WACO, Texas — Baylor will get a boost for its Big 12 opener Saturday against No. 3 Oklahoma with the season debuts of 1,000-yard rusher Terence Williams and two defenders who were expected to be starters.
Williams, the junior who ran for 1,048 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, will be back in the lineup after missing the first three games while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
“I think it takes a little bit of the pressure off the young guys,” coach Matt Rhule said Tuesday. “I think Terence gives us the physicality and a presence running the football that you can clearly see on tape. … He brings us that ability to run you over and make you miss.”
Rhule said senior safety Taion Sells has completed his three-game suspension for an unspecified offseason incident and cornerback Grayland Arnold is back after breaking his left arm during a preseason scrimmage. Jordan Tolbert, another cornerback, is also expected back from an injury.
“We think it is perfect timing with conference play beginning,” Rhule said. “What we’ve done is add in some depth after the unfortunate injuries and suspensions.”
Williams, who also dealt with a sprained MCL last year, said he’s now 100 percent and intends to make up for the games he missed for the Bears (0-3).
“It was frustrating not being able to play football for that long,” Williams said. “I’m good. I’ve got to do a little extra running. I have to do that on my own but I’ll be ready to play. No rust.”
Sells returns after starting four games as a junior in 2015 and then being redshirted last season due to an injury. He had 43 tackles and an interception in 2015.
Arnold was listed as a starter coming out of spring practice and had solidified that in fall camp before getting hurt. He had 20 tackles in 11 games, including four starts, as a freshman.