The Baylor Football team is returning most of their talent after their rebuilding year under second-season head coach Dave Aranda. Although they’ve lost a few defensive stars like Grayland Arnold (intercepting specialist) and William Braldey-King to the 2021 NFL Draft and QB Charlie Brewer as a transfer to Utah, the Bears have the majority of their starting athletes coming back on both ends of the ball. In fact, 22 defensive players who had numerous snaps last year will contribute in the fall. Two of the Bears’ favorite players on defense—LBs Jalen Pitre and Terrel Bernard—just earned preseason honors as they were named to the preseason All-Big 12 team on Wednesday. Pitre has been a fan-favorite since he committed to Baylor in 2015 and stayed through the 2016 scandals and negative press as the lone commit in the 2017 class. Many Baylor fans referred to Pitre as the one who stayed despite all of the devastation and because of his dedication, he’s truly earned this preseason honor. The beloved S/LB especially came into his own last year as a full season starter as he recorded 60 tackles with 13 for a loss of 49 yards, 2.5 sacks for a loss of 21 yards, 2 interceptions, 4 passes deflected, and 1 forced fumble. Pitre also became the first Baylor player in school history to return two interceptions for touchdowns in one season. Bernard was a star in his own way as well when he unexpectedly had to take over for former LB Clay Johnston not even halfway through the 2019 season when the former tore his ACL mid-game. Bernard wasn’t very well known at the time, but he became one of the Bears’ best assets throughout the rest of the season. Bernard only played in 5 games during the 2020 season before a season-ending injury of his own, but he also made a huge impact on the game, amassing 55 tackles with 6.5 for a loss of 19 yards, 3.5 sacks for a loss of 15 yards, 1 interception, and 3 passes deflected. Both Pitre and Bernard deserve to be preseason All-Big 12 honorees and they’ll surely prove themselves even more in the fall!