NCF Nation: Jeremy Williams
Total class: 25
ESPNU 150: 1
By position: WR 4, DE 3, OT 3, CB 3, LB 2, DT 2, QB 2, G 2, S 2, ATH 1, RB 1
By state: Texas 20, Oklahoma 2, California 1, Florida 1, Georgia 1
Already enrolled in school: 4
The big ones: S Ahmad Dixon: The nation’s No. 3 safety is the best defensive recruit ever attracted by Art Briles. CB Prince Kent: Prep school transfer is formerly No. 5 national cornerback before spending season at Hargrave Military Academy.
Sleeper: LB Bryce Hager: Son of former Texas LB Britt Hager turned down a chance to walk on for the Longhorns to accept a scholarship offer from the Bears.
Needs met: The Bears added five defensive linemen after losing starters Jason Lamb and Trey Bryant and having Phil Taylor and Earl Patin enter their senior season. They added five players, including Dixon and Kent, in the secondary where they lost starters Jordan Lake and Jeremy Williams. And they added quarterbacks Bryce Petty and Tyrell Jenkins despite having Robert Griffin apparently for three more seasons.
Analysis: This was the best talent haul in Art Briles’ coaching tenure and arguably the best in the Bears’ Big 12 history. A massive infusion of help in the secondary should enable the Bears to better stand up against the passing barrage in the Big 12. The Bears added some much-needed depth in the trenches. The most important factor in getting the Bears into Big 12 contention will be Robert Griffin’s health. Adding the bigger second version of Robert Griffin to the program as an offensive lineman should help that in the future.
What Art Briles said: “Last year’s recruiting class was kind of about the offensive line and the receivers. This year the strength of the class is definitely the defense. Top to bottom this is a class that really fills a lot of needs for us. We feel real good about the way that the numbers fell for us this year.
Scouts Inc. grade/rankings: C-plus, sixth in Big 12.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Baylor sophomore quarterback Robert Griffin passed for 310 yards and three touchdowns to highlight Baylor's 130-play scrimmage that culminated spring practice for the Bears.
Griffin played about half the scrimmage Thursday afternoon and also added a 1-yard TD run. He had a hand in four of Baylor's five touchdowns during the scrimmage.
Griffin connected with three different receivers on his scoring strike, starting with a 60-yard screen pass for a score to Jay Finley on the third play of the scrimmage for the first-teamers. Griffin also hooked with Justin Akers on a 35-yard TD pass and Brad Taylor on a 43-yard TD aerial.
Baylor coach Art Briles was pleased with his team's work, culminated his second season of spring practices.
"We weren't trying to set any records or create new opportunities for people," Briles said. "We are just trying to get in and get out and stay injury free with a little bit of production and I think we did that.
"We really feel good about the direction we are going and about how we are going to get there. What we have to do is turn it into reality on the field, but that is going to happen and we are very confident of that."
Senior backup quarterback Blake Szymanski passed for 113 yards by completing 17 of 29 passes.
Andrew Pierce produced a scrimmage-high 52 rushing yards, punctuating his efforts with a 48-yard TD run.
Baylor receivers accounted for 458 yards in receiving yards, led by Kendall Wright's five grabs for 68 yards. Wright participated in only the final two weeks of spring practice after spending most of spring practice as a member of Baylor basketball team.
Senior safety Jeremy Williams led the defense with eight tackles, while linebacker Rodney Chadwick produced six tackles and linebackers Earl Patin and Antonio Johnson notched five stops apiece. Cornerback Michael Williams produced the lone turnover of the scrimmage when he intercepted Griffin inside the 5 yard line.
Baylor will return for summer practice on Aug 5 and start practicing the following day. The Bears open their season Sept. 5 at Wake Forest.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
It's the quiet before the storm today, still two days away from the games this weekend.
After all the excitement of last week's opening games, I'm wondering why the Big 12 doesn't have at least one Thursday night game every week during the nonconference part of the season. It would be a great opportunity for the conference to build some awareness.
The bigger Big 12 schools traditionally have not wanted to move their games around. But it would seem that a school itching to build some national notoriety -- are you listening Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Kansas State? -- would like to jump into a programming slot where a lot of people would be watching their games.
Thursday night has emerged as the unofficial kickoff point of the week. And because of the glut of games on Saturdays, playing a game early gives a school a chance to stand out and build some national awareness. Look at what it's done for ACC and Big East schools.
But then again, considering the weak games across the conference this week, I could understand why the less national exposure might be better.
Here are some links to get you through the pregame hungries.
- The Houston Chronicle's Joseph Duarte describes the Big 12's Krispy Kreme diet of nonconference foes this week.
- Texas' heralded "Q Package" got off to a quiet start in its opening game.
- Brent Zwereneman of the San Antonio Express-News profiles Texas A&M QB-turned-WR Ryan Tannehill, who led the team in receiving yards in the Aggies' season opener against Arkansas State.
- Jimmy Burch's Big 12 notepad in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram talks about Texas Tech's early struggles, Sam Bradford's new sense as a leader and how Colt McCoy has eschewed drinking a Dr. Pepper for nine years.
- The Fort Worth Star Telegram's Brad Gray describes Texas WR Jordan Shipley's emergence as the Longhorns' deep threat.
- Oklahoma State's red-zone struggles appear to have returned this season after sputtering offensive performances near the goal line in the Cowboys' opener.
- Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News has a good story on the adversity that Texas Tech T Rylan Reed has overcome to reach the Red Raiders' starting lineup.
- The Omaha World-Herald has a strong video package to break down the Cornhuskers' upcoming game with San Jose State.
- The Oklahoman's John Helsley writes about the evolution of Matt Clapp into Oklahoma's fullback and also lists the school's top fullbacks in history.
- Baylor hopes to build on a paltry pass rush that notched only one sack last week -- a safety blitz by Jeremy Williams.
- The combination of high altitude and Colorado's no-huddle offense could be a nightmare for nonfamiliar opponents.
- Preparing for two potential Iowa State quarterbacks -- Austen Arnaud and Phillip Bates -- is much more difficult than preparing for one, according to Cyclone opponents.
- Former top 10 national recruit Michael Keck has left the Missouri program.
- Missouri has already sold a record number of more than 40,000 season tickets -- 5,000 more than the previous record.
- Overlooked WR recruit Dezmon Briscoe has blossomed after arriving at Kansas, producing three TDs in the Jayhawks season opener.
- Topeka Capital-Journal Kansas State beat writer Austin Meek consults the 8-ball to get some hot sports opinion about the Wildcats and Jayhawks.
- Don't expect much of a challenge for Missouri against Division I-AA Southeast Missouri State, which struggled to post a 35-28 victory over Division II Southwest Baptist last week -- a team that was 0-11 last season.
- Former standout Kansas State QB Jonathan Beasley returns to Manhattan as an assistant coach for Montana State.
- Iowa State must have better tackling if they hope to avenge last season's loss to Kent State on Saturday.