QB Gerry Bohanon uncertain for No. 9 Baylor in Big 12 title game

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor quarterback Gerry Bohanon‘s status for the Big 12 championship game is still uncertain after missing the past 1 1/2 games for the ninth-ranked Bears because of a right hamstring injury.

Coach Dave Aranda described Bohanon as “awfully eager” and said that the quarterback would be at practice for the Bears, who play No. 5 Oklahoma State in the title game on Saturday.

“He’s going to go through all that, so we’ll see kind of where he’s at,” Aranda said. “Gerry is the leader for us and is a stalwart really. And so I think he’s the face of what we’re doing over here, and so we’re excited to have him back and kind of see where it goes.”

Bohanon, the fourth-year junior and first-year starter, missed the regular-season finale Saturday against Texas Tech after injuring his right hamstring late in the first half at Kansas State the previous week.

Redshirt freshman Blake Shapen finished the 20-10 win over the Wildcats and started against the Red Raiders. He threw for 254 yards and two touchdowns in his first start for the Bears (10-2) in a 27-24 win.

“I’m impressed by Blake. I’m not surprised,” said Trestan Ebner, who caught a pass from Shapen in stride for a 61-yard touchdown on the opening drive. “Blake has a certain swagger to him so I know he can go out there and make plays.”

Shapen had to come out of game after he took a crushing hit on a 4-yard run and was checked by trainers with about 4 minutes left against the Red Raiders. Instead of Bohanon, who was in uniform and did some light throwing before the game, true freshman Kyron Drones entered for his first college snap on fourth-and-1. He handed off the Abram Smith, who got the first down before Shapen immediately returned.

“We’ll kind of how this week goes with Gerry and his ability to be safe and move around and use his legs, and not necessarily use his legs for productive reasons, but use his legs to just stay clean and not take unneeded hits,” Aranda said.

Bohanan has thrown for 2,192 yards with 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season. He also has 303 yards and nine TDs rushing.

Baylor is playing in its second Big 12 championship game in three seasons. In the 2019 title against Oklahoma, Bohanon played for injured Charlie Brewer and was 4-of-15 passing for 56 yards with a touchdown in the 30-23 overtime loss. He had 15 yards rushing.

Aranda said the Bears have confidence in Shapen if he is needed to start or play again.

“I thought that he had real maturity and presence in the pocket, and I think he made some really tight throws and some big-time throws,” Aranda said.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy doesn’t expect there to be much change in how Baylor plays offensively, no matter which quarterback is in the game.

“I think their schemes are similar,” Gundy said. “Obviously, we’ll have to have a good look at the new guy and kind of get a feel for him. But I think that the style of play they use with their coordinator and their offensive staff is very similar.”

Alabama suspends freshman defensive back after drug arrest

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama freshman defensive back Tony Mitchell has been suspended from the team following his arrest on a drug charge.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Monday after the first practice of spring that Mitchell was suspended from the team “and all team activities until we gather more information about the situation and what his legal circumstance is.”

The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mitchell and another man, Christophere Lewis, last week on a charge of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page. Lewis also was charged with carrying a concealed gun without a permit.

“Everybody’s got an opportunity to make choices and decisions,” Saban said. “There’s no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You’ve gotta be responsible for who you’re with, who you’re around and what you do, who you associate yourself with and the situations that you put yourself in. It is what it is, but there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations.”

Mitchell, who is from Alabaster, Alabama, was a five-star prospect rated the 34th-best player and No. 3 safety in the 247Composite rankings.

Mitchell was driving the vehicle during a traffic stop. After deputies smelled marijuana, Mitchell picked up a baggie of marijuana from the passenger floorboard, according to the department’s Facebook post.

Sheriff’s deputies found “an additional significant amount of marijuana, a set of scales, a loaded handgun between the passenger seat and center console, and a large amount of cash,” according to the department’s Facebook post.

Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey suspended after arrest

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey was suspended from the team after he was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the team said.

The 23-year-old, who was a team captain last season, was booked at about 2:45 a.m. and released after posting $500 bond, according to online records from the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

“We are aware of the situation involving Chad Bailey,” Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz said in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He’s been suspended according to Department of Athletics policy. We have high expectations for all of our student-athletes, on and off the field, and we will follow all departmental and campus policies.”

Bailey was Mizzou’s third-leading tackler with 57 stops last season. He started all 11 games he played, missing two with an injury. He’ll be a sixth-year senior this fall after opting to return for his final year of eligibility, the Post-Dispatch reported.

The Missouri student-athlete handbook says any athlete who is arrested must serve a minimum one-week suspension.

Bailey was pulled over at about 1 a.m. not far from the Columbia campus for an expired license plate and lane violation, a police statement said. Bailey told the officer he had consumed alcohol and then performed poorly on a field sobriety test, the Post-Dispatch reported.