Position: Weak inside linebacker
Ht./Wt.: 6-0, 224
Class-Exp.: Redshirt freshman
High school: Sherman
Last year: Woods redshirted and his progress stalled around midseason when he needed arthroscopic knee surgery. Coaches also wanted him to tone his body to make sure he kept his weight in check.
Position: Middle linebacker
Ht./Wt.: 6-1, 212
High school: Ennis
Last year: Jenkins played in all but one game as a true freshman, getting most of his time on special teams. He made eight tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup.
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 293
High school: San Antonio O’Connor
Last year: Brown advanced quickly enough to forgo a redshirt year by the third game. He wound up playing in 11 games and starting the last three against Baylor, Texas and Arizona State.
One of Texas Tech's preferred walk-ons is Braden Marusak, a son of former Red Raiders defensive back Dean Marusak who lettered from 1985-88. Braden Marusak was first-team all-District 3-4A for Amarillo in 2012 and second-team all-District 3-4A last year.
He’s listed at 6-3, 192 pounds and learning the Raider outside linebacker spot. He played safety for the Sandies.
Tech coaches will evaluate Ohio State transfer Mike Mitchell at middle linebacker as he begins his time with the Red Raiders.
Mitchell was ranked a top-10 recruit in Texas and a top-60 player in the nation by 247Sports.com when he signed with Ohio State in February 2013. The Plano Prestonwood Christian graduate redshirted last season and transferred to Tech in June to be back closer to home.
Mitchell is sitting out this season, so coaches have plenty of time to decide where they want to use him.
The next few weeks are important for Texas Tech’s Josh Outlaw. What he shows in preseason practice will determine whether he’s a genuine, game-time backup early this season or just No. 2 on the depth chart.
Outlaw, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound redshirt freshman, is Tech’s second-string left tackle behind newcomer Dominique Robertson. But should Robertson or right tackle Reshod Fortenberry get hurt in a game, it’s likely line coach Lee Hays would move right guard Le’Raven Clark outside and tap his surplus of guards.
Texas Tech running backs coach Mike Jinks and his wife, Meredith, had their third child on May 21, a son they named Tristan.
The newborn, along with the Jinkses’ 8-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter, has made the Tech coach introspective.
“I started late,” said Jinks, who is 42. “Most guys my age have kids playing in high school, making their way to college. I’ve got little ones at home and, really, it’s given me, over the last couple of years, a different perspective.
Pro teams don’t invest much of their payroll to fill certain positions — think kickers and punters in the NFL, low-leverage relief pitchers in the major leagues. The same goes for college football teams, who seldom sign players at certain positions to scholarship agreements straight out of high school.
Texas Tech figures it can find big blocking backs by sorting through non-marquee players on the roster.
As of late afternoon Tuesday, Texas Tech had about 100 tickets left on sale for the Red Raiders’ Nov. 1 home game against Texas.
The tickets are in section 13 at the north end of Jones AT&T Stadium.
Tech spokesman Blayne Beal said Texas returned 500 tickets of its allotment and did not need 1,300 tickets Tech had reserved for the Showband of the Southwest, because it’s bringing only a pep band. Nearly all those 1,800 tickets have already been sold, Beal said.
Texas Tech went through its first workout of the preseason Monday in pleasant early evening conditions. Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury reiterated that an NCAA rule change allowing coaches to provide two hours of weekly instruction to players makes a difference.
“It was good, spirited,” Kingsbury said. “We moved around pretty good. We can tell this summer, being able to meet with them really helped. They were following along a lot better than last year. That’s encouraging.”