Texas Tech outside linebacker Austin Stewart, who didn’t travel with the team to the Holiday Bowl, is still in the program, defensive coordinators Matt Wallerstedt and Mike Smith said. He’ll be a leading candidate to replace 2013 senior Terrance Bullitt, for whom he was the backup last season.
That could be a spirited competition. Also in the mix are Chris Payne, Jacarthy Mack and Zach Winbush, Smith said.
Texas Tech offensive line coach Lee Hays said Wednesday he’s had a conversation with Le’Raven Clark about possibly moving from left tackle to right tackle or back to guard, the position Clark played as a freshman.
Hays said Dominique Robertson, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound signee fromRiverside(Calif.)CityCollege, has played left tackle virtually his entire football life and was promised the chance to compete for the spot when he arrives at Tech. Robertson’s comfortable on the left side, and Hays has high hopes for him.
Texas Tech co-defensive coordinator Mike Smith confirmed on national signing day that he recruited Argyle safety Connor Wilson to fill the Raider outside linebacker position in the Tech defense. Smith said Wilson, who’s listed at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, has a frame that reminds him of Terrance Bullitt, the senior who started at Raider in 2013.
Texas Tech co-defensive coordinator Mike Smith said Wednesday that newly hired Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine offered him a job as the Browns’ linebackers coach, but Smith declined.
“I think everybody’s thinking I’m out of my mind, but I love Tech,” Smith said. “There is no other place I’d rather be than here. If I was at any other job, I would have gone in a heartbeat.”
Texas Tech had only one early signing day surprise, and it was a positive one. The Red Raiders added Michael Coley, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound defensive back prospect fromIrving. He was uncommitted going into Wednesday, having received scholarship offers at different times fromVanderbilt,LouisianaTech and UT-San Antonio.
Coley recently took an official visit to Tech.
A Texas Tech spokesman confirmed on Wednesday that offensive guard Beau Carpenter was kicked off the team for an unspecified rules violation. Not good, considering Carpenter would have been a senior next season and has 17 career starts.
Carpenter was one of only seven Tech offensive linemen who saw significant playing time in 2012 as line coach Lee Hays didn’t seem to trust his depth. Most games, he went with five or six linemen.
So banishing Carpenter tests that depth even more.
Texas Tech put three former walk-on football players on scholarship for the spring semester, Tech spokesman Blayne Beal said Wednesday.
David Brenner, Bobby Esiaba and John White have played mostly on special teams. All three will be juniors next season.
Brenner is a 6-foot, 210-pound deep snapper from Plano Canyon Creek Christian Academy. Esiaba is a 6-0, 205-pound linebacker from Dallastown, Pa. White is a 5-10, 200-pound safety from Bremond.
Texas Tech wide receiver Derreck Edwards will spend some of his time with the track and field team this semester, although he will be a full-time football player during spring practice.
Edwards will compete in triple jump for the Tech track team. It’s likely he will participate at some meets before the Red Raiders' spring football practice schedule begins and again after spring practice concludes.
Texas Tech outside linebacker Chris Payne, who missed the 2013 season while academically ineligible, is rejoining the team, the Avalanche-Journal learned. Wednesday was the first day of spring-semester classes at Tech, and Payne was on campus.
He is expected to be on the team as a walk-on.
Payne’s return gives the Red Raiders another option at outside linebacker. During spring practice last year, co-offensive coordinator Mike Smith raved about Payne’s play, and he went into the summer as the top backup to Raider outside linebacker Terrance Bullitt.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has hired Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury’s agent to represent him as the former Heisman Trophy winner prepares for the NFL draft.
The public relations firm Sanderson Strategies Group said Manziel has hired Erik Burkhardt — a Tech graduate who advises Kingsbury — of Select Sports Group as his NFLPA-certified agent.
“Burkhardt will represent Manziel in all discussions and negotiations with the NFL and its teams,” the announcement said.