Five former Baylor football players will be honored as Baylor Football Legends during select 2016 home football games, Baylor officials announced Wednesday.
Each honoree or honoree representative will be introduced on the field during their respective game, while a short video details their playing career for the Bears.
The Baylor “B” Association, which chooses the legends, will open the season by recognizing four-year letterman Steve Grumbine (DT, 1983-86) at the Sept. 2 contest vs. Northwestern State.
On Sept. 10 against SMU, John Westbrook (RB, 1966-68) will be honored posthumously as his wife Paulette will be on the field to accept the recognition. The first African-American to play in a Southwest Conference football game, Westbrook made history when he stepped onto the field for Baylor in the school’s nationally televised 35-12 upset win over No. 7 Syracuse on Sept. 10, 1966. Westbrook’s historic appearance in the fourth quarter of the game broke the SWC’s 52-year old color barrier.
In 2009, with the blessing of the Westbrook family, the Baylor “B” Association established the John Westbrook Award for Courage and Perseverance. The award is presented annually to one male and female Baylor student-athlete who has overcome great personal, academic or emotional challenges to achieve academic success while making positive contributions to their respective teams.
All-American offensive lineman, Jason Smith, who became the highest BU player ever taken in the NFL Draft, will be the legend for the Oklahoma State game on Sept. 24, after lettering for the Bears from 2005-07.
There will be no legend for the Oct. 15 Homecoming game against Kansas. However, the 2016 Hall of Fame and Wall of Honor inductees, along with the 2016 Honor Team (1976 and 1996 SWC Indoor Track & Field Championship teams) will all be recognized on the field for their achievements.
To close out the year, three-time All-Big 12 performer Jordan Lake (SS, 2006-09) will be featured at the TCU game on Nov. 5 and two-time All-American linebacker Joe Pawelek (2006-09) will be recognized during the Nov. 19 game against Kansas State.
2016 Baylor Football Legends Sept. 2 vs. Northwestern State – Steve Grumbine Sept. 10 vs. SMU - John Westbrook Sept. 24 vs. Oklahoma State - Jason Smith Nov. 5 vs. TCU - Jordan Lake Nov. 19 vs. Kansas State - Joe Pawelek