As training camp concludes, Baylor’s football program looks to dethrone McCallie from its back-to-back reign atop the division. With a strong talent pool, comprised of a mix of proven commodities and fresh faces, this year seems to be about as good as any for Baylor to claim their second state title.
The first few games of the season could potentially be transitory ones for Baylor football, as two-year starting quarterback and Austin Peay commit Neyland Jean '21 graduated last year. Senior Cooper Wick '22 is the presumptive starter: strong-armed and accurate, he showed flashes of brilliance in his brief time relieving Jean last season. Highlights include a 45-yard touchdown lob in the closing stages of the Baylor-McCallie game last year. He’ll be bolstered by a mostly intact receiving corps, with a good mix of speedy slot-type receivers such as Jermiah Skipworth '22 and Evan Haynie '23 contrasted with tall, strong redzone threats Trey McDonald '22 and Carson Yates '22.
Filling the hole left by a transcendental running back in Elijah Howard '21 is crucial to Baylor’s success. Caleb Hampton '23 appears to be the starter— after a few moments of success in his freshman and sophomore year, he appears primed to have a breakout campaign as the feature back in an up-tempo offense seeking to balance the run with the pass.
The defensive side of the ball is similarly in transition— most crucial to the group’s success is a linebacking room that was ravaged by injuries last year. Seniors Kye Songer '22, Dacorian Jones-Montgomery '22, Trey Hamilton '22, and Watson Brown '22 will all see meaningful minutes, anchoring a defense with serious potential for success. One major loss from the graduating class will be Harvard commit Riley Jenne '21, a freakish athlete who saved multiple touchdowns from his free safety position.
Transfers could play into Massey’s plans for the season: Army commit Bridger Knee '22 fills a crucial gap in a relatively thin defensive line corps, and junior Tony Boggs '23 could see similar action. Hugues Picard '23, a Canadian transfer, could potentially win the starting quarterback job this year.
Baylor kicks off their season with a home tilt against Rabun Gap on Friday, August 20.