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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Baylor
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  01/01/22 - Terrel BernardrSr/2022, Baylor, 6-1, 222 (DS#9 OLB) + More +

  A Sugar Bowl showdown against Mississippi and coach Lane Kiffin's explosive, Southeastern Conference-leading offense provided a high-profile platform for Baylor to validate its old-school formula of ball control and aggressive defense. Al Walcott set a Sugar Bowl record with a 96-yard interception return, Monaray Baldwin raced 48 yards for the go-ahead score on an end around, and sixth-ranked Baylor beat No. 8 Mississippi 21-7 Saturday night as injured Rebels quarterback Matt Corral watched from the sideline on crutches.

Abram Smith rushed for 172 yards to finish with a single-season record 1,601 for Big 12 champion Baylor (12-2), which won 12 games in a season for the first time. The defense did the rest, finishing with 10 sacks - two by game MVP Terrel Bernard - and three interceptions. "I would not put it as necessarily as a point to prove," Baylor coach Dave Aranda said when summing up the significance of the victory. "I would say it as more of an identity to show...Just to take the stage and to take the lights and the crowd and all of that and to, like, be us - all the way, man. "You want other people to see it," Aranda continued. "I'm appreciative that we had the opportunity, and we took advantage of it." - Baylor/AP College Football


(DS#9 OLB) rSr/2022 OLB Terrel BernardBaylor
News Source: Baylor/AP College Football
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  12/19/21 - Jaxon PlayerrSr/2023, Baylor, 6-0, 294 (DS#999 DT) + More +

  2021 ALL-AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM (COACHES): DL Jaxon Player, Tulsa,...Player, a first-team selection in 2020, has tallied 45 tackles, a team-best 13.5 TFL for -37 yards and added four sacks for -20 yards while leading a Tulsa defense that ranked fifth in The American for total defense, allowing 380.3 yards per game. His 13.5 TFL is ranked third in The American. Player also totaled six QB hurries, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one pass break-up. The 6'0" defensive tackle from Waco, Texas, has 123 career total tackles, 29 TFL for -70 yards and 6.5 sacks in his career. - Tulsa Football

(DS#999 DT) rSr/2023 DT Jaxon PlayerBaylor
News Source: Tulsa Football
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  12/09/21 - Jalen PitrerSr/2022, Baylor, 6-0, 197 (DS#1 SS) + More +

  2021 PAYCOM JIM THORPE AWARD FINALIST: Jalen Pitre, Baylor,...Pitre led the league with 17.5 tackles for loss as part of his 70 total tackles on the year. He also added three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions and seven pass breakups. A Jim Thorpe Award finalist, Pitre is the nation's only player to record at least three fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and two interceptions in 2021. - Baylor Football

(DS#1 SS) rSr/2022 SS Jalen PitreBaylor
News Source: Baylor Football
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  12/04/21 - Blake ShapenrSo/2025, Baylor, 6-0, 192 (DS#999 QB) + More +

  Dezmon Jackson came up inches short on a desperate, fourth-down dive with 24 seconds and fifth-ranked Oklahoma State fell to ninth-ranked Baylor 21-16 in the Big 12 championship game Saturday, knocking the Cowboys out of contention for a playoff spot. Blake Shapen threw three TDs while completing his first 17 passes as Baylor (11-2, College Football Playoff No. 9) took a 21-3 lead. The Cowboys (11-2, CFP No. 5) rallied back, then went 89 yards on 17 plays on their final drive. But their Big 12 and national championship hopes came up just short.

After having first-and-goal from 2 following a pass interference penalty, Jackson gained a yard and was held for no gain before an incomplete pass by Spencer Sanders. On fourth down from the 1, Jackson tried to sweep wide left, but with Jairon McVea in pursuit, he barely missed while trying to reach the pylon in the front left corner of the end zone. There would need to be some chaos, in form of an upset or two in other conference title games later in the day, for third-time Big 12 champion Baylor to have a chance to be in the final four for the first time when the CFP rankings come out Sunday. Sanders threw four interceptions, one by McVea, and the Cowboys were without leading rusher Jaylen Warren because of his lingering ankle and shoulder issues. - Baylor/AP College Football


(DS#999 QB) rSo/2025 QB Blake ShapenBaylor
News Source: Baylor/AP College Football
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  12/02/21 - Jalen PitrerSr/2022, Baylor, 6-0, 197 (DS#1 SS) + More +

