Veteran hands ready to catch

R.J. Sneed, returns to Baylor this season as a senior wide receiver. Photo by Baylor Athletics

By Marquis Cooley | Sports Editor

While there have been some changes within the Baylor football team going into this season, such as a new starting quarterback, transfer players joining and new coaches, one position has remained the same. The senior wide receiver trio R.J. Sneed, Tyquan Thornton and Josh Fleeks returned to Baylor this season, giving the Bears some veteran experience at the position. Sneed said this is a good thing.

“It’s good to have guys that have at least played a little lick of football,” Sneed said in a press conference on Aug. 10. “It’s good for the room.”

The trio compounded 76 receptions for 836 yards and five touchdowns last season in what was a disappointing 2-7 season for the Bears. They look to improve upon those numbers this season under new offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes and show what they’re truly capable of.

“I think we all have a chip on our shoulder,” Thornton said in a press conference on Aug. 10. “We fell a little bit short. We didn’t get the results that we wanted last year, so I feel like this year we’re going to hit it a whole lot harder.”

Thornton said the wide receivers have been coming in every day in the offseason to work and get each other better and the dedication has been noticed by their teammates.

“Those guys are moving around fast,” senior safety Jalen Pitre said in a press conference on Aug. 6. “This first day, one-on-ones was hard for me because those receivers – I feel like they’re the best in the nation. They’re coming out and they’re taking their craft really seriously. I saw it in the summer; they were here putting in extra hours and I definitely think it’s going to pay off for them coming forward.”

The preparation has also excited the quarterbacks heading into the season, because they’ve seen the receivers’ ability to make plays.

“I love them,” sophomore quarterback Jacob Zeno said in a press conference on Aug. 7. “They’re some dogs. Wherever you put the ball at, they’re going to go get it. I can pick anybody and I know I can count on them to do their job.”