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Baylor Football

After a sit down with Ebner & Lovett, Aranda says duo will remain with team

October 26, 2020

On the Big 12 teleconfernece Monday morning, Baylor head coach Dave Aranda told the media that he expects senior running backs John Lovett and Trestan Ebner to play the remainder season at Baylor and are currently with the team. 

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“They’re both with us and we’re expecting them to play,” Aranda said.

With three total cancellations or postponments for the Bears during the COVID-19 era of college football, Aranda said emotions have played a role into frustrations. 

“I think it just speaks to in the time that we’re in. I think the guys are dealing with a lot off the field. As coaches, we’re here for our players and it’s the most important thing for me and our staff and I’m really proud of the relationships that we’ve built and worked on and we will continue to pour into our players and get to know them and get them with us even more.”

According to Aranda, the Baylor staff sat down and spoke with both backs on Sunday evening.

“We had good talks … I think we just had to just sit down with them and visit. They both love our team, they love their teammates, and we’re excited about our next opportunity here with TCU.”

The update by Aranda comes after a Sunday evening report by SicEm365 that both players were selecting to opt out of the remainder for the 2020 season. 

The two seniors have combined for 177 yards on 54 carries and two touchdown to go along with 15 receptions for 225 yards and two touchdowns on the season. Ebner added two kicks for touchdowns in Baylor’s season opener against Kansas. 

Lovett was Baylor’s leading rusher in each of his first three seasons. In his career he has rushed for 1,795 yards and 17 touchdowns. Ebner cumulated 844 yards on 164 carries with seven touchdowns and caught 83 passes for 1,047 yards and seven touchdowns over the same span.

Both players were part of Baylor’s 2017 recruiting class. 

After seeing spring drills canceled because of COVID-19, the Bears have had a revolving door on the offensive line with players in and out of the lineup for a variety of reasons. Most recently, Baylor was without starting junior left tackle Connor Galvin and starting senior center Xavier Newman against Texas.

The initial decision by the players to opt out came after three weeks of an emotional rollercoaster for Baylor, a period where the team saw a COVID-19 outbreak within the program that forced postponement of a game against Oklahoma State accompanied by a shut down team activities for nine days.

After that announcement—which followed the cancellation of games against Louisiana Tech and Houston—Baylor practiced just four times in a 21-day window leading up to a game against Texas on Saturday and continued to play at less than full strength on both offense and defense against the Longhorns. Players were tested daily for COVID-19 during that period. 

Newman also missed the season opener due to suspension while starting senior right guard Blake Burton and starting senior right tackle Blake Bedier also missed the game. 

Baylor now moves into preparations for TCU with what will be as close to a full strength of team as they have been all season. 

“I think we’re going to be about full strength as we’ve been going into this next game,” Aranda said. “We still have three tests to take, but our first coming off Sunday no one’s positive, everyone’s negative. We’re trending in the right direction.”

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