Kingsbury: Door 'halfway open' for Starts to return, but classroom progress first order of business

Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury says he’s given former blue-chip signee Michael Starts a chance to return to the program, but didn’t sound as if fans should get their hopes up.

Starts, who played briefly for the Red Raiders during the 2012 season and quit the team not long after, stirred interest among Tech fans when he showed up at a spring practice in March.

“We’re working through it,” Kingsbury said. “I think he’s got some academic stuff he’s got to handle, but I’m not opposed to that totally. So we’ll see how it plays out.”

The 6-foot-4, 300-pound lineman from Waco La Vega, once a nationally recruited prospect, stopped coming to Tech’s winter workouts after the 2012 season and left after the spring semester. He played in 2013 at Navarro College in Corsicana, not far from his hometown.

Kingsbury stressed that Starts has to meet academic requirements, making it uncertain whether he could be back by preseason workouts.

Kingsbury acknowledged he’s given Starts steps to follow if he wants to return to Tech.

Asked if the door’s open then, Kingsbury said, “It’s halfway open. We still have to sit down and discuss everything, but first and foremost he’s just got to get himself in position to have that conversation.”

Aside from Starts having to catch up academically, there’s the question of how he might be received given the way in which he departed. 

Starts spent the 2012 season training at defensive tackle. Before his departure, Tech discussed moving him to the offensive line because of the Red Raiders’ shortage at that position last year.

Tech signed two junior-college offensive linemen and four junior-college defensive linemen this past winter.

Kingsbury said he’s not sure on which side Starts would play if he comes back.

“We’ll see. Just based on need,” he said. “I think we’re going to wait and see how these guys are that we get in here, see who can play for us and who can’t, and then we’d go from there.”

 

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Starts

would be a great pick up. Fingers crossed.

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It's up to Starts

It all depends on how serious Starts is. I'm not sure he's up to the hard work & commitment it will take, but I'd love to see him make it back. Maybe he realizes what a great opportunity he missed out on. For his sake, this "could" really turn his life around. No question though that he will be watched closely and will be on a real short leash. All that said.....I'd love to see him come back and have success!

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