Garmon Randolph and Al Walcott shined with their play against Iowa State on Saturday. These are two players who were probably relatively unknown to most Baylor fans thus far in their career, or at least not widely talked about. One of my favorite parts about keeping up with Baylor football is watching the younger players develop and eventually breakthrough as major contributors for the team. Unfortunately, for some players it never happens. But after Saturday it looks like Randolph and Walcott will not have to worry about that.
Walcott flashed on special teams towards the end of the year in 2020 and had a nice showing in the spring game. Other than that he really hasn’t had the opportunity to showcase his ability—part of that is because he plays behind a couple of talented and experienced seniors. But I think it’s going to be harder and harder to keep him off the field. Walcott showed his versatility against the Cyclones. The biggest play he made was getting his hand on a punt to help flip the field for the Bears, but I was more impressed with his physicality on defense. This is a defensive scheme that asks the cornerbacks to play close to the LOS from time to time. And you never know how a cornerback from will react when he has a running back barrelling towards him. Thankfully, Walcott proved capable—he recorded 6 tackles, including 1 TFL .
As for Garmon Randolph, I think Baylor fans were more relieved than anything else after witnessing his performance against Iowa State. This is a team that is desperate to find someone besides Jalen Pitre that can show signs of consistency at rushing the QB and being disruptive in the backfield. Randolph did just that on Saturday— recording 6 tackles, flushing Purdy from the pocket, and making plays behind the LOS. In addition, he had timely interception as well.
Having Randolph and Walcott become reliable defensive playmakers is huge for Baylor’s success this year. No team can go a full season without injuries or attrition and Baylor is no exception. Finally, I believe having inexperienced guys shine when they get the opportunity gives hope to the younger players who are mainly on the sidelines, and helps keep them motivated.