  2021 BIG 12 CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR (COACHES): Jalen Pitre, Baylor, DB, Sr.,...Pitre led the league with 15.5 tackles for loss as part of his 63 total tackles on the year. He also added three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions and five pass breakups. A Jim Thorpe Award finalist, Pitre is the nation's only player to record at least three fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and two interceptions in 2021. He joins James Lynch (2019) and Andrew Billings (2015) as the only Bears to be named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. - Baylor Football

(DS#1 SS) rSr/2022 SS Jalen PitreBaylor
News Source: Baylor Football
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  12/02/21 - Connor GalvinrSr/2023, Baylor, 6-6, 310 (DS#2 OT) + More +

  2021 BIG 12 CONFERENCE OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR (COACHES): Connor Galvin, Baylor, Sr.,...Galvin started all 12 games for the Bears at left tackle and led BU's O-Line unit that was named a Joe Moore Award Semifinalist. His performance has been crucial in revamping Baylor's ground game as the Bears have increased their rushing output by 152% from last season in averaging 227.4 yards per game, up from 90.3 yards per game in 2020. Galvin and BU led the conference and ranked ninth nationally with just 12 sacks allowed. He is the third Bear to collect Offensive Lineman of the Year recognition, joining Spencer Drango (2014, 2015) and Cyril Richardson (2012, 2013). - Baylor Football

(DS#2 OT) rSr/2023 OT Connor GalvinBaylor
News Source: Baylor Football
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  12/02/21 - Trestan EbnerrSr/2022, Baylor, 5-11, 215 (DS#34 RB) + More +

  2021 BIG 12 CONFERENCE SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR (COACHES): Trestan Ebner, Baylor, Sr.,...Ebner ranked fourth in the Big 12 in all-purpose yards per game with 133.8 and tallied 603 total return yards on the season. His 98-yard kick return for a touchdown against Iowa State earned him Special Teams Player of the Week honors. After garnering the 2020 Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year award, Ebner becomes the third player in conference history to earn consecutive Special Teams Player of the Year honors since the award was added in 2005. He is BU's second winner, joining Daniel Sepulveda (2006). - Baylor Football

(DS#34 RB) rSr/2022 RB Trestan EbnerBaylor
News Source: Baylor Football
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  12/02/21 - Siaki IkarJr/2024, Baylor, 6-3, 350 (DS#2 DT) + More +

  2021 BIG 12 CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR (COACHES): Siaki Ika, Baylor, DL, So.,...In his first season at Baylor, Ika has been a stalwart on the defensive front, recording 15 total tackles and 3.5 sacks. He has totaled four quarterback hurries, deflected one pass and constantly freed up holes for the BU defense. Ika is Baylor's first Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year award recipient. - Baylor Football

(DS#2 DT) rJr/2024 DT Siaki IkaBaylor
News Source: Baylor Football
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  11/27/21 - Abram SmithrSr/2022, Baylor, 5-11, 221 (DS#24 RB) + More +

  Blake Shapen threw for 254 yards and two touchdowns in his first start for ninth-ranked Baylor, and the Bears held on for a 27-24 win over Texas Tech on Saturday that kept alive their hopes of making the Big 12 championship game for the second time in three seasons. Abram Smith ran for 117 yards and a touchdown for the Bears (10-2, 7-2 Big 12, CFP No. 8), who had to wait for the outcome of Saturday night’s game between No. 7 Oklahoma State and No. 10 Oklahoma. The Cowboys were already locked into their first Big 12 title game, and a win over the Sooners in Bedlam would put Baylor in next Saturday’s game with them.

Shapen hit Trestan Ebner in stride down near the 25 for a 61-yard catch-and-run score on the game’s opening drive that put Baylor ahead to stay. Shapen had a decisive 9-yard TD pass to tight end Ben Sims with 7 minutes left to immediately respond to a Tech score. The Red Raiders (6-6, 3-6) still had one more chance after stopping Baylor on fourth down on its 12 with 1:18 and no timeouts left. They got in position for a 53-yard field goal attempt by Jonathan Garibay, who had plenty of leg but pushed the kick wide left on the final play. Garibay had a game-ending 62-yarder to beat Iowa State two week earlier. Donovan Smith threw for 243 yards and had two TD passes for the Red Raiders, who a week earlier had only 108 total yards in a 23-0 loss to Oklahoma State in their home finale. That was the first time Tech was shut out in a 303-game span since 1997. - Baylor/AP College Football


