In 2017, Baylor fell to unspeakable depths, only winning one game all season.
But in 2018, the tides began to shift.
A group of East Texans were key, to turning the Waco program around to a 7-6 mark.
Head Coach Matt Rhule didn’t have to say much, to motivate his Baylor Bears last season, their 1-11 record from the previous campaign, did enough.
“not wanting to feel that feeling again of one and whatever. It was you know, it’s not a good feeling,” said former Longview Lobo, JaMycal Hasty.
He is part of an East Texas backfield, alongside Henderson native Trestan Ebner, who are looking to bring Baylor back to prominence.
“it’s been great and I feel like we’re strong as a unit, a running back unit, you can put any guy out there anytime of the game and it’s not really much of a drop off,” added Hasty.
“JaMycal Hasty doesn’t say a lot, but is one of the tougest, hardest working peole I’ve ever been around in my life, he’s in the weight room daily. To me he’s eveything everything right about our program,” said Rhule.
Another top notch East Texas weapon for the Bears is former Daingerfield wide receiver Denzel Mims, who coach Rhule challenged to compete at a higher level. And he couldn’t be happier with how the former tiger responded.
“Denzel made the committment last year to become a great all around player, not just be a stat guy but total player. Our program is built on pushing your best players not letting them do whatever they want, and Denzel has allowed me to coach him, I’ve been hard on Denzel, because I see a lot of potential in him.”
“It’s never enough for him and it’s never enough for me so in order for me to improve I can never get satisfied for what I’ve been doing I just have to keep improving,” said Mims.
The Bears aren’t back, but after finishing 2018 with a Texas Bowl victory, the building blocks look to be in place, with a Piney Woods foundation.
“I think the guys we have from East Texas, have a couple of things in common, number one they’re tough, number two they love to work, and number three they are incredibly loyal.”
In addition, Gilmer alum Blake Lynch is a returning starter on the defensive side of the ball, and will help lead what could be a solid group of linebackers.
The Bears will start their 2019 campaign against an East Texas opponent, when they host SFA on August 31st.