LaQuan McGowan is one versatile behemoth.
McGowan, who came to Baylor as an offensive lineman, took the postseason college football world by storm last year when he caught a touchdown pass in BU’s Cotton Bowl loss to Michigan State as a 380-pound tight end. He caused a veritable social media eruption this spring when, now at a robust 410 pounds, he was moved to tight end, a position switch that’s not even remotely ceremonial in nature.
Fast-forward to this past week, and McGowan added another branch to his burgeoning legend tree: pitcher.
At the Texas Rangers game Friday night, McGowan was feted by the MLB club and given the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. And, while he’ll never be mistaken for Nolan Ryan, he did a respectable job, especially for a man who weighs north of 400 pounds.
Yeah, LaQuan that gives new meaning to the phrase “intimidating mound presence.”
This is indeed very real and could ultimately end up being utterly spectacular.
On Baylor’s post-spring depth chart, Laquan McGowan is listed, along with Tre’Von Armstead, as the co-starter at the tight end position. That normally wouldn’t merit a post, but…
Last season, McGowan was a 390-pound offensive lineman who set the college football world aflame with an 18-yard touchdown reception in the Cotton Bowl loss to Michigan State. This spring, McGowan, now officially listed at 410 pounds, was initially getting practice looks at tight end, but that’s morphed into something else entirely as the hulk of a receiver is not even listed as a lineman on the depth chart.
In other words, and at this point in time, there’s a fairly reasonable chance that we will get to witness a 410-pound starting tight end and there aren’t many things that get more awesome than that and God bless you Art Briles.
As for who would potentially be throwing a football to the mountain man with soft hands?
In late February, Briles stated that “[s]omebody is going to have to beat out Seth Russell for the” starting job. It appears that remains the case as Russell is listed as the starter on the depth chart, with sophomore Chris Johnson and freshman Jarrett Stidham sharing the backup title with an “OR.”
Baylor quarterback Seth Russell had a solid performance in a Friday night scrimmage in McLane Stadium. The expected successor to Bryce Petty threw for 345 yards and four touchdowns as the defending Big 12 champs played before 5,610 fans Friday night.
Baylor played through a 90-minute scrimmage. Baylor’s first and second team offensive units put together 600 yards and scored five times on 113 plays. Russell threw touchdown passes to three different receivers on plays of at least 54 yards. Corey Coleman scored on a 65-yard play, KD Cannon scored a 54-yard touchdown and Lynx Hawthorne broke a short play open for a 64-yard touchdown. Despite the big plays, Russell’s performance (18-for-27 with 345 yards, 4 TDs, 1 int.) was deemed “just OK” by Briles.
“He would probably tell you the same thing, but I thought Seth was just OK,” Briles said. “It’s good that he’s not where he’s going to be. We expect a whole lot, he expects a whole lot. But you still have to go through a whole lot to get where you want to get to, and he hasn’t been through a whole lot yet. I think he did an admirable job. It wouldn’t classify it as great, but it was productive with a lot of room for improvement.”
One of the highlights of the evening came from 410-pound tight end LaQuan McGowan. McGowan was the offensive lineman that scored a touchdown in the Cotton Bowl for Baylor against Michigan State. On Friday night, McGowan hauled in a 21-yard pass.
“He’s just a big kid that’s got some talent,” Briles said. “We’ve got to make sure he keeps burning hot and keeps figuring out ways to help our football team.”
Other individual highlights from Baylor’s scrimmage included Johnny Jefferson rushing for a team-high 113 yards and linebackers Kendall Ehrlich and Grant Campbell leading the defense with 12 tackles and Brance Nance recording four sacks for a loss of 22 yards. Highly rated freshman quarterback Jarrett Stidham saw some playing time, completing seven of 18 pass attempts for 52 yards.