(DS#24 RB) rSr/2022 RB Abram SmithBaylor
News Source: Baylor/AP College Football
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  11/21/21 - Blake ShapenrSo/2025, Baylor, 6-0, 192 (DS#999 QB) + More +

  Baylor had played poorly on the road all season, and was locked in another tight tussle with red-hot Kansas State, when quarterback Gerry Bohanon grabbed his right hamstring heading out of bounds in the first half Saturday night. Nothing to worry about. Just call on a redshirt freshman who'd thrown three career passes. Blake Shapen completed 16 of 21 passes for 137 yards to steady the Bears on offense, and their defense smothered Kansas State, helping secure a 20-10 victory that kept their Big 12 title hopes alive. "Every situation Blake's been put in going back to the spring, fall, throughout our practices when he rotates through - he's risen to every occasion," Baylor coach Dave Aranda said. "There's some gunslinger in him. I think you saw that." Shapen got some help from Trestan Ebner, who ran for 86 yards and a touchdown, and Tyquan Thornton, who had five catches for 75 yards, as the Bears (9-2, 6-2 Big 12) won their fourth straight over Kansas State. "We knew this was going to be a really tough test coming into Manhattan, a big crowd, on the road, and obviously we've had some trouble in the past on the road," Baylor wide receiver Drew Estrada said. "All week we knew it would be a battle." That said, the Bears got plenty of gifts. The Wildcats (7-4, 4-4) muffed a punt that led to the game's first points, and Chris Tennant missed a 39-yard field goal that would have made it a one-possession game with 10 minutes to go. - Baylor/AP College Football

(DS#999 QB) rSo/2025 QB Blake ShapenBaylor
News Source: Baylor/AP College Football
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  11/15/21 - Terrel BernardrSr/2022, Baylor, 6-1, 222 (DS#9 OLB) + More +

  NOV 15 BIG 12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Terrel Bernard, BU, LB, Sr.,...Bernard led Baylor with nine tackles, including a pair of sacks in its 27-14 win over No. 8 Oklahoma, the Bears' first over the Sooners since 2014. He spearheaded a dominant defensive performance holding OU to just 14 points, 26 below their season average and their fewest points since December of 2014. With his two sacks, Bernard became the sixth player in program history with 14+ career sacks. - Big 12 Football

(DS#9 OLB) rSr/2022 OLB Terrel BernardBaylor
News Source: Big 12 Football
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  11/13/21 - Gerry BohanonrSr/2023, Baylor, 6-2, 221 (DS#6 QB) + More +

  Gerry Bohanon had a hard time finding the words to describe just how he felt after 18th-ranked Baylor ran over Oklahoma, ending the fourth-ranked Sooners' nation's-best 17-game winning streak. The hard-nosed quarterback does know what it means going forward for the resurgent Bears. "I know we'll keep going," Bohanon said. "I know that was just motivation for what we can do, and we can be as a team." Bohanon threw a touchdown pass and ran for two scores in the fourth quarter and Baylor's defense harassed both Oklahoma quarterbacks in a 27-14 win Saturday that kept the Bears in contention for a spot in the Big 12 championship game, a week after an unexpected loss at struggling TCU. "It's controlled confidence. You know, we put in the work and we expected results," said linebacker Terrel Bernard, who had nine tackles and two sacks for Baylor (8-2, 5-2 Big 12, CFP No. 13). "We didn't play up to our standard last week. And, we corrected some things on tape. We put in a great game plan and came out here and executed." The Sooners (9-1, 6-1, CFP No. 8) were held to 260 total yards, their fewest ever with coach Lincoln Riley in his five seasons as head coach and two seasons as offensive coordinator before that.

It was their fewest points in a regular-season game since a 48-14 home loss to Baylor in 2014, which came weeks before they ended that season with a 40-6 loss to Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Oklahoma lost in November under Riley for the first time. "Disappointing, no other way to put it," Riley said. "Still a whole lot left for this football team. That's the advantage of winning your first nine games, is you do set yourself up to be able to overcome something like this...We'll bounce back like we always do and like we fully expect to." - Baylor/AP College Football


(DS#6 QB) rSr/2023 QB Gerry BohanonBaylor
News Source: Baylor/AP College Football
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  10/30/21 - Abram SmithrSr/2022, Baylor, 5-11, 221 (DS#24 RB) + More +

  Baylor tight end Ben Sims had a 1-yard TD run in the fourth quarter before Abram Smith spun away for a 32-yard scamper to the end zone in a 31-24 win Saturday, when the 16th-ranked Bears became the third team in a row to overcome a double-digit deficit to beat Texas. The handoff to the sweeping Sims for a score with 12:48 left put the Bears (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) back ahead for the first time since the first quarter. Texas then had a failed fake punt attempt, setting up Smith's nifty run three plays later when he took a quick pitch left, reversed field after spinning away from a defender and ran all the way to the end zone.

