Reese Named Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year

Reese is freshman of the year
Photo credit: Jerome Miron – USA TODAY Sports

The Baylor Football didn’t have quite the season most expected after last year’s Big 12 Championship and Sugar Bowl victory, but there have been several sparks of excitement on both offense and defense with one of the biggest stars being freshman RB Richard Reese. After the departures of RBs Abram Smith and Tristan Ebner to the NFL (both offered different and equally important skills to the offense), a question mark on the team was who would be the next RB to step in their places. Juniors Taye McWilliams and Craig “Sqwirl” Williams seemed poised to take over and while Williams has been an extremely dynamic athlete this season, McWilliams only played in a few games before suffering a season-ending injury. When McWilliams went out, Williams played many downs in rotation with freshman Reese and junior Qualan Jones. Reese quickly earned his spot as RB1 for most games this season and he 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—with one more game left to play. Because of his performance over the past few months, Reese was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week twice (he earned the first award after the Bears’ victory over Texas State during the third week of the season and his second following Baylor’s downing of Texas Tech), which makes him the first athlete in program history to earn the honor twice in one season and he became a semifinalist for the Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year award for the most outstanding college football freshman athlete in the nation at the start of this month. Today, Reese was named the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year as the third Baylor player and first Baylor running back to be selected following behind former QBs Charlie Brewer and Robert Griffin III.

All-Big 12 First and Second Teams
All-Big 12 Honorable Mentions

Reese wasn’t the only awardee in the Big 12’s All-Big 12 awards, though, as over a dozen other Baylor Football players earned places on the All-Big 12 First and Second Teams and Honorable Mentions. While most of the listings were expected due to stellar play on both sides of the ball for much of the season, one standout is 5th-year senior LB Dillon Doyle who earned an All-Big 12 Second Team award for being both a linebacker and a fullback, which according to Baylor Athletics’ Jerry Hill (papa), makes him “the only player in conference history to be named All-Big 12 first- or second-team on both offense and defense in the same year.”

First Team:

  • Junior DL Siaki Ika

Second Team:

  • 5th-year OL Connor Galvin
  • 5th-year LB/FB Dillon Doyle
  • 6th-year OL Jacob Gall

Honorable Mention:

  • Senior S Al Walcott
  • 5th-year TE Ben Sims
  • Sophomore QB Blake Shapen
  • Redshirt freshman S Devin Lemear (Defensive Freshman of the Year)
  • Junior DL Gabe Hall
  • 6th-year WR Gavin Holmes
  • 6th-year OL Grant Miller
  • Sophomore WR Hal Presley
  • 5th-year P Issac Power
  • 6th-year OL Jacob Gall (Offensive Lineman of the Year)
  • 5th-year K John Mayers
  • 5th-year CB Mark Milton
  • Junior LB Matt Jones
  • Sophomore OL Micah Mazzcua
  • Sophomore WR Monaray Baldwin
  • Freshman RB Richard Reese
  • Junior DL Siaki Ika (Defensive Lineman of the Year)