Former Texas Tech quarterback Baker Mayfield plans to transfer to Oklahoma in January and walk on to the football team, according to a report Thursday by the Austin American-Statesman, Mayfield’s hometown newspaper.
The report cited an unnamed source close to Mayfield.
Arizona State running back Marion Grice was a big concern for any team preparing to face the Sun Devils this season, but there’s a chance Texas Tech could catch a break.
Grice missed the team’s regular-season finale against Arizona and the Pac-12 championship game against Stanford with a lower-leg injury. On Sunday, the Arizona Republic reported Grice is in a protective boot, walking with a limp and hasn’t practiced in three weeks.
Texas Tech recently moved two members of its 2013 signing class from offense to defense, with Gary Moore going from wide receiver to defensive end and Tyler Middleton going from running back to cornerback.
Moore, the former Clarksville High School standout, was 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds when he reported in the summer. Defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt hopes in a year or two Moore can look something like starting defensive end Branden Jackson, who is 6-4 and 248.
In fact, he already does somewhat.
Texas Tech safety Tanner Jacobson, who cracked the starting lineup as a true freshman walk-on this season, will leave the program at mid-term for a two-year Mormon mission, athletic department spokesman Blayne Beal confirmed Thursday.
Jacobson will be with the team through the Holiday Bowl game Dec. 30 against Arizona State, Beal said.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound former Southlake Carroll standout ranks 10th on the team with 40 tackles, including one tackle for loss. He’s also been credited with a two caused fumbles, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.
Defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt is Texas Tech’s highest paid assistant football coach, but ranks no better than 74th in the nation and 14th in the Big 12 Conference in pay among his colleagues, according to a national survey.
USA Today on Wednesday published a pay scale for all assistants in the FBS that showed three making more than $1 million this year. The leader is Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris, the former Lake Travis head coach, at more than $1.3 million.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury is due $75,000 in bonuses, according to terms of the contract he signed in February — $25,000 for getting the Red Raiders to a non-BCS bowl and another $50,000 based on attendance.
Kingsbury’s agreement with Tech spells out that if average home attendance is 95 percent or better of Jones AT&T Stadium’s listed capacity, he earns the bonus. Tech reported an average home attendance this season of 57,933, which is almost 96 percent of the listed capacity of 60,454.
Texas Tech will have a budget of $1,339,660 for its trip to the Holiday Bowl, senior associate athletic director Bobby Gleason said Wednesday.
The Big 12 Conference allocates $1 million for what it designates as a Tier II bowl, the Holiday being one. The remaining $339,660 consists of $370 per statute mile, one way, to the bowl site.
“As usual, we’re trying really hard to break even,” Gleason said.
Gleason said Tech has been close to a balanced budget on recent bowl trips.
Texas Tech will start two true freshmen in the secondary Thursday against Texas. February signee Justis Nelson will get his second start in a row at field (wide-side) cornerback, defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt said Monday, and walk-on Tanner Jacobson from Southlake Carroll will make his third start at strong safety.
Both positions have been a revolving door lately. Olaoluwa Falemi started the first eight games at field corner. Derrick Mays made two starts, and then Nelson started and played 90 snaps in Tech’s last game against Baylor.
Inside linebacker Blake Dees has been dismissed from the team, Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday, for a violation of team rules.
“He is not on the team,” Kingsbury said. “Moving forward, it’s something we’ll have to evaluate with him.”
Dees, a junior from Spanish Fort, Ala., had 11 tackles with two tackles for loss. He had not played in the last three games. Before that, he was a backup inside linebacker.
Bennett Ofor was in the Texas Tech defensive line rotation from the beginning of the game Saturday at Oklahoma, meaning the transfer from Midwestern State got his most significant playing time so far.
He came in mostly on passing downs for Dennell Wesley and lined up at noseguard.
It might have been because the Red Raiders needed another body with Dartwan Bush out with a sprained knee. And it might be a sign of Ofor’s development.