Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Fresh faces: Baylor Bears
By David Ubben
Today begins a new look across the league at a couple players for each team who had low profiles last year, but you'd better get to know before 2012. They just may be household names by season's end.
Jordan Najvar, TE: Baylor's got lots of big-name talent at the skill positions, but Najvar gets no pub, despite landing on the league's preseason team at the tight end spot. The 6-foot-6, 260-pounder is a solid target, and caught 15 balls for 146 yards and two touchdowns. His old quarterback, Robert Griffin III, had a penchant for the deep ball and Najvar's not really going to stretch the field. New QB Nick Florence may be looking underneath a big more, and Najvar should reap some benefits.
Spencer Drango, LT: Drango didn't play in any games last year, but he broke out in spring camp to win the starting left tackle job and start making his impact as a high-profile recruit. What's his secret? How's this: He signed with Baylor as a 265-pound tackle, the nation's No. 14 prospect at the position. Today, he checks in at 310 pounds. That's quite the transformation. Baylor's better off for it.
Gary Mason Jr., DE: The Bears are missing most of their defensive line this year. Tackles Tracy Robertson and Nicolas Jean-Baptiste graduated and end Tevin Elliott is still suspended while the legal process surrounding a sexual assault charge plays out. Enter Mason. Baylor needs him to be big, and he may deliver in his third year as a starter. He made eight tackles for loss and had 2.5 sacks last season, but keep an eye on him in 2012.