Defensive end Gary Moore came back from injury during the second half of spring football and played Saturday. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound redshirt freshman had been out with a foot injury since late last season.
“He shows up now,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “He’s got some quick-twitch that we don’t have on the defensive line, so it’s going to be exciting.”
On Saturday, Moore made a tackle and was penalized twice — once for being offside, another time for hands to the helmet of quarterback Tanner Tausch.
The Fehoko family was a prominent presence at the Texas Tech spring game Saturday. Former Tech linebacker Sam Fehoko and current Red Raiders linebacker V.J. Fehoko had about 10 immediate and extended family members in attendance, Sam Fehoko said.
Before the game, the two linebackers, their father Vili and their younger brother Breiden, one of the nation’s top recruits, led the Red Raiders in a Haka chant and dance.
Texas Tech backup wide receiver Peyton Williams hasn’t practiced this spring, and offensive coordinator Eric Morris indicated the redshirt freshman from Southlake Carroll might leave the program.
“He’s had an injury,” said Morris, who coaches the receivers. “I think he’s consulting right now with his family and trying to decide what his next steps will be, whether he wants to come back and play.”
It’s fortunate for Texas Tech that Rashad Fortenberry had his senior-year eligibility restored recently.
Matt Wilson’s career could be over after another knee surgery, offensive line coach Lee Hays said. Wilson’s a junior who played in four games last season backing up Fortenberry at right tackle.
If Texas Tech had a game this Saturday, seniors Kenny Williams and Austin Stewart would be the 1-2 at Raider outside linebacker, co-defensive coordinator Mike Smith said Tuesday.
“What’s great about that is they’re both playing pretty well,” Smith said. “They’re both competing and both of them are cheering each other on. When you have two guys at a position playing well, competition makes a football team. They practice hard every day because they both want to play.”
Texas Tech defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt said before spring practice that sophomore safety Keenon Ward needed to finish better on tackles and show more confidence at the point of attack.
Ward apparently took the message to heart.
Co-defensive coordinator Mike Smith said Ward has stood out this spring, not just among the candidates for an open safety spot, but on the defense in general.
MIDLAND — Among the players who sat out Saturday were SEs Devin Lauderdale and Derreck Edwards and DE Branden Jackson. Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said Lauderdale had a staph infection and Edwards and Jackson both had been bothered by headaches. He said he expects all three back for Monday’s practice. He said Edwards and Lauderdale had missed a couple of workouts each. ... Jackson’s being held out gave DE Zach Barnes a chance to go with the first team. ... NT Donte Phillips had a touch sack on QB Tanner Tausch and a tackle for loss on FB Rodney Hall, both in the first half of the scrimmage.
MIDLAND — Texas Tech punter Taylor Symmank averaged 50.8 yards with good hang time on eight punts during a special-teams segment of Saturday's scrimmage. Two caveats: It wasn’t a live period, so there was no rush, and Symmank had a south wind at his back.
Nevertheless, it’s no secret the junior from McKinney Boyd has a strong leg, so strong that he briefly took the job from senior Ryan Erxleben last September. He punted 12 times for a 42-yard average, but didn’t show the consistency coaches wanted.
MIDLAND -- Linebackers Andre Ross and Kris Williams and defensive tackle Keland McElrath all took part in Saturday’s scrimmage, which constituted good news for the Tech defense.
Defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt said last week that McElrath had gotten back on the field after being bothered since last season with a foot stress fracture.
Williams suffered a torn ACL in August, and Wallerstedt was not expecting to see him back in the mix before late spring, if at all. And Ross had a back issue over the winter that kept him out at the beginning of spring.
MIDLAND -- Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said senior inside receiver Bradley Marquez will not play pro baseball this summer for the first time since 2011. Marquez has spent school years with the Red Raiders and the summers of 2012 and 2013 in the New York Mets’ minor-league system.
“Now, he’s not done for good, but not (playing baseball) this summer,” Kingsbury said after the team’s scrimmage Saturday. “He’s going to stick around and work out.”
Kingsbury sounded excited about what Marquez can achieve.