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Baylor Football

Seven Bears Earn All-Big 12 Honorable Mention Honors for Football

November 29, 2023

IRVING, Texas – Seven Baylor football players received All-Big 12 Honorable Mention praise as the league’s 2023 awards were announced on Wednesday.

Junior wide receiver Monaray Baldwin, senior tight end Drake Dabney, senior defensive lineman TJ Franklin, senior defensive lineman Gabe Hall, freshman cornerback Caden Jenkins and senior linebacker Matt Jones each received votes at their position to earn All-Big 12 Honorable Mention status.

Additionally, Jenkins and freshman running back Dawson Pendergrass garnered votes for Defensive and Offensive Freshman of the Year, respectively.

A speedy wideout from nearby Killeen, Texas, Baldwin went for a career-high 623 yards (16th in Big 12) and caught four touchdowns in 2023. He led the team with 38 receptions and eclipsed 100 yards receiving in three games this season. No stranger to the big play, Baldwin made nine catches of at least 30 yards while his 16.39 yards per catch ranked 12th in the league and 60th nationally. Baldwin was also named to the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Honorable Mention list in Week 5 after an outstanding seven-catch, 150-yard performance at UCF that included his first touchdown of the year.

Dabney blossomed into one of the best tight ends in Baylor history in 2023, breaking the program record for single-season receiving yards at his position with 552. He led the squad with five touchdowns (11th in Big 12) and more than doubled his previous career best with 33 receptions on the year. Dabney twice went for 100 or more receiving yards, including a standout performance in the 2023 season lid-lifter against Texas State in which he snapped a 59-year drought by Baylor tight ends in reaching the 100-yard plateau. He topped his personal best in Week 11 at Kansas State with 105 yards and a 63-yard touchdown, the longest of his career. Dabney’s 16.73 yards per reception placed him one spot above Baldwin at 11th in the Big 12 and ranked 55th nationally in 2023.

A local product out of Temple, Texas, Franklin finished his 2023 campaign with 31 total tackles and a career-high nine tackles for loss. He recorded a team-leading 3.5 sacks after starting in each of the Bears’ 12 games. In Week 12 at TCU, Franklin totaled a career-high six tackles and matched his personal best with three solo stops. He began the year with TFLs in each of BU’s first three games and ended the season with another three-game streak of at least one TFL. Franklin led the BU defensive line in snaps played, led the team in QB pressures, and finished the year with a 70.0 defensive grade, per Pro Football Focus.

Hall remained a physical presence on the Bears’ front with starts in all 12 games and recorded 18 tackles on the year. He added 3.5 tackles for loss and had two sacks. The senior from Waller, Texas, was second to Franklin on the team in QB pressures this season and played one of his best games in Week 2 against Utah with a season-high five stops, 1.5 TFLs, and the second forced fumble of his career. In five seasons with the Bears, Hall made 77 total stops, had 16.5 tackles for loss, recorded 12.5 sacks and blocked two kicks.

A breakout freshman star defensive back, Jenkins burst onto the scene with 37 tackles in 2023 and added three interceptions, three pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. He recorded a personal-best seven tackles in Week 4 against Texas and caught the nation’s attention a week later with his first-career INT and a 72-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown at UCF. For his performance, Jenkins was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week and Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week. The product of Lewisville, Texas, was Baylor’s highest-graded defensive player in 2023 with a 77.5 rating, per Pro Football Focus.

Jones was one of BU’s most disruptive players on the defensive side of the ball in 2023, leading the team with 82 total tackles (16th in Big 12) and 11.5 tackles for loss (8th in Big 12), both of which were career highs. The native of Odessa, Texas, also produced a career-best three sacks. Jones eclipsed double-digits in tackles twice this year, in games against Utah and at TCU, and then matched a career-high in single-game TFLs with 3.5 in back-to-back weeks against Texas and at UCF.

A tough runner who refused to go down on first contact, Pendergrass led the Bears with five rushing touchdowns across 11 games in his first collegiate season. The rookie tailback totaled 338 yards on the ground on 79 carries and added another 199 yards receiving with a pair of TDs on 26 catches. An eye-popping 80% of his rushing yards came after contact, per Pro Football Focus. Pendergrass found the end zone in six different games and twice recorded multi-TD efforts, in games against Iowa State and at Kansas State. The product of Alba, Texas, went for a season-high 111 yards and a score in Week 3 against LIU.

This is the second career All-Big 12 honor for Baldwin, Hall and Jones, as each were named to the league’s Honorable Mention in 2022. Franklin also picks up his second career honor after being named an Honorable Mention pick in 2021.


Honorable Mention

  • Monaray Baldwin, Jr., WR
  • Drake Dabney, Sr., TE
  • TJ Franklin, Sr., DL
  • Gabe Hall, Sr., DL
  • Caden Jenkins, Fr., DB
  • Matt Jones, Sr., LB


Honorable Mention Individual Awards

Offensive Freshman of the Year

  • Dawson Pendergrass, Fr., RB

Defensive Freshman of the Year

  • Caden Jenkins, Fr., CB
Discussion from...

Seven Bears Earn All-Big 12 Honorable Mention Honors for Football

2,602 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by alanazxc
How long do you want to ignore this user?
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Nothing above honorable mention? Will be interesting in the draft concerning Baylor talent. We have come a long way down with Dave
How long do you want to ignore this user?
We are ask to pay premium prices for a very less than premium Football performance. Hey Sicem how about free year to premium? Might generate more interest. Also how do you guys think Texas Football will rate Baylor next season? I realize o.c., recruiting and portal remain. Based on past performance I am not expecting much. Already seeing back tracking on offensive scheme. Started with big changes. Now not so much. RVO was Dave's big favorite. This requires run blockers which he didn't produce. RVO was a disaster by any measurements.
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Will be interesting in the draft concerning Baylor talent. We have come a long way down with Dave
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