September 4, 2009

No. 2 - Joe Pawelek

With the season drawing near, we are counting down the 20 most important players on the 2009 Baylor football team. Each member of the SicEmSports staff turned in a ballot of their top players in the program, basing their decisions on pure talent and how important their play this year will be to the Baylor program. Opinions differed and some great players were left just outside the cut, but at the end of the day, these were the 20 Bears at the top.

2. Joe Pawelek
Position: Middle Linebacker
Year: Redshirt Senior
2002 All-District honorable mention
2003 All-District
2003 All-state second team
2003 Comal County Male Athlete of the Year
2004-05 Boys High School Athlete of the Year - San Antonio Express-News
2004 Defensive Player of the Year - San Antonio Express News
2004 All-District
2004 Class 5A All-state honorable mention
2004 Park Place Pontiac Defensive Player of the Year
2005 Baylor Scout team MVP
2006 Freshman All-American first-team
2006 Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year
2006 All-Big-12 second-team
2007 Baylor Co-MVP
2007 All-Big 12 second-team
2008 All-American
2008 All-Big 12
2008 Baylor Defensive MVP
2009 All-America, Butkus, Lombardi, and Lott award watch list
Highest Ranking: 2
Lowest Ranking: 2
2008 Stats: 128 tackles, six for loss, six interceptions, seven breakups, and five hurries

Bio: As the heart and soul of the entire Baylor team, Joe Pawelek might actually deserve the No. 1 spot on the list. As the face of the Bears defense over the past three years, "JoePaw" has racked up 313 tackles (7th nationally, 1st in the Big 12 per game last season) to make him the active career leader in the nation, but his contributions go much further than just his stat line.

Check inside for more.

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