The beard that Texas Tech wide receiver Tramain Swindall started growing in the spring turned out to be no temporary thing. Swindall's facial hair hasn't reached a Braylon Edwards level yet, but he plans to give it plenty of time.
"I’m going to start saying, 'Fear the beard.' I’m trying to make Sports Center," Swindall said after Thursday's practice. "The most I'll probably do is edge it up. I won't cut it at all."
Swindall and then-Tech quarterback Taylor Potts started growing beards about the same time last year, but eventually pulled the plug on the idea.
Texas Tech made it through five preseason football practices without a major injury. The first time the Red Raiders held their collective breath came Thursday morning when sophomore safety Terrance Bullitt went down with a shoulder injury.
Bullitt got hurt in the team's 11-on-11 scrimmage period near the end of practice. Bullitt broke down to face flanker Bradley Marquez crossing the field in his direction, and got hit by a defensive teammate.
On Wednesday, Texas Tech had its fifth preseason practice, meaning the Red Raiders were able to put on full pads for the first time in accordance with NCAA rules.
The showing by the offense left Tech coach Tommy Tuberville underwhelmed.
"Offensively, we took a big step backward," he said. "We've got to find some leadership on offense. Guys are just kind of going through the motions.
"I know it's three weeks away from the first game, but we have no room to waste a practice like this on offense.
A-J staff writer David Just filed these notes from Tuesday's Tech football workout:
Doege gaining ground
Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said he spent most of his time during practice Tuesday watching the quarterbacks, and Seth Doege has distanced himself as the favorite in at least one way.
“Doege is throwing the ball pretty well and looks a lot more comfortable than the rest of the guys,” Tuberville said.
During Texas Tech's spring football practice, cornerback Sawyer Vest benefited from a lot of other cornerbacks being injured. He got a ton of work against first- and second-string receivers.
Apparently, it's paying off. Vest, a senior squadman from Childress, has been running second team to Tre Porter at boundary cornerback. That's the corner that lines up to the short side of the field.
After Vest had another good day Tuesday, Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said he's not just a space filler.
"Sawyer had a very good spring," Tuberville said. "He's got good quickness.
Among his several objectives this season, Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville wants to develop a deeper pool of defensive linemen than what he had available last year. No surprise, coming from someone who once coached under Jimmy Johnson.
“We’re going to force ourself to play eight to 10 guys a game, even though some guys might not be ready to play,” Tuberville said after Monday’s workout. “They’ll be ready physically.
-- The move from 4:30 p.m. practices over the weekend to 10:15 a.m. Monday saved the Red Raiders a little exposure to the heat, but it remains plenty warm. The temperature ranged from 87 to 94 degrees while the Red Raiders worked out for the first time in shoulder pads.
"It's been a good start," Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said.
A handful of notes from Texas Tech's Sunday practice, the second of preseason camp:
Tuberville: Tech 'more athletic'
One of the team’s downfalls last season was that it lacked big plays on offense and pass rush on defense. Tech coach Tommy Tuberville thinks the team’s newcomers will alleviate that.
“We look a lot more athletic, and I think everybody would agree,” he said after Sunday’s workout, the team’s second of August camp. “Just looking at all the guys as a whole, we have more speed, a little more athletic ability and we look stronger.
Texas Tech wide receiver Jacoby Franks pronounced himself good to go after the team's first preseason workout. Franks missed the last six games of last season and spring practice with a broken foot he suffered last October.
Franks said he didn't need Saturday's workout to feel confident his surgically repaired foot would hold up.
"I regained my confidence in the summer when I was running with (quarterback Seth) Doege, when Doege made me go through all these routes all day," said Franks, who had 25 catches for 254 yards in 2010.
A few notes from Texas Tech's first preseason football workout, which took place Saturday on the practice fields adjacent to the team facility:
-- The temperature on the team's artificial turf practice field was measured at 140 degrees, Tech coach Tommy Tuberville. As he has all summer, though, Tuberville lauded his strength and conditioning staff for having players ready to go.
"It showed out here today," Tuberville said. "Not many people even got tired.