Baylor coach Art Briles felt before the spring his team had a quality two-deep squad, a luxury he hadn't enjoyed in his first two seasons in Waco. The Bears 15 spring workouts confirmed his feeling, but he wants to be more than two deep at each position on the depth chart.
"We’re approaching this, but we need to get to the point that we don’t have any drop-off if someone gets injured," Briles said, "it allows us to maintain the level necessary to play in the Big 12 South.”
The Bears may be approaching it, but could see unprecedented depth in the secondary when fall arrives. On the team's post-spring depth chart, the secondary will start Byron Landor and Tim Atchison at safety. Though both are seniors, they have only a combined 18 career starts, 15 by Atchison. Landor is a junior college transfer who notched 46 tackles as a junior.
“Byron really needs to have a good year for us,” Briles said. “He’s a strong leader.”
Clifton Odom and Chance Casey solidified their spots as Briles two starting cornerbacks.
Baylor's 2010 recruiting class could certainly provide the depth Briles wants--possibly even challenging for playing time. Rivals.com ranked the Bears secondary recruiting class No. 5 in the nation, and includes plenty of incoming talent. Headlining the group is safety Ahmad Dixon, a Waco native who comes to Baylor ranked No. 15 overall in the ESPNU 150 and the No. 3 safety. Briles also signed cornerback Prince Kent, who signed with Miami in 2009 as the No. 51 overall recruit in the ESPNU 150, but didn't qualify academically and enrolled at Hargrave Military School in Virginia. Kent enrolled early and joined the Bears for spring workouts.
Baylor also signed Tyler Stephenson, rated the No. 14 cornerback and T.C. Robinson, the No. 45 cornerback overall. Sam Holl and Tuswani Copeland will also join the team in the fall.
“Some of those incoming freshmen will get looks,” Briles said. “That’s a talented bunch.”
With the quarterback play he could face in the Big 12 South, if Briles is looking for depth, the secondary is a great place to start.