• Four Bears on watch lists for national football honors entering 2010

    Jay FinleyIt’s officially football season! Baylor kicks off the 2010 schedule this Saturday at 6 p.m. as the Bears host Sam Houston State at Floyd Casey Stadium.

    When the Bears take the field Saturday, what will you see? Well, for starters, the four Bears who were named to preseason watch lists for national honors. You already know about Robert Griffin III’s three honors: one of 30 on the Davey O’Brien Award watch list and one of 33 on the Manning Award watch list (both for top quarterback in the nation), and one of 60 on the Maxwell Award watch list (for best player in the nation). Griffin also was named second-team all-Big 12 by Rivals.com and the No. 17 quarterback in the country by Lindy’s.

    But that’s just the beginning. Even coming off a year when he was limited by injuries, senior Jay Finley is one of 49 student-athletes on the watch list for the Doak Walker Award, given each year for the past two decades to the nation’s top running back. The Corsicana, Texas, native (pictured) begins the year ranked 18th all-time at Baylor for career rushing yards.

    Junior Kendall Wright was among the 51 players on the preseason Fred Biletnikoff Award watch list; the honor is given annually to the top receiver in the country. Wright was also named first-team all-Big 12 by Athlon and Blue Ribbon. After just two years, he is already among the Bears’ all-time leaders in career receptions (tied for eighth) and receiving yards (12th).

    Senior Danny Watkins made the watch list for the Rotary Lombardi Award, which recognizes the top lineman in college football. The native of British Columbia was already the No. 4 pick in this year’s Canadian Football League Draft and was named first-team all-Big 12 by Blue Ribbon Yearbook.

    Other preseason honorees include:

    • Defensive tackle Phil Taylor: All-Big 12, 2nd team (Sports Illustrated, Phil Steele); No. 10 DT in the nation (Phil Steele);
    • Linebacker Antonio Johnson: All-Big 12, 4th team (Phil Steele); and
    • Punter Derek Epperson: All-America, 3rd team (Sporting News); No. 2 punter in the nation (Phil Steele).

    If you can’t make it to Waco for the game, tune in along the Baylor-ISP Football Radio Network (including Sirius Radio Ch. 161/227, 103.3 FM in Dallas/Fort Worth, 1070 AM in Houston, 1660 AM in Waco, and of course online at BaylorBears.com).

    Sic ’em, Baylor football!

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