Two Baylor Football players previously on multiple watch lists are in the news again! Students, alumni, and fans are still being rewarded by witnessing an impressive off season coming off of their 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! The Bears made headlines when head coach Dave Aranda announced backup QB Blake Shapen would replace former starter Gerry Bohanon early into the spring (Bohanon almost immediately transferred to South Florida following the news) and have continued their news-worthy cycle with an ongoing collection of recruits committing to playing for Aranda and co. in the next couple of years. Shortly after five current Bears were named to the 2022 Preseason All-Big 12 Team (far more than last year’s two choices), two of the five—C Jacob Gall and TE Ben Sims earned Rimington and John Mackey watch list honors. Even more Bears were added to watch lists with DL Siaki Ika and LB Dillon Doyle making the Nagurski list while Ika, OL Connor Galvin, and Gall were named to the Outland one a few days later. Sims increased his watch list credentials by being named to the Wuerffel trophy list released by the All Sports Association. Ika and Galvin were named to the Chuck Bednarik and Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List by the Maxwell Football Club and Rotary Club of Houston, respectively. Shapen was named to the Earl Tyler Campbell Rose award watch list and the Baylor Football team in its entirety was ranked No. 10 in both the preseason coaches poll and the AP top 25! Coming in at No. 10 in the two most important preseason rankings (while we know preseason polls are entirely useless) is exciting for the Bears as they hope to continue their success this year. Ika earned another watch list honor for the Polynesian Player of the Year and he and Galvin were just named 2022 AP Preseason All-American Second Team selections. Galvin and Sims recently added another watch list honor in the form of the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl picks!
Galvin was one 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). Galvin’s watch list awards include the Outland, Bednarik, Lombardi, and now 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl along with the Second Team AP pick. 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. According to Baylor Athletics’ Jerry Hill (papa), “The Reese’s Senior Bowl is widely regarded as the preeminent college football all-star game and the first stage in the NFL Draft process. The longest continual-running all-star game has taken place in Mobile, Ala., the past 73 years. This past April, the game produced a record-tying 106 total draft picks for the second-straight year, representing 40 percent of the entire NFL Draft, including 45 of the top-100 players selected.”