The Baylor Bears were the talk of the Big 12 after making a surprise trip to the Big 12 Championship Game last year, but 2020 brings a new era as Dave Aranda takes over for Matt Rhule.
Aranda served as the defensive coordinator on LSU’s College Football Playoff National Championship last season and takes over a program that went 11-3, including 8-1 in conference play, and made it to the Sugar Bowl.
COVID-19 has forced the Bears to re-work their plans and BU opens the season on Sept. 12 against Louisiana Tech. The Bears could take a major step forward in Aranda’s first year if they are able to beat TCU at home on Oct. 24 and steal one on the road from Iowa State on Nov. 14.
Here are five home-grown players that will be looked upon to have big seasons in Waco.
Terrel Bernard, junior linebacker, La Porte
Bernard had a great sophomores season and earned a spot on the all-conference second team playing at the weakside and middle linebacker positions.
He led the team with 112 tackles, including 53 solo tackles, 4.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries and an interception.
Bernard earned all-state second team honors as a senior at La Porte and helped the team make a run to the Class 6A, Division II area playoffs.
Charlie Brewer, senior quarterback, Austin Lake Travis
Brewer looks to cap his collegiate career with a big 2020. He enters the season as only the fourth quarterback to throw for 6,000 yards, was an all-conference honorable mention in 2019 and was the 2017 Big 12 Co-Offensive Newcomer of the Year.
He posted the best season of his career in 2019 completing 251 of 389 passes for 3,161 yards and 21 touchdowns to go with 11 rushing scores.
Brewer is part of a long line of star quarterbacks at Lake Travis and led the Cavaliers to a 30-2 record and consecutive state title game appearances. He was the Texas Associated Press Sports Editors Player of the Year in 2016.
Connor Galvin, junior left tackle, Katy
The former Katy star has played in 23 games and made 15 starts since 208 will once again be looked upon to guard Brewer’s blindside this coming season.
Galvin was a part of a BU offensive line that helped the Bears post 33 points and 421 yards per game and helped keep defenders at bay for Brewer to throw for more than 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns.
During his senior year in high school, Galvin helped Katy post a 12-1 record and make a trip to the state semifinals.
R.J. Sneed, junior wide receiver, Cypress Ranch
Sneed made a name for himself as a sophomore and is a part of a group of Bear receivers that look to fill the void left by Denzel Mims, who was a second round pick of the New York Jets.
He caught 42 passes for 437 yards and three touchdowns last season and that production could increase in 2020.
Sneed was a two-time all-District 17-6A first-team selection during his time at Cy Ranch.
Raleigh Texada, senior cornerback, Frisco Centennial
Texada is the most experienced returner on the Baylor secondary. He played in all 14 games last season, hauling in two interceptions and breaking up five passes t o go along with 45 tackles, including two for loss.
At Centennial, Texada was a two-time All-District 9-5A First Team performer.