Texas (4-4, 2-3) was coming off its open date, which followed consecutive losses to No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 15 Oklahoma State in which the Longhorns led by at least two touchdowns before halftime both times. Big 12 rushing leader Bijan Robinson was limited to 43 yards on 17 carries, well below his 132 yards a game average with a 2.5 yard-per-carry that was the lowest in his career. But he did put the Longhorns up 21-10 with his 1-yard TD run on fourth down early in the second half when he followed a pair of blocking nose tackles with a combined weight of 643 yards into the end zone. Smith finished with 113 yards on 20 carries. Gerry Bohanon threw for 222 yards with two interceptions, after only one pick the first six games, and had a 6-yard TD run in the third quarter. - Baylor/AP College Football


(DS#24 RB) rSr/2022 RB Abram SmithBaylor
News Source: Baylor/AP College Football
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  10/17/21 - Dillon DoylerSr/2023, Baylor, 6-2, 235 (DS#8 ILB) + More +

  Abram Smith and Dillon Doyle were quite a 1-2 running punch for Baylor, providing future Big 12 foe and 19th-ranked BYU a glimpse at what the Cougars could face in their new conference. Smith ran for 188 yards with three touchdowns, while linebacker and part-time fullback Doyle scored on both of his offensive touches in a 38-24 win Saturday. "Obviously not our best game," BYU coach Kilani Sitake said. "We just were out-physicaled today, so that was a difficult game to accept...Really got a good gut-check." Baylor (6-1) led by only three points midway through the third quarter before Doyle caught a 2-yard TD pass from Gerry Bohanon.

Smith ran for a 7-yard score about 3 1/2 minutes later to make it 31-14, after TJ Franklin's sack that forced a fumble by Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall. "This was a standard game...I think is a big thing for us, having it come from the inside, intrinsically being able to push yourself," second-year Bears coach Dave Aranda said. "That's a big step in the right direction." BYU (5-2) last month accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference starting in the 2023 season. The Cougars have lost back-to-back games for the first time since the end of 2019, after a 5-0 start that included three wins over Pac-12 teams and peaking at No. 10 in the AP Top 25. - Baylor/AP College Football


(DS#8 ILB) rSr/2023 ILB Dillon DoyleBaylor
News Source: Baylor/AP College Football
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  10/09/21 - Gerry BohanonrSr/2023, Baylor, 6-2, 221 (DS#6 QB) + More +

  Gerry Bohanon had career highs of 336 yards passing and four touchdowns, including a 75-yarder to Tyquan Thornton on the second play of the game, while also scoring on a 1-yard sneak in Baylor's 45-20 victory over West Virginia on Saturday. Thornton caught eight passes for a career-best 187 yards and two TDs as the Bears scored on four of their first five possessions a week after starting with eight consecutive punts in a 24-14 loss to Oklahoma State that knocked Baylor out of the Top 25 right after getting in. With the Bears (5-1, 3-1 Big 12) celebrating the 10th anniversary of Robert Griffin III's Heisman Trophy season by showing frequent highlights, Bohanon was 18 of 29 with no interceptions, giving the fourth-year junior 183 career attempts without a pick.

Jarret Doege was sacked six times, and the Mountaineers (2-4, 0-3) again couldn't get the Big 12's worst run game going. West Virginia, which had 90 mostly empty yards rushing, has lost its first three conference games for the second time since joining the league in 2012. Thornton caught Bohanon's first pass 7 yards from the line of scrimmage, split the defense and ran untouched on a play that was 3 yards shy of the longest of the senior's career. The Mountaineers needed just 1:38 to get even when Sean Ryan caught a 12-yard pass from Doege that was tipped by Baylor safety Christian Morgan. Doege was 24 of 37 for 272 yards with a touchdown and was replaced with the game out of reach by Garrett Greene, who had a 13-yard scoring run late. - Baylor/AP College Football


(DS#6 QB) rSr/2023 QB Gerry BohanonBaylor
News Source: Baylor/AP College Football
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