Spring football is underway for Baylor as another year under head coach Matt Rhule looks to see some more steps forward on the football field. This spring, however, the Bears are missing a few bodies due to injury-related issues. Among them is safety JT Woods, who is recovering from a broken collarbone.
The injury took place in spring practices and will not pose a risk to his status for the upcoming football season. Woods underwent surgery to address the injury earlier this week. Although the injury is nothing that will prevent Woods from seeing the field in the fall, he will be out of action for a bit in the immediate future.
“JT picked a pass off the other day, and the receiver tried to knock it away and landed on (Woods) shoulder and broke his collarbone,” Rhule told reporters on Thursday, according to Waco Tribune-Herald. “He had surgery this morning. Not a real major injury, it’s something he’ll come back from. I talked to the doctors and hopefully he’ll be able to come back and run pretty soon.”
Woods is a member of the Baylor track and field team, so the injury will be more costly to track team for now with the Texas Relays coming up shortly for the Bears.
As a freshman in 2018, Woods appeared in all 13 games and recorded 18 tackles with one sack and two pass breakups.
A lack of evidence in a sexual assault case involving a pair of Baylor football players means each will avoid being indicted by a grand jury in Texas. As a result, redshirt freshmen John Arthur and Tre’von Lewis will not go to trial and may soon be reinstated by the Baylor football program barring any unforeseen changes in the story.
Baylor conducted a Title IX investigation into an incident stemming from November 2017, in which two female Baylor students reported a sexual assault to campus police. Four suspects were named in the police report, although the identities of the names have been blacked out. The two victims were members of Baylor’s equestrian team. Upon review of the Title IX investigation’s findings, a grand jury determined there was insufficient evidence for the case to go to trial, according to a report by Paula Lavigne of ESPN.
Arthur and Lewis were among four players suspended by Baylor head coach Matt Rhule in March. Sophomore Eric Ogor was among the four players suspended (and later dismissed), but that was said to not be related to the Title IX investigation and instead was due to multiple violations of team rules. Redshirt freshman Justin Harris was the fourth player suspended by the team. Baylor has not changed the status of Arthur, Lewis, and Harris within the program at this time. Arthur and Lewis were the only two players previously reported to be associated with the Title IX investigation. Rhule mentioned in March that three of his football players were suspended by the team due to an ongoing university investigation process.
We will have to wait and see when Baylor will update the status of any of these players, but for now, it does appear they are legally in the clear for this incident.
New Baylor head coach Matt Rhule is absolutely loving being in charge of a football program that has its own stadium to call home. The look on Rhule’s face as he walked on to Baylor’s football turf and soaked it all in after years as the head coach of Temple and having to share space in an NFL venue said it all. It did not take long for Rhule and his staff in Waco to find a way to show off the stadium and the atmosphere either, as Baylor has been lighting the stadium Baylor green for recruiting visits since Rhule’s arrival.
It has become apparent that “Baylor Lit” is Rhule’s go-to catchphrase any time he receives positive recruiting news for the program, like a player committing to the university. Coaches are not allowed to directly and publicly comment on recruits before they are enrolled, so many coaches have taken to Twitter with a brief catchphrase to let their followers know something good just happened. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, for example, would say “Yessir!” on his Twitter account.
Because ideas are stolen all the time around college football, Houston appears to have been inspired by Baylor and is lighting their stadium red for similar purposes.
And because College Football Twitter will never let such a thing slide, the jokes have been running wild between fans of the schools.
There are some other schools I’d be curious to see duplicate this light show exhibition. Maybe Middle Tennessee could light the sky blue? Notre Dame could provide a golden shine to the sky. Syracuse plays in a dome, unfortunately, but an orange-lit sky would be cool to see. And of course, Hawaii could go with a full spectrum of the colors of the rainbow.
What I am trying to say is, lighting the sky in your team’s colors is cool and more schools should give it a try.
Helmet sticker to Reddit.
Oh, if you thought Matt Rhule was doing a good enough job of keeping his inherited roster together since making the move from Temple to Baylor, it gets better. He may be getting set to welcome a pretty significant graduate transfer quarterback; Anu Solomon from Arizona.
According to a report from 247 Sports, Solomon is expected to transfer to Baylor for the 2017 season. As a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play immediately this fall, and would likely be given a good chance to compete for the starting job in Waco.
It was previously suspected UNLV could be a potential landing spot for Solomon, who has seen his college career riddled with injury concerns during his otherwise entertaining run at Arizona, but that appears to have passed. What impact the hiring of Rhule had at Baylor is unknown and based entirely on speculation at this stage, but if Solomon can stay healthy then he should fit in well with Baylor’s offensive identity even under Rhule.
Solomon played in just five games in 2016 for Arizona due to an injury suffered in practice early in the season. As a redshirt freshman in 2014, Solomon passed for 3,793 yards and 28 touchdowns with nine interceptions. He followed that up with 2,655-yards and 20 touchdowns to just five interceptions in three fewer games the following season.
Solomon announced his intention to transfer to another program in 2017 last month.
Barring any more changes in the days to come, Matt Rhule has managed to succeed in one of his first jobs at Baylor. That task is keeping the roster together. Consider that one mission accomplished following the announcement by one player confirming he will not be transferring to a new program in 2017.
Cornerback Jordan Tolbert, who had previously thought to be considering a transfer out of Waco, announced via Twitter he will in fact be staying put right where he is. The return of Tolbert will help keep the Baylor secondary with some solid depth in the new season even if he does not make a push for a starting job.
With Tolbert planning to stay put, it would appear Rhule will keep his inherited roster in place with one notable exception. Wide receiver KD Cannon previously announced his declaration to enter the 2017 NFL Draft, leaving Baylor a year early. He is the only player from Baylor set to leave the program early as Rhule gets settled in with his new staff. Now, the more challenging job becomes scratching together a recruiting class with just weeks to go until National Signing Day. According to Rivals, Baylor’s Class of 2017 currently holds eight commitments, highlighted by four-star New Jersey defensive back Harrison Hand (the other seven commitments all come from Texas). Baylor’s recruiting class was decimated as the school was being rocked by a scandal that led to the dismissal of former head coach Art Briles.
Helmet sticker to Reddit.