At some point in time, every college football program begins to find its own identity. Recently, the Baylor Bears are starting to find there’s. When you step on the field with Art Briles and his sqaud, you know two things:
- It’s going to seem as if they forgot to tell their defense to make their way to the stadium for the game.
- They’ll make up for the first one by trotting out a quarterback onto the field that will absolutely obliterate yours.
Now all things considered, for Baylor to find their way to elite status they need to fix that first one. But that second one is starting to become a storyline in itself. Although it’s still early in the development, for a long time people are going to have their eyes on who the starting quarterback for the Baylor Bears will be and if that person can either top themselves from the year prior, or eclipse the man that came before them.
As announced just this week, junior Bryce Petty will be the man under center for the Baylor offense this season. So far in his career, Petty has spent a majority of time on the sidelines watching some incredible feats from his predecessors. As a freshman, he sat and watched Robert Griffin III make his magical run toward the Heisman Trophy. Last season, he watched Nick Florence not only prove people wrong who thought he couldn’t step into Griffin’s shoes, but shatter the school-record by slinging the pigskin for an earth-shattering 4,309 yards.
Without question, the pressure is certainly on Petty to keep the trend going, and he has all the tools to make that happen.
Having spent three years in this exciting Baylor offensive system is a great start. Learning not only from Art Briles and the coaching staff, but also those two greats before him is lifting a tremendous weight off the junior’s shoulders to begin his starting career. When they step on the field in two weeks against Wofford, the offense should be in a pretty steady rhythm, aside from shaking off the usual offseason rust.
Speaking of the offensive unit, Petty certainly has enough talent surrounding him to aid in the success, especially in the skill positions.
Behind him will be the self-proclaimed 2013 Heisman winner, running back Lache Seastrunk, and Glasco Martin. Both backs enjoyed success this year and are ready to wreak havoc on the defenses once again this season. Seastrunk is poised to have a breakout season and both backs are exceptional pass catchers out of the backfield. Wide receivers Tevin Reese and Corey Coleman will also contribute their fair share to the passing game as well. With Terrence Williams gone, both young men will have their opportunities to tear apart Big 12 secondaries along with Petty.
All of these factor in to success for Bryce Petty early and often as the Baylor head man on offense. What doesn’t help though is the fact that Baylor has to replace three starters along the offensive line. But, this is where Petty’s exceptional mobility comes in as well. At 6-3, Petty can stand tall in the pocket and pick apart a defense, while at the same time possessing the tools to get out of trouble and still make the accurate throws he needs to. While Florence wasn’t a downgrade from Griffin last season by any means, Petty brings more of that RGIII-like versatility to the table which should mask any offensive line issues that arise.
The stage is set for Bryce Petty to carry on this newborn tradition of successful Baylor QBs. If he’s as good as advertised, and as I’m advertising him to be, then his star running back might want to re-think his prediction on which piece of this Baylor offense could be heading to New York for a Heisman ceremony.
Jack is a College Football Columnist for Saturday Blitz. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackJ14CFB