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In an open letter to the Baylor community regarding a recent Outside the Lines report detailing several cases of sexual assault, president Ken Starr said, "We have requested, and we expect, a frank and candid assessment that both addresses past practices and offers forward-looking recommendations [from an external investigation begun in the fall]."

The OTL report detailed multiple accusations of sexual assault levied against Baylor football players, particularly focusing on Tevin Elliott (played for Baylor from 2009-2012) and Sam Ukwuachu (2013-2015). Both players were found guilty on several charges of assault, with Elliott sentenced to 20 years in prison and Ukwuachu sentenced to 180 days in county jail and 10 years felony probation. Starr refused to address specific cases in his open letter, saying, "While Baylor can speak generally to policies, procedures and practices, we cannot speak to individual cases and remain within the confines of governing law." The governing law he's referring to is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, though two of the victims in question have signed FERPA release forms, waiving that right. Starr failed to address those cases.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 8 - 7:57 PM

Baylor signed four-star WR Tren'Davian Dickson.

Oklahoma was also in the mix here, but Dickson (a Navasota, Texas, native) opted to stay in-state. The 5-foot-11, 171-pounder posted monster numbers over the course of his career at Navasota High, catching 82 passes for 1,516 yards and 24 touchdowns. If you think that touchdown number is impressive, just you wait. As a junior, he hauled in a whopping 39 scoring passes--a national high school record for a single season. He also holds the Texas state record for most career touchdown catches with 76. Scout.com terms Dickson a "very natural pass-catcher and route-runner," one who "shows good body control, hands and concentration, out-jumping or just simply out-playmaking defensive backs, who sometimes are even in double coverage." They slot him as the 33rd best overall recruit for the cycle. He's not as high on the ESPN 300, where they peg him at 198.
Source: scout.com
Feb 8 - 3:33 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler tweeted Baylor CB Xavien Howard's tape surprised him, in a positive way.

"Sturdy athlete with quick feet, ball skills," was the quick evaluation Brugler gave of Howard, who was overall "impressive." The game that always sticks out to us is Howard's matchup against Kevin White during the 2014 season. White, a physical specimen, was matched in that category by Howard. There were plenty of contested catches and penalties, but that type of corner can be difficult to find.
Feb 8 - 11:15 AM

On The Audible podcast, Baylor HC Art Briles said that his reaction to the Outside the Lines report detailing alleged sexual assaults by several former football players was one of "sadness and sorrow because it's something you never want to be associated with."

The OTL report focused on five women who reported to the police in regards to sexual assaults committed by Tevin Elliott, who played for Baylor from 2009 to 2012. Elliott's currently serving 20 years in prison after being found guilty on two counts of sexual assault. Said Briles, " As those things come up, you deal with them to the best that you're capable of doing. Then, you try to educate and make awareness to it and hopefully, it never happens again." He also indicated that questions about the report were not voiced by recruits during the 2016 cycle, though the fact that it broke on January 31--on a Friday, just days before National Signing Day--could certainly have something to do with that.
Source: FOX Sports
Feb 7 - 2:45 PM

Baylor signed four-star T J.P. Urquidez.

For his standout work at Copperas Cove High School in 2015, Urquidez was named to the USA Today All-USA Texas Team. The 6-foot-6, 300-pounder said of that honor, "All-State is saying a lot. There are a lot of great linemen out there. It’s an elite group. We’re all Division I athletes and we’re all good players." He ranks No. 164 on the ESPN 300, with the outlet noting that he "[n]eeds to continue to develop, but has potential to contribute early if needed with the tools in the big picture to be a real strong starter at the Power-5 level."
Feb 6 - 3:36 PM

Former Baylor walk-on RB Silas Nacita signed with the Marburg Mercenaries in Germany.

Proving that American football does, apparently, exist outside of the United States, Nacita's taking his talents to Europe. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder posted his signing to Instagram and wrote, "It's obviously not the NFL, but this is the opportunity that is in front of me. I have always wanted to travel the world, but because of football I haven't been able to. Now, because of football, I'll have that chance." Nacita walked onto the Baylor team in 2014 and rushed for 191 yards and a trio of touchdowns that season, but was later ruled ineligible due to his receiving housing and food from family friends. When Nacita enrolled at Baylor in 2014, he did not have a place to live and his scholarship only covered tuition.
Feb 6 - 1:50 PM

When Big 12 athletic directors met in Irving, Texas, on Thursday, they made no progress on a potential championship game, conference expansion or a Big 12 network.

There appears to have been no progress on any front. This isn't a huge surprise, as conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby had previously indicated that it'll take some time to get the wheels rolling. There hasn't been substantive talk of expansion in some time, but a conference title game has already been approved by the NCAA and at least on that front, it's probably a matter of "when" rather than the matter of "if."
Feb 4 - 8:04 PM

Baylor signed four-star QB Zach Smith.

