Defensive end Kaleb Hill, who transferred from Boise State, and defensive back Willie Sykes, who transferred from Arkansas, both are on Texas Tech’s 105-man preseason roster.
Sykes is a 6-foot, 180-pound sophomore from Spring. Hill is a 6-1, 227-pound sophomore from Schertz Clemens. Sykes got into 12 games last year and was credited with nine tackles. He played safety in 2015, and moved to cornerback during the Razorbacks’ spring practice.
Lightning in the area delayed the start of Texas Tech’s first preseason practice for 40 minutes Monday. The Red Raiders were scheduled to go at 4 p.m. and were pushed back to 4:40 p.m.
“Looking forward to that indoor, for sure,” Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury said afterward. “I guess that’s about three times this summer we’ve been affected, but it’s part of it. I thought our kids handled it well.”
Texas Tech's Houston Miller posted a photo Monday on Twitter of a mattress in front of his locker with the words, “Why go back to your room when you can just sleep at the facility?”
Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said he was unaware if the freshman defensive end actually slept in the locker room at the Tech Football Training Facility the night before practice started, but doesn’t mind if he did.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury sported a new look at his post-practice press conference Monday, donning a wide-brimmed hat.
“Lots of sun damage,” he said. “Needed to keep the youthful exuberance. Had to protect it (the face).”
Kingsbury seldom wears anything atop his head and only a visor when he does. He said he put on the hat on a recommendation.
When Texas Tech started spring practices March 5, coaches initially put Terence Steele at left tackle and Madison Akamnonu at right tackle with the idea it could change. They quickly reversed the two redshirt freshmen: Akamnonu has spent most of the first six workouts at left tackle, but that’s no criticism of Steele’s work, based on Kliff Kingsbury singling him out again Thursday.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said Thursday he’s not worried about Nigel Bethel II's eligibility as the junior cornerback sits out spring practice. Kingsbury said Tuesday that he wants Bethel focused on the classroom this semester.
“He’ll be fine with eligibility,” Kingsbury said. “Just wanted him to get his mind in the right place as far as academics go.”
Except for a couple of scrimmages, Texas Tech spring practices are closed to the public and media. So it’s up to Kliff Kingsbury and his players to share the highlights.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes II didn’t have to think long to come up with the most impressive catch of the first few days.
“So far, the best one has to be Zach Austin, actually today,” Mahomes said. “He ran a post over the middle, had a guy right on him and dove full out — had a one-handed catch for a touchdown. That was the main play that stands out.”
First-semester freshman Jett Duffey made the throw.
Jakeem Grant made The Associated Press All-America team last year as the third-team all-purpose player, and his departure leaves a void in the Texas Tech attack. Grant caught 90 passes for 1,268 yards and 10 touchdowns his senior year, threw a touchdown pass in a win at Arkansas, ran for the final TD in a victory at Texas and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.
Now quarterback Patrick Mahomes has to find a new security blanket.
Inside receiver Ian Sadler won’t do much during Texas Tech's spring workouts as a consequence of the knee injury that sidelined him for three games in October last season. Sadler described it at the time as a hyperextension.
Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said Tuesday that Sadler had “a procedure” on the knee. Coaches, aware of what he can do, won’t push him in spring practice.
Dylan Cantrell’s finally getting to compete for a starting job, seven months after he expected to.
The Texas Tech wide receiver says he has a clean bill of health after lower-back problems that cropped up in August derailed his 2015 season. The junior from Whitehouse, having not previously sat out, used it as a redshirt year.
“Just having the opportunity to come back and be able to get after it with (teammates) and compete with them has been a lot of fun,” Cantrell said after Tuesday’s spring-football workout, the Red Raiders’ first in pads.