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Baylor Football

Through The Fire: Veterans Texada, Atkinson have persevered

September 2, 2020

Flashback to May 26, 2016 and all the walls appeared crumbling in the Baylor Football program. Coaches, administration and more were fired for the sexual assault scandal on campus.

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Players not knowing who the coach would be … 2016 signees asking to get out of their letters of intent … 2017 commitments jumping ship faster than Billy Zane in Titanic. Several signees stayed and some of those transferred, graduated or matriculated out of the program.

For the 2020 season, two remain: fifth-year seniors Raleigh Texada and Jared Atkinson. Each has seen hard times on campus and on the field, but both have graduated and are working on their Master’s degree while getting ready for their final season before giving the NFL a shot.

Raleigh Texada is a fifth-year senior for Baylor after signing in 2016.

Texada came to Baylor as a 5-foot-10, 165-pound corner and has grown to 188 pounds for his final season. He’s been second-team  and honorable mention All-Big 12 in 2018 and 2019, while meaning much more to his teammates. All of it was almost lost before the 2017 season, as he was diagnosed with an injury to his back which required surgery.

Some believed if the surgery did not go well, the former Frisco Centennial star would have to give up football. Following the surgery, Texada worked his way back into shape and onto the field for his last four games of his redshirt freshman season. Texada then fought his way into the starting lineup against current Minnesota Viking Harrision Hand and Philadelphia Eagle Grayland Arnold. The mountain was high, but Texada has climbed to the peak and is reaching for more. 

Jared Atkinson arrived with promise as a track star with size and the ability to play at the next level. Nagging injuries set him back early, but this was nothing compared to the news of his mother being diagnosed with cancer.

Atkinson put his playing career on hold to help tend to his mother during her treatment. His development fell behind other players and he became buried on the depth chart. He finally saw playing time in 2019 and is poised to see the field on a consistent basis in 2020 under the Larry Fedora offense.

Atkinson’s blend of speed, size and power should provide Charlie Brewer a sure-handed target—and tape to NFL scouts needing a player of his dedication and athleticism.

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Through The Fire: Veterans Texada, Atkinson have persevered

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