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Baylor's Richard Reese Is Destined For Greatness In The BIG 12

Generally speaking, Baylor has not been known for producing all-time great running backs, but the few they have had have made their mark in college football.

For instance, Terrance Ganaway set the program's single-season record at the time with 1,547 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns in 2011. The legendary Walter Abercrombie established the standard for Bears running backs with 3,674. Then you have Shock Linwood, who sits atop the list with 4,204 career rushing yards and is considered by many as the greatest running back in the school's history.

With the exception of Abercrombie, Bears' running backs have not made quite the impact in the NFL as they did within their program, which perhaps explains why the program has not received the same amount of recognition in contrast to others such as Wisconsin or even Texas.

Speaking of Texas, enter Richard Reese out of Bellville High School in Belleville, Texas. As a three-star recruit, Reese received offers from only six schools. In retrospect, this was a blessing in disguise because the nation would find out that Reese was not your average three-star player.

As expected for a true freshman, Reese had his share of struggles in his first game. In Week 3, however, Reese broke out in a big way against North Texas with 156 rushing yards and three touchdowns while averaging an impressive 8.2 yards per carry. From that point onward, Reese did not look like your typical true freshman. He had a career-high 186 rushing yards and two touchdowns in their Week 7 win over Kansas; a week later, he had his second straight 100-yard rushing game and three touchdowns in their win over Texas Tech.

By the end of the season, Reese finished 28 yards shy of becoming the programs 16th 1,000-yard rusher. He was named All-Big 12 and First-Team Freshman All-America by the Pro Football Network and the FWAA. Above all, Reese has shown the potential to eclipse Linwood as the program's greatest running back.

With his freshman year behind him, one should expect bigger things from Reese this upcoming season. After an uncharacteristically disappointing season in 2022, Reese has the chance of doing more than rewriting the program's record books; rather, he can be the key to helping carry his team back to the Big 12 Championship Game and beyond.

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