Pitre. He should have a giant year.
Gavin Holmes, a man who has missed significant time the last two seasons with major injuries, also earned sustained praise. Aranda lauded “his heart. I think he’s inspirational. I think his care factor is very, very high. He’s a guy in the time since I’ve been here, not only is he going to get open, if it’s contested, he’s going to make that catch and go up and do it again...that kind of grit and toughness comes with facing adversity year-after-year, and he has it.”
Asked to explain John Lovett’s leadership, Aranda noted, “He doesn’t talk much; when he does, people listen. He’s got something to say...he’s a really, really hard worker.”
Despite all of us overreacting to the early depth chart, Aranda added, “Competition is always ongoing. You’re always looking to build competition and depth. As certain players emerge, it open up other avenues.”
With less than a week until the game, I’m super excited to see the Bears take the field. I should be in Waco for the Oklahoma State and Kansas State games.