The Baylor Bears hit the field for the first time this season on Thursday. That means the Matt Rhule era is underway.

Former Wylie star Clay Johnston is expected to make an impact this year for the Bears at linebacker, and he says he’s excited about the coaches and the new direction in which the program is headed.

Defensively, there are a lot of changes, and Johnston says the players are working hard to get a grip on things.

“Just the scheme of things. We’re going over cover 8 right now which is our base, and I mean we’re just trying to get, where we don’t want to think on the field too much. We just want it to be natural, and we’ve just been focusing on running the ball,” Johnston said. “Yesterday we were a little rusty, but we’re getting those chinks out. Coach Snow’s on top of us. We have meetings a ton, about three hours a day with him just trying to get it down, and I’m just really enjoying it. He really does, you tell him like, well what if this formation’s here? And he’s like, oh we got a defense for that. I’m like, okay. It gives you a sense of peace. I like it.”

The Bears are one of the first to take the field this summer in the Big XII.

They open 2017 against Liberty on September 2nd.