There is a little bit of unfortunate news coming out of Waco. It is being reported that center Tanner Thrift has decided to retire from football.
It’s a significant blow to the Bear’s offensive line. Thrift was moved to center from guard this spring, and managed to earn the starting role. However, a knee injury kept him from playing in the spring game.
Reports indicate that Thrift, a senior, is hanging up the cleats due to injury, but it is not immediately clear if it is related to the injury he suffered this spring or a combination of past injuries. The school has yet to confirm Thrift’s retirement.
His departure leaves the Bears an already bare line, even that much more depleted. There are just five players left along the line from the post-season depth chart, three of which are returning starters. The lack of depth could limit what the Bears are able to do on offense. Without a true rotation and being able to get some guys some rest, the offense will have a hard time running at the pace Bears fans are used to.
Six incoming freshman will do what they can to plug some holes, but it is hard for guys fresh out of high school to come in and contribute right away along the line. They simply don’t have the size or strength as their bodies haven’t fully filled out, and they lack the technique that comes with experience.
Coach Rhule has done a fantastic job of creating some early excitement as he rebuilds the program, but if that excitement is to continue into the fall, Baylor will needs some guys to step up and remain healthy.