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Baylor Football

Lemear and Allen Talk Powledge, DBs and Experience

August 15, 2023
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Devin Lemear is Baylor’s lone returning defensive back starter heading into the 2023 season.

Last fall, as a redshirt freshman, the Manor native started all 13 games and recorded 57 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and four pass break-ups while also dealing with a shoulder injury down the stretch.

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Lemear is Baylor’s lone returning defensive back starter heading into the 2023 season.

He made enough of an impact to earn All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and even tallied some votes for Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year, but for Lemear, gaining experience was one of his key takeaways from 2022.

“[Getting experience] was really good,” Lemear said after yesterday’s post-practice availability. 

“Dealing with the ups and downs of the season, not just on the field but off the field as well, and learning to manage it all. It’s really easy to let outside things seep into the season, and you don’t want that to happen.”

With a well-documented disconnect in the locker room plaguing the Bears last year, head coach Dave Aranda made several important changes this offseason to steer his program back in the right direction.

First, Aranda brought back Matthew Powledge to coach the safeties and replace Ron Roberts as the defensive coordinator.

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Powledge returned to BU this offseason after a one-year stop in Oregon as a co-defensive coordinator on Dan Lanning’s staff.

“Coach Powledge is doing a great job finding ways to teach each and every individual,” sophomore safety Alfonzo Allen said after yesterday’s practice. “Coach Powledge can relate to us because he’s not an old-school coach. He brings a lot of juice, and we feed off of him. His energy helps us get through a lot.”

Second, despite defensive backs Lorando Johnson (Arkansas), Al Walcott (Arkansas) and Devin Neal (Louisville) leaving the program, Aranda used the transfer portal to his benefit and added cornerbacks Ajani Carter (Sr., Utah State) and Isaiah Dunson (So., Miami).

“[The secondary] is coming together really well,” Lemear said. “Every day we are learning, and obviously, we are super young. Every day we are getting better and better, and as long as we keep doing that, we are going to be really good.”

Despite the youth in the Bears' backend of the defense, one notable name to keep an eye on this fall is Corey Gordon Jr., a redshirt freshman safety out of Oklahoma City.

“[A playmaker] is exactly what Corey is,” Lemear said with a big smile. “He’s really twitchy. He gives us the ability to play different coverages … He’s good at blitzing. He’s really fast and allows us to match up as well.”

As for the rest of the young but talented defensive back room, Allen has confidence in the unity of the group as a whole.

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“The secondary is handling business,” Allen said. “We’re all playing together right now with one heartbeat.”

“The secondary is handling business,” Allen said. “We’re all playing together right now with one heartbeat.”

Last season as a true freshman, Allen saw time in all 13 games on special teams and as a backup safety.

While Allen isn’t currently slated to start this fall, his positive attitude and impact as a leader on and off the field will be felt regardless.

“If I’m a roleplayer, I’m going to be the best roleplayer I can be,” Allen said. “If I’m a starter, I’m going to be the best starter I can be. I’m just taking it one day at a time.”

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Lemear and Allen Talk Powledge, DBs and Experience

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