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NCAA Football Baylor Bears

Baylor Football’s 5 Most Intriguing Players Heading into 2014

Baylor Bears' 5 Most Intriguing Players in 2014

Baylor Bears Football
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

The Baylor Bears will need to reload at several positions before the team can begin their Big 12 title defense. The Bears lost quite a few play makers on both sides of the ball. Ahmad Dixon, Eddie Lackey, Demetri Goodson, Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin have all graduated. The Bears will need new playmakers to step up. Here are five players who should make a name for themselves this season.

5. Robbie Rhodes

Robbie Rhodes Baylor Bears
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

5. Robbie Rhodes

Robbie Rhodes Baylor Bears
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

Robbie Rhodes was buried on the depth chart last season behind talented receivers like Antwan Goodley, Tevin Reese and Levi Norwood. He also suffered a knee injury and missed the last three games of the season. Rhodes was one of the top receivers in the country coming out of high school in 2012, so the talent is there. It will be interesting to see how Rhodes develops this spring. He could be a force to be reckoned with.

4. Shawn Oakman

Shawn Oakman Baylor Bears
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

4. Shawn Oakman

Shawn Oakman Baylor Bears
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

Shawn Oakman is a large man. Standing 6-foot-9 and 270-pounds, Baylor lined Oakman up at defensive end on passing downs and turned him loose. Baylor fans will want to see Oakman work on his technique and be a disruptive force on more than just passing plays.

3. Xavien Howard

Xavien Howard Baylor Bears
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3. Xavien Howard

Xavien Howard Baylor Bears
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Howard is a candidate to replace Goodson at a corner position. He has great size at 6-foot-2. The Baylor secondary needs some of the younger players to step forward. Howard will be watched carefully this spring to see if he is up to the task.

2. Terrell Burt

Terrell Burt Baylor Bears
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2. Terrell Burt

Terrell Burt Baylor Bears
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Terrell Burt played in the Dixon's shadow last season. Dixon was the unquestioned leader both in the secondary and on defense, but now that he is gone, who will fill this void? Coaches are hoping Burt will take on this leadership role.

1. Shock Linwood

Shock Linwood Baylor Bears
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1. Shock Linwood

Shock Linwood Baylor Bears
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Fans got a taste of Shock Linwood when Seastrunk and Martin went down with injuries. The 5-foot-8, 200-pound running back rushed for 881 yards last year. In two games against the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Tech Red Raiders, Linwood rushed for a combined 369 yards. Baylor's offense is built around the pass, but with a running back like Linwood, expect the Bears to run the ball more often in 2014.