2023 Preseason Honors for Baylor FB

2023 Preseason honors for Reese and Hall

The Baylor Football program—despite having an inconsistent 2022 season—touted 10 athletes earning 2023 preseason honors from both Athlon Sports and the Phil Steele Magazine! Led by sophomore RB Richard Reese and senior DL Gabe Hall who notched first-team awards from Athlon and Phil Steele, respectively, 8 fellow team members highlighted a large group of essential performers. Alongside Reese for 2023 preseason honors for Baylor, Athlon acknowledged redshirt senior LB Matt Jones (second-team), Hall (third-team), OL fifth-year senior Clark Barrington (third-team), redshirt sophomore S Devin Lemear (fourth-team), junior WR Monaray Baldwin (fourth-team), fifth-year senior DL TJ Franklin (fourth-team), and redshirt senior LB Garmon Randolph (fourth-team). Phil Steele honored fifth-year senior LB Mike Smith (second-team), OL Barrington (third-team), Lemear (third-team), and RB junior Dominic Richardson (third-team).

Last year, In his first year in the green and gold, Reese easily notched a program record for most rushing yards in a single season by a freshman with 190 carries for 962 yards and 14 TDs—downing former RB Shock Linwood’s record of 881 yards. Because of his incredible performance, the Football Writers Association of America honored Reese as a Freshman All-American. The Football Writers Association of America named only two RBs to their Freshman All-American team with Reese joined by Ole Miss’ Quinshon Judkins, who surpassed national athletes of the same position as the country’s leading rusher. According to Baylor Athletics’ Jerry Hill (papa), “Reese finished the year ranked second in the nation among freshmen in rushing TDs (14) and fifth in rushing yards (972). He led the Bears with 198 carries, averaging 4.9 yards per tote and 74.8 yards per game during his collegiate debut season. His 14 rushing TDs ranked tied for fourth in program single-season history and was the most for a Bear since Shock Linwood had 16 rushing scores in 2014.” Prior to earning the Football Writers Association of America accolade, Reese collected an array of in-season and postseason awards. During the season, Reese was touted as the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week twice—firstly after the Bears’ victory over Texas State during the third week of the season and secondly when Baylor dominated Texas Tech in conference play. He was named one of 14 semifinalists for the Maxwell Football Club’s Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year AwardBig 12 Offensive Freshman of the YearDave Campbell’s Texas Football Offensive Freshman of the Year, College Football News Freshman All-American, and Phil Steele All-Big 12 Third Team.

In 2022, Hall amassed 36 tackles with 5.5 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, 1 fumble returned for a TD, 4 QB hurries, 2 pass break ups, and 1 blocked kick. He was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week on October 31 following the Bears’ incredible victory over Texas Tech.