Last year the Baylor Football team was lucky enough to have two preseason All-Big 12 selections in former S Jalen Pitre and former LB Terrel Bernard (the former picked in the second round of the NFL Draft as 37th overall by the Houston Texans and the latter going to the Buffalo Bills at No. 89 in the third round!), this year’s Bears have five athletes named to the 2022 Preseason All-Big 12 team! Baylor is coming off of its most spectacular season where they secured a program-high 12 wins, recorded their first-ever Big 12 Championship title game victory, had first and only New Years 6 bowl win in the CFP era, and notched 5 wins over Top 25 opponents for their most top-25 wins in a season since at least 1974! With the Big 12 Conference announcing its 2022 Preseason All-Big 12 picks released yesterday, the Bears’ five honorees are the conference’s second-most coming in short to Kansas State’s six. The Big 12 media members chose three offensive players and two on defense for the Bears—seniors TE Ben Sims and OL Connor Galvin and Jacob Gall, junior DL Siaki Ika, and senior LB Dillon Doyle.
Over the past four years, Sims totaled 1 carry for 1 yard and 1 TD as well as 47 catches for 530 yards and 9 TDs—becoming one of the most consistent “secret” weapons for the Baylor offense no matter who was behind the C. Fifth-year senior Galvin was honored as the 2021 Big 12’s Offensive Lineman of the Year following his inspired performance as starting LT. Going back to C, Gall was a contender for the 2021 Big 12’s Offensive Newcomer of the Year in only his first season as a Bear (he was a transfer from Buffalo) and his sixth season playing. Galvin and Gall were two of the main reasons why Baylor’s OL was a top-10 corps in the country allowing only 18 sacks on the season (let it be known that Baylor’s OL was never a shining star until OL coach Eric Mateos arrived on scene).
Ika—a Baylor favorite—dealt blows to O-lines across the Big 12 despite being double-covered in every game. In his first year with the Bears (he was previously an LSU Tiger), Ika recorded 25 tackles with 6.5 for a loss of 36 yards, 4.5 sacks for a loss of 30 yards, 4 QB hurries, and 1 pass deflected, earning him the 2021 Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year title. Finishing out the five picks in the 2022 Preseason All-Big 12 team is Doyle who’s entering his third year as a Bear (previously spent one season with Iowa). In his two years at Baylor, Doyle has been used as a rusher, receiver, and defensive freak. He’s totaled 3 carries for 7 yards and 1 TD, 1 catch for 2 yards and 1 TD, 145 tackles with 11 for a loss of 30 yards, 2 sacks for a loss of 14 yards, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 2 QB hurries, and 2 passes deflected.
With so much talent returning on both sides of the ball (even with the loss of key defensive stars to the NFL and magical QB Gerry Bohanon to South Florida), the Bears have lots to be excited for in 2022!