By: Don Williams on August 14, 2014 - 1:04pm - Add new comment

Tech Roster Analysis

Josh Keys

Position: Free safety

Ht./Wt.: 6-0, 189

Class-Exp.: Jr.-Transfer

High school: Seminary, Miss.

By: Don Williams on August 13, 2014 - 6:57pm - Add new comment

Marcus Smith

Position: Noseguard

Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 302

Class-Exp.: Jr.-Transfer

High school: Wadesboro, N.C.

Last year: In his second year at Highland (Kan.) Community College, Smith got credit for 49 tackles, 41/2 sacks and 31/2 tackles for loss. His team finished 6-4. Smith signed a financial aid agreement with Tech at mid-term, but did not finish his coursework and transfer in until after the spring semester.

By: Don Williams on August 13, 2014 - 5:57pm - Add new comment

Rika Levi

Position: Noseguard

Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 348

Class-Exp.: Jr.-Transfer

High school: South San Francisco, Calif.

By: Don Williams on August 13, 2014 - 5:15pm - Add new comment

Jackson Richards

Position: Defensive lineman

Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 275

Class-Exp.: Sr.-3L

High school: Southlake Carroll

Last year: Mostly a defensive end earlier in his career, Richards increased his usefulness by playing inside and taking a lot of snaps at noseguard. He played in every game, starting four, and was credited with 15 tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack. He also caused a fumble, recovered two, batted a couple of passes and had a key interception against TCU.

By: Don Williams on August 12, 2014 - 9:51pm - Add new comment

Texas Tech special teams coach Darrin Chiaverini is focusing his search for a punt-return specialist on senior Jordan Davis and true freshmen Cameron Batson and Ian Sadler. All three are inside receivers.

Evaluating return men can be tricky since there’s generally little, if any, contact during special-teams periods in practice.

By: Don Williams on August 12, 2014 - 8:58pm - Add new comment

Jacarthy Mack

Position: Raider outside linebacker

Ht./Wt.: 6-1, 196

Class-Exp.: Redshirt freshman

High school: Lithonia, Ga., Martin Luther King

By: Don Williams on August 12, 2014 - 8:15pm - Add new comment

Poet Thomas

Position: Offensive tackle

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 308

Class.-Exp: Redshirt freshman

High school: Beverly Hills, Mich., Country Day

Last year: Thomas signed in February 2013 and took a redshirt year. Toning up his body was one of the early objectives. He’s listed 27 pounds lighter than last year.

By: Don Williams on August 12, 2014 - 7:34pm - Add new comment

Trey Keenan

Position: Offensive tackle

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 272

Class-Exp.: So.-1L

High school: Argyle

Last year: Keenan played in all 13 games last season, mostly on special teams. He was used in short-yardage offense as a tight end, switching from his regular jersey No. 77 to No. 93.

By: Don Williams on August 12, 2014 - 1:49pm - Add new comment

One of Texas Tech’s most important position battles is at cornerback, where the team lost three seniors who combined for 23 starts last season.

By: Don Williams on August 12, 2014 - 1:03pm - Add new comment

Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury’s success with freshman quarterbacks has made him supremely confident about his ability to rapidly develop candidates at that position.

Maybe Patrick Mahomes will be the latest.

Kingsbury said the freshman signee from Whitehouse threw five touchdown passes Sunday in the team’s first intrasquad scrimmage.

“He doesn’t know the system yet,” Kingsbury said, “but his natural ability can get him out of some things. He did a good job extending plays and leading the offense on drives.”