After one of the most miraculous transformations in college football history, the Baylor Bears (11-1) received numerous 2019 Big 12 honors (similar to that of last year’s selections) following the conclusion of regular season play. In only his third year as head coach and after overhauling the entirety of Baylor’s football team, Matt Rhule earned the Chuck Neinas Big 12 Coach of the Year. The Bears were originally picked to finish sixth in the Big 12, but Coach Rhule pushed the team past all preseason expectations as they’re currently No. 2 in the conference with an 11-1, 8-1 record. Baylor football is also closely following Rhule’s record at Temple where his regular season record was 2-10, 6-6, and 10-2. The 2019 Big 12 honors for Baylor were defense-heavy as the Bears had the best overall defense in the conference. Junior DT James Lynch was named Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year, joining former DT Andrew Billings (2015) as the only Baylor athletes awarded both accolades in the same season. Lynch was absolutely dominant on the field in the regular season, amassing 34 tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss of 74 yards, 10.5 sacks for a loss of 61 yards, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 12 QB hurries, 5 pass breakups, and 2 blocked kicks.
The 2019 Big 12 honors had Baylor senior WR Denzel Mims on the All-Big 12 First Team offense and Lynch and senior DT Bravvion Roy on defense. Mims recorded 61 catches for 945 yards and 11 TDs and Roy collected 51 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss of 40 yards, 4.5 sacks for a loss of 27 yards, 1 forced fumble, 7 QB hurries, and 1 blocked kick. The All-Big 12 Second Team had junior FB Koby Bullard and senior OL Sam Tecklenburg on offense and sophomore LB Terrel Bernard, senior LB Clay Johnston, junior CB Grayland Arnold, and senior CB Chris Miller on defense. Bernard earned a starting MLB spot after Johnston went down with a season-ending injury and he exceeded all expectations. Bernard recorded 95 tackles, 8 tackles for a loss of 41 yards, 4.5 sacks for a loss of 33 yards, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception returned 20 yards, 5 QB hurries, and 2 pass breakups while in the first six games, Johnston had 58 tackles, 8 tackles for a loss of 27 yards, 2.5 sacks for a loss of 13 yards, 1 interception returned 8 yards, 1 QB hurry, and 5 pass breakups. On punt returns, Arnold had 10 attempts returned 123 yards with 1 TD for 73 yards, while on defense, he recorded 37 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss of 5 yards, 1 sack for a loss of 3 yards, 6(!!) interceptions returned 118 yards with 5 of them in the last 5 games, and 2 pass breakups. Although Miller sat out of multiple halves due to 3 targeting penalties, he still notched 55 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss of 3 yards, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 pass breakup.
Baylor’s 2019 Big 12 honors closed with All-Big 12 Honorable Mentions for junior QB Charlie Brewer (224 of 342 passing attempts for 2935 yards with 20 TDs and 6 interceptions, 71 of 132 rushing attempts for 334 yards with 10 TDs), senior RB JaMycal Hasty (98 rushing attempts for 602 yards and 7 TDs, 21 catches for 169 yards), senior CB Jameson Houston (35 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception, 7 pass breakups), senior DE James Lockhart (26 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss of 29 yards, 4 sacks for a loss of 18 yards, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 6 QB hurries, 1 pass breakup), senior LB Blake Lynch (59 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss of 37 yards, 4.5 sacks for a loss of 29 yards, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 2 interceptions returned 35 yards, 3 QB hurries, 2 pass breakups, 1 blocked kick), junior OL Xavier Newman-Johnson, and sophomore WR Tyquan Thornton (39 catches for 682 yards and 4 TDs).