WACO, Texas -- Baylor christened McLane Stadium in style Sunday night, pasting SMU 45-0. Every casual college football fan knows about the Bears' prolific offensive attack, but it was their defense that stole the show. Led by freakish defensive lineman Shawn Oakman, the Bears dominated the line of scrimmage from start to finish.
I spent the evening focused on Baylor's top prospects, and here are my takeaways from the game:
QB Bryce Petty
Petty only played in the first half. This was the first time I've seen him in person and I was impressed by his sturdy frame and arm strength. In the spring, scouts measured him at 6-foot-2 5/8 and 229 pounds. He carries it well.
He suffered a lower back injury early in the game and it clearly bothered him for the remainder of the first half. He struggled to drive off his back foot and his deep-ball accuracy was affected. Despite the injury, he showed his athleticism and toughness during a 5-yard touchdown scamper right before intermission. He lunged for the end zone while taking a big shot from an SMU defender.
Overall, it was difficult to get an accurate evaluation because of the nagging injury and limited playing time. In speaking to scouts and school sources, Petty was given extremely high marks for his character, leadership and intelligence.
DL Shawn Oakman
Oakman was the star of the game. He has rare size, length, and athleticism. He's listed at 6-foot-9, 280 pounds, although I believe he's probably closer to 6-7. Either way, he's huge. He moved around in the Bears' scheme. He lined up at end, tackle, and even stood up some as an outside linebacker. He has a quick first step and he uses his length to swat away blockers at the point of attack. He constantly pressured the SMU quarterbacks throughout the game. I haven't studied him on tape, but he absolutely looks like a premier talent.
WR Antwan Goodley
Goodley played only two series before aggravating a quad injury and sitting out the remainder of the contest. He has a very square and thick frame and actually looks more like a running back than a wideout. He flashed his top speed on a deep post, but he didn't play long enough to have an impact on the game.
WR Levi Norwood
Norwood is a tall, lean wideout with excellent special-teams value. He had a long punt return in the first half where he displayed initial burst and great vision. He also was outstanding covering punts from the gunner position. As a route runner, he's still a work in progress, but his versatility on special teams will increase his draft stock.