ESPN ranks him as the No. 224 recruit in the class. "Smith is an athletic quarterback who has a strong arm and ideal measurables," the site noted. "Does a good job of getting rid of the ball quickly on short passes and will sit back and go through his reads when plays need to develop longer. Willing to stand in the pocket and take a hit. When in trouble, he has the foot quickness to make plays with his feet." This pocket passer must "become more than a fastball thrower and develop some nuance as a passer," according to ESPN. He's going to get that developmental time behind Seth Russell and Jarrett Stidham.
Feb 3 - 7:43 PM

Baylor redshirt junior QB Seth Russell (neck) has not yet been cleared for contact or full workouts.

Three months after undergoing neck surgery, Russell has been cleared "to progress through weight workouts and to begin throwing and running," Baylor's training staff clarified. He's probably still 2-3 months from full contact, however. Russell fractured a vertebra in his neck in October. He's beaten his recovery timetable throughout the rehab process, so his summer availability is not in question.
Feb 2 - 2:08 PM

A Buffalo Bills scout attended Monday's Baylor basketball game, likely to evaluate PF Rico Gathers.

In March, NFL Media passed along word that Gathers was drawing NFL interest. The 6'8/275 lbs power forward was suspended over the summer on suspicion of shoplifting, but has averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds this season. Every team is obviously looking for the next basketball player to tight end convert. Picks are rarely spent on these types of players, and instead earn invites over the summer in the hopes of expediting their learning curve.
Feb 2 - 9:59 AM

Baylor redshirt junior QB Seth Russell (neck) announced that he has been cleared medically to return to the field.

Russell damaged cervical vertebra in an Oct. 24 win against Iowa State. His subsequent surgery called for a six month recovery timetable. He's a little over halfway through that timeline but appears to have defeated it. Russell and sophomore Jarrett Stidham will fight for the starting gig beginning in the spring.
Source: USA Today
Feb 1 - 3:26 PM

Baylor DE Shawn Oakman logged two sacks during Saturday's Reese's Senior Bowl.

Oakman managed to bring down NDSU QB/draft darling Carson Wentz twice in the first half of Saturday's contest. The 6-foot-7.4, 269-pounder needed that kind of day, too, because boy howdy, it wasn't a good week in practice. In recapping the week, CBS Sports' Rob Rang said that Oakman "may have a higher upside in professional wrestling or body building than football" and went on to write that a lack of awareness "negate[s] some of his undeniable power and athleticism." In a recent four-round mock draft, NFL Media's Chad Reuter had Oakman falling to the Browns at pick No. 96, the first pick of the fourth round.
Source: NFL.com
Jan 31 - 5:07 PM

An Outside the Lines report details several alleged incidents in which Baylor ignored claims of sexual assaults by football players.

To be clear, the NCAA is not currently investigating Baylor for these allegations. They're damning nonetheless. ESPN's report centers on Tevin Elliott and Sam Ukwuachu, both of whom were accused of sexual assaults when they played for the Bears (Elliott was with Baylor from 2009-2012 while Ukwuachu suited up from 2013-2015). OTL alleges that "school officials either failed to investigate, or adequately investigate, allegations of sexual violence. In many cases, officials did not provide support to those who reported assaults." Elliott was ultimately sentenced to 20 years in prison while Ukwuachu received 180 days in county jail and 10 years felony probation.
Source: ESPN.com
Jan 31 - 4:14 PM

NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks called Baylor WR Corey Coleman "an explosive touchdown maker with speed to burn."

"Despite his limited exposure to the route tree," Brooks wrote, "teams looking for "catch-and-run" specialists will covet his skills at a premium." The 5-foot-10, 190-pound wideout doesn't have the outward size you would expect from a No. 1 receiving option in the NFL, but as Rotoworld's Josh Norris noted earlier this month, "Coleman will win contested catches." This past season, he caught 74 passes for 1,363 yards and 20 touchdowns. Those numbers would have been even brighter had Baylor not suffered two catastrophic injuries at quarterback down the stretch.
Source: NFL.com
Jan 31 - 3:23 PM

ESPN's Gerry Hamilton notes that Texas has been attempting to pry four-star Baylor T commitment Patrick Hudson away before National Signing Day.

Hudson was actually initially committed to Texas A&M back in the summer of 2014, but he subsequently flipped to Baylor. Despite the long, long commitment, the Longhorns are still holding out hope that the 6-foot-5, 330-pounder out of Silsbee, Texas, might see their light. Recently, Hudson made an official visit to the university. HC Charlie Strong (plus staff) also visited the offensive lineman at his house on January 25. Despite all this noise, his most likely landing spot remains Baylor. It's possible that he moves inside, from tackle to guard, once he's found his college home.
Jan 31 - 2:44 PM


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