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Massive personnel changes reflected by potential first game depth chart

July 15, 2018
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When Matt Rhule's Baylor tenure started on Sept. 2, 2017, no one exactly knew how much things would change over the course of the season and the following calendar year in regards to the personnel on the field.

With Sept. 1, 2018 and Baylor's season opener against Abilene Christian approaching quickly, we take a look back on the starting line up the Bears presented against the Flames last fall and what could be the starting depth chart in seven weeks. 

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Quarterback

© Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports
Brewer controls the offense

Out: Anu Solomon

In: Charlie Brewer‍ 

Analysis: Solomon had his best game of the year for Baylor, but his career as a Bear was short. Brewer took over against West Virginia late in the season and never looked back. An improvement in the offense was seen against a heartier schedule.


Tight End

Out: Jordan Feuerbacher

In: Tyler Henderson‍ or Jamie Jacobs

Analysis: Feuerbacher didn't figure into the passing offense as many expected, but his blocking will be missed. Henderson is more a pass catching threat, but Jacobs brings physical blocking skills. The team will likely also need either Christoph Henle‍ or Ben Sims‍ to participate as well in 2018.


Inside Receiver

Out: Tony Nicholson

In: Jalen Hurd‍ 

Analysis: Nicholson is still on the roster, but Hurd has taken the position for the time being. When the set is four wide, Nicholson will work underneath and Hurd out wide. Hurd is billed as a once in a lifetime talent so he will see the field early and often.


Colt Barber
Malin is returning from injury

Left Tackle

Out: Josh Malin

In: Jake Fruhmorgen or Josh Malin‍ 

Analysis: Malin started due to the suspension of Maurice Porter. Malin was also 285 pounds dripping wet after moving from tight end. Fruhmorgen sat during his year after transfer and ran first team during the spring while Malin was out recovering from surgery. Porter was hampered all season and the improvement should be seen immediately upon the offense taking the field.


Left Guard

Out: Sam Tecklenburg

In: Xavier Newman‍, Johncarlo Valentin‍, or Patrick Lawrence

Analysis: Tecklenburg was pressed into starting at guard after injuries in the spring and fall. Sam stepped in at 286 to face defensive tackles with 50+ pounds and experience. In 2018 it could get interesting with the options on the team. Newman has gained adequate strength and weight, Valentin has the size needed. Lawrence could receive a battle from Fruhmorgen if Malin takes over at left tackle. Again, this is an improvement on paper everyone should see on the first run from scrimmage against Abilene Christian.


Center

Out: Ryan Miller

In: Sam Tecklenburg‍ 

Analysis: Miller started as a true freshman at 285 pounds and next to a LG at 285 and LT at 285. Even Liberty had the abiity to get push against this side of the line and others followed suit. Miller was injured and Tecklenburg took over at center early in 2017 and has bulked up to 305 now. Miller is also over 300 and ready to see the field when needed in 2018 and beyond.


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Jones looks to return from injury

Rush End

Out: Brian Nance

In: Xavier Jones‍ 

Analysis: Nance and Jones rotated at rush end prior to Jones breaking his leg against OU. Nance had the ability to cover the flat, while Jones appeared the better pass rusher.  Jones will need to improve his reads and remain healthy. Jones will need to show leadership as a senior on a roster void of upperclassmen.


Defensive Tackle

Out: K.J. Smith‍ 

In: Bravvion Roy‍, James Lynch‍, or Tyrone Hunt

Analysis: This was the final game Baylor fans saw K.J. Smith play as his career ended after being diagnosed with shin splints. Smith could be replaced by any of Roy, Lynch, and Hunt and range anywhere from 3-5 inches taller and 40-60 pounds heavier. Each presents a different option with Roy being a run stuffer, Lynch with his pass rushing abiliity, and Hunt does both well in flashes. 


Weakside Linebacker

Out: Taylor Young‍ 

In: Jordan Williams‍ or Terrel Bernard‍ 

Analysis: Williams and Bernard have huge shoes to fill on the field. It is doubtful either will replace Young in locker room presence. Williams played after Young and Bernard were injured and both bring bigger bodies to the position, but they will need to match Young's heart.


Cornerback

Todd Nickle
Arnold will start

Out: Jourdan Blake‍ 

In: Grayland Arnold‍, Harrison Hand‍, Raleigh Texada, Jameson Houston, or Derrick Thomas

Analysis: Blake started his first and only game in 2017 before leaving the program during the season. Hand started on the other side and it appears he could be starting again, but the competition is there. Arnold appears to be the front runner as he started upon returning from a broken arm. Texada, Thomas, and Houston can slide in and start without hesitation by the staff.


Free Safety

Out: Jairon McVea

In: Verkedric Vaughns‍ or Blake Lynch‍ 

Analysis: Decimated by injury and suspensions, Phil Snow turned to McVea to start the season opener. Throughout the year, Baylor safeties struggled to make plays when needed. Much is expected from senior Vaughns and junior Lynch in 2018 and having time in the system should show improvement.

Discussion from...

Massive personnel changes reflected by potential first game depth chart

8,014 Views | 7 Replies | Last: 3 yr ago by Grizz Air
chorne68
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This is good but incomplete. Many positions and players were missing.
Colt B.
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Staff
chorne68 said:

This is good but incomplete. Many positions and players were missing.
The update is based on the depth chart from the first game of the 2017 season and the changes that are set to take place. Not all positions and players are listed because not all are set to change.
Brian Ethridge
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Colt B. said:

chorne68 said:

This is good but incomplete. Many positions and players were missing.
The update is based on the depth chart from the first game of the 2017 season and the changes that are set to take place. Not all positions and players are listed because not all are set to change.


Correct, it was written from the look at the first game of the year until the start of Fall camp on 8/3.
BaylorRocks
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Can't wait for the season to begin, and the Bears to have their success. The haters and trolls we've had to endure on these free forums threads will be alive with the (back up) sounds of music.....beep beep beep

Sic'em CMR !
LondonBear
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Enlighten us how a 1 win team becomes bowl eligible in 2018?

So, if the Bears win 3 games in 2018 - you see that as "success"? Wow.

Russell Gym
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Great work, Brian. Thanks!
Grizz Air
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1. I figured Fruhmorgan would be a solid starter, most likely at LG. Was he not doing as well as expected in camp?

2. Ira Lewis???
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