Baylor Bear Insiders
Even after defeats Terrell Bernharda first-team All-Big 12 pick drafted in the third round by the Buffalo Bills, Baylor’s depth at the three linebacker positions is “insane.”
“The competition was crazy,” said the fourth-year junior Will Williamswho played along
Next to middle linebacker Dillon Doylea fifth-year senior who has started 23 straight games have the Bears Matthew Jones and Garmon Randolph Returning with starting experience and additional LSU transfer josh white.
13 games last season. “We have Matt, we have Dillon, we have josh white out here to compete against. They all have football experience and are really great athletes. It’s all about knowledge and who knows and executes the playbook best.”
Jones made seven of his eight starts at the JACK position last season but has moved inside on the weak side that Bernard has made his own. Despite this, there is a deadlock at JACK with Randolph, Tony Anyanwu, Jackie Marshall, Victor Obi and Bryson Jackson.
“We’ve got a stacked JACK, I’m not even going to lie,” said Randolph, who had a sack and seven career tackles in the Sugar Bowl win over Ole Miss.
A similar picture can be seen in the two inside positions, where the red shirt newcomer Tyrone Brown pushes Doyle and White to middle linebacker and Jones and Williams to weak side. Talented newcomers are waiting in the starting blocks Jeremy Evans, Carmelo Jones and Kyler Jordan.
“I tell Dillon that maybe two or three times a day,” Jones said of this team, which has the best depth in linebacker. “Whenever we do exercises, I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, bro, we’re getting a big break.’ Last year we didn’t have that much of a break. Even out there when you get the group together it’s like the wide receivers group. It’s huge.
LOOKING UP . . . AND UP . . . AND UP: Randolph is a close and defensive end at Jefferson (Ga.) High School at 5’11, 247 pounds and possibly the tallest linebacker in college football.
“I’d like to believe it, probably I am,” he said.
When asked about the pros and cons of being a taller linebacker, Randolph said the downside may be at the pad level “because I’m taller than everyone else and I have to get lower than everyone else.”
“And then the benefits? Length. Length cannot be taught, it is a God-given thing.”
LSU PIPELINE: Although he was recruited by David Aranda to LSU, junior linebacker josh white never had the chance to play for Baylor’s third-year head coach.
“He’s the same guy who recruited me,” said White, who joined Baylor this summer. “He wants the best for me and I would do anything for him. I feel like he has a great track record of bringing linebackers into the (NFL) which is what drew me. I know what he can do and that’s why I trust him so much. I know what he can do with me.”
White, a former four-star Houston Cypress Creek recruit, played in 10 games for LSU as a true freshman in 2020 before sitting out last year with a labrum injury.
“I’ve attacked rehab and I feel like I came back even stronger,” he said. “Even in rehab I was studying the game in the training room all day, so I feel like I got back on my feet quickly.”
In addition to Aranda, Baylor’s staff with ties to LSU includes the offensive coordinator Jeff Grimesassistant coach Eric Mateos, Dennis Johnson, Ronnie Wheat and Caleb Collins; Quality Control Trainer Collin D’Angelo and Alec Osborn; Keava Boden-CormierAssociate AD for player staff; Jeff Grigushead of the football department; Blaine Gautier, deputy director of player staff; and Taylor HalseyHead of Recruitment on campus.
The LSU pipeline also includes junior nose tackle Siaki Ikawho was named Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year last season after spending two years at Baton Rouge.
PRACTICE PLAN: Before the first day of classes on Monday, Baylor will wrap up its second full week of fall camp with afternoon practice on Thursday and Friday and a scrimmage on Saturday morning at McLane Stadium.
As a reminder, all practices are closed to the public.
Baylor’s annual “Meet the Bears” event is scheduled for Saturday, August 27 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. where student athletes and coaches from most of the 19 intercollegiate sports will sign autographs in McLane Stadium’s Main Concourse.
Single game tickets for the 2022 season are now publicly available. Baylor will play the University of Albany in the first of six home games on September 3 at 6 p.m. at McLane Stadium.