Ok, so a few weeks ago, the Maryland SB Nation blog posted an extremely informative look at Maryland's scholarship situation by tracking their depth chart down through the years, all the way to 2017. I asked on twitter if people would like to see something similar for Baylor, and the response was very positive.
Then, on Thursday of last week, the wizards at GoodBullHunting posted their own version of a scholarship chart, as I was knee-deep in my own for the Bears. Their version, coded in HTML and beautified for the SB Nation editor, blows mine away. But I trudged on, doing my own in Excel, not knowing that I'd be unable to pull from the HTML there to put it here. More's the pity. Through the weekend, I tried as I could to make it work here, but it was not to be. So instead of posting the actual table, which I will still attempt to make available on Google Docs in some way, I have pictures! I hope they will suffice.
These are based on my best guesses about how things shake out. You may have seen other, similar charts that are more or less accurate than my own (I'm going to say probably more). If you have additional information on any of this that can help me clarify things a bit, please, let me know. I updated these charts this very morning based off the latest roster released by Baylor this weekend.
If you prefer to view the following images as a consolidated .pdf, click here: Depth/Scholarship Charts
As you can see, though my numbers may not be 100% accurate in every respect, Baylor is right up against the scholarship limits for the 2013 class.* That means you shouldn't expect to see a surprise JUCO transfer on the eve of the Wofford game come in and light things up.
I know what you're thinking-- we have a senior class of only 22 and are looking to take somewhere around 25 in the 2014 recruiting cycle. How will that work? Easily, in all likelihood. This past year, we had something like 4-5 players leave the program for various reasons that would have otherwise been on scholarship this year, including Luke Burleson, Donald Bryant, Shamycheal Chatman, and others. Numbers tend to work themselves out. Plus, if Lache Seastrunk has the year we think he might, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him make a tiny junior class even tinier. But be forewarned: we're taking a small class next year, almost without question.
- The next time someone says to you that Art Briles isn't doing enough to help the defense, show them these charts. Then punch them. Or punch them, then show them the charts. More than half our scholarships are allocated to defensive players, and the talent level is steadily rising.
- I'm a bit concerned about the RB position for next year since we could lose over 2,000 rushing yards after 2013. I have all the faith in the world in Rashodrick Linwood, Devin Chafin, and Johnny Jefferson to handle the load in what will be Bryce Petty's senior year, but that's still a tall task. Terence Williams could also get a chance to play early, especially since he's enrolling in January.
- We're going to lose quite a bit on defense this year, but I'm excited for the future on that side of the ball. We have tremendous talent waiting in the wings that should get a lot of playing time this year, even if they're not starting. Guys like Shawn Oakman, Jamal Palmer, and Samuel Ukwuachu (sitting out) will be the backbone of this defense next year, with Bryce Hager returning and players like Aiavion Edwards and Kendall Ehrlich looking primed for playing time in spots. If we cycle players like I expect we will, they'll be ready for prime time next season.
- Since we don't lose Petty this year, I'm less concerned about taking a QB in 2014 than I've been before, should things not work out. I'm not saying they won't, but we will have 3 scholarship QBs next year, regardless, and can be primed to take 2 in 2015. I'd still like to have another behind CJ just in case, it's just not as critical as I think people are assuming.
- Losing Cyril Richardson on the offensive line will be a tremendous blow, and it would be to any team. Bringing back both tackles next year, which we absolutely should do, will help offset that some. Desmine Hilliard will also return, and I could see Blake Muir getting significant playing time. He was a starter at Hawaii before transferring, after all.
- We should be stacked, though largely unproven, at WR this year with Tevin Reese leading the way. Jay Lee, Robbie Rhodes, Corey Coleman, Levi Norwood, Clay Fuller, they all have speed to burn and should get chances to shine. I really don't think they're going to redshirt Rhodes.
- I gave scholarships to a couple of walkons, including Zach Northern, based on things we've heard this offseason. Clay Fuller might also be on scholarship now, but he wouldn't really need to be since the Red Sox are paying for his education. If he was given one, it was as a reward for the work he's done. Expect a big year from him.