Two of the faster players on Baylor’s football team are switching gears and joining the Baylor track and field team for the rest of the season.
Receivers KD Cannon and Chris Platt took part in their first practice with the team Wednesday. Both Platt and Cannon won state track titles in high school, and Baylor track coach Todd Harbour is excited to welcome in these fleet-footed reinforcements.
“They’re not just great athletes, but they’re great people,” Harbour said. “We’re just so grateful to Coach (Art) Briles and Kendal and everyone who made the decision to let them be out here. We’re definitely happy to have them.”
He ought to be, since both guys can fly. Cannon won the Texas Class 4A title in the 100-meter dash last year while competing for Mount Pleasant. He has personal bests of 10.32 seconds in the 100 and 21.42 in the 200, and also went 45-1 3/4 in the triple jump.
Platt, meanwhile, demonstrated a legacy as one of the best quarter-milers in the state while in high school. He won state three times in the 400 for Willis High School, zipping to a personal-best time of 46.62 on a wet track at the state meet in 2013.
Harbour said that the plan is to bring Platt and Cannon along slowly, so that they’ll be at their strongest when the NCAA meet rolls around.
“It’s a different kind of running (than football),” Harbour said. “It’s a little longer, more sustained, rather than the shorter 30 to 40-yard bursts you might go in football. It takes some time to make that transition and get your legs adjusted. The key word with these guys is patience. We want to be patient, because once they make the adjustment they could be awesome.”
Harbour said he could eventually envision Cannon competing in the 100 in addition to pushing for a spot on the 4x100 relay team, while Platt should have opportunities to help in the 400 and 4x400 relay. Their presence should only strengthen a deep relay pool that also includes the likes of NCAA sprint champion Trayvon Bromell, George Caddick, Malik Wilson, Alex Reece and Kevin Harris.
Again, Harbour doesn’t plan to rush his newcomers’ development, but he also wouldn’t rule out either competing at the Michael Johnson Classic April 18.
“That’ll be up to Coach (Clyde) Hart and Coach (Michael) Ford. If they say they’re ready, then we’ll cut them loose,” Harbour said. “I trust those guys. They know what they’re talking about.”
Last year Cannon earned freshman All-America honors for the Baylor football squad, catching 58 passes for 1,030 yards and eight touchdowns. He tallied eight catches for 197 yards and two TDs in Baylor’s Cotton Bowl loss to Michigan State.
Platt redshirted as a true freshman last season.