Baylor makes roster changes during bye week

Sophomore quarterback Zach Smith takes a snap against Oklahoma. Smith, who wore No. 11 against the Sooners will now bear No. 8. Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Journalist

By Ben Everett | Sports Writer

Senior offensive lineman Ishmael Wilson and junior cornerback Jourdan Blake have been dismissed from the Baylor football team, head coach Matt Rhule announced on Tuesday.

Wilson and Blake will stay at Baylor and graduate, per Rhule, but the veteran players will no longer be a part of the team.

“We have two young men, Ish Wilson and Jourdan Blake who are no longer members of the football team,” Rhule said. “I’m not going to get into the particulars because they’re really good people and I want to be respectful of them. It’s important to note that this is nothing criminal its just really about our program and moving forward. We wish them the best as they stay here and graduate, but they will no longer play for us as we move forward.”

Wilson, a transfer from Texas A&M in 2014, played in 42 games for the Bears through four seasons while starting in 13 of those games. Blake has played in 15 games through three seasons but made his first career start in the 48-45 loss to Liberty on Sept. 2.

On Monday, rumors circulated that up to six players had been dismissed including junior running back Terence Williams, and the rumors intensified when Williams posted a picture on his Snapchat bidding farewell to Baylor.

Rhule said Williams was given a second chance by the team’s leadership council of players after Williams expressed his intention of being a better teammate.

“Terence Williams, we met with him yesterday and told him there are certain standards and expectations that have to be met to represent Baylor on the football field,” Rhule said. “Mainly about being a great teammate, having a code of conduct that is at the highest level. He wanted the opportunity to continue to be on the football team and he assured me that he would be a great teammate.”

The Bears will be without junior preseason All-Big 12 punter Drew Galitz after he tore his ACL in the 33-20 loss to Kansas State on Saturday.

Rhule said the injury was a freak accident in which Galitz landed awkwardly on the turf. Sophomore place kicker Connor Martin will assume the role of punter for the time being.

“Just torn as he landed in the turf,” Rhule said. “So he will unfortunately be out for the year. Our heart breaks for him. Connor Martin will continue his duties.”

Rhule’s tradition of awarding the single digit jersey numbers to the toughest players on the team is complete for this season with sophomore quarterback Zach Smith receiving number eight on Tuesday.

Rhule said Smith has emerged as a leader on the team over the last few weeks and is amazed by his toughness.

“Ridiculous toughness,” Rhule said. “He’s out there playing and he just gets hit but he stands in there and goes to do it again. He’s protecting the football, he’s playing really well and he’s tough. I think it was time for everyone to know he’s one of our nine toughest guys and he’s our leader.”

Smith said he is proud to be awarded with the final single digit jersey number.

“It means a lot,” Smith said. “I’ve put in a lot of work and even though its just a small thing to be recognized for, I’m proud to be wearing it.”

The Bears have a bye this week, but get back on the field at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 14 against No. 15 Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Ok.