Baylor will take its first steps toward defending its Big 12 football championship when the Bears begin spring drills Friday in Waco.
The Bears return 51 lettermen from last year’s 11-2 team that set a school record for victories in a season. Topping the list of returnees is quarterback Bryce Petty, a 2014 Heisman Trophy candidate who completed 62 percent of his passes while leading the Bears to their first outright conference title in 33 years.
Petty threw for 4,200 yards last season, with 32 touchdown passes and three interceptions. He also rushed for 209 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Among the newcomers taking part in spring drills are three freshmen signees who enrolled in January (TE Jordan Feuerbacher, WR Davion Hall, RB Terence Williams) and four junior-college transfers: OL Jarell Broxton, LB Grant Campbell, DB Chris Sanders and DB Tion Wright.
Baylor will conclude its spring drills with a controlled scrimmage for fans at its practice facility on Saturday, April 5.
_ Jimmy Burch