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.
MIDLAND -- Texas Tech coaches have gone back and forth on whether to play sophomore Dylan Cantrell as an inside receiver or an outside receiver. He spent the 2013 regular season inside, but during Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage at Grande Communications Stadium, he was back on the outside, at flanker.
Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said it was a recent move.
One of Davis Webb’ more impressive passes of the day was a 26-yard touchdown shot to Cantrell, who was lined up outside.
Though Texas Tech defensive line coach John Scott Jr. has been impressed with defensive tackle Demetrius Alston so far in spring practice, some others in his position group have shown up as well.
“Branden Jackson did a really nice job for us in the scrimmage (before spring break),” Scott said Tuesday. “Jackson Richards is getting better with his feet and technique. You see him looking like a different guy than he looked at times in the fall and last spring, so we’re really excited about him.”
Outside linebacker Andre Ross remains out with a back problem, and defensive end Gary Moore also hasn’t practiced yet, Texas Tech coaches said Tuesday. The Red Raiders have had their first three sessions of spring football.
Moore has been out with a leg injury since last season, and defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt said he hopes the redshirt freshman can get on the field after spring break.
Redshirt freshman Josh Outlaw has been moved to tackle this spring, Texas Tech offensive line coach Lee Hays said, to fulfill a promise made during recruiting. Outlaw spent virtually all of last season practicing at guard, where he trained as an emergency option in case of injuries.
He traveled with the team and suited up in case a couple of the guards went down.
Asked Tuesday to name players who have impressed him after three sessions of spring practice, Texas Tech defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt singled out weak inside linebacker Sam Eguavoen, strong safety Jalen Barnes, defensive tackle Demetrious Alston, middle linebacker V.J. Fehoko and cornerback Justis Nelson.
Eguavoen is making the switch from middle linebacker, where he started every game last season, to weak inside where 2013 senior Will Smith was the starter.
Davis Webb’s situation has changed immensely in the several weeks since the 2014 football season ended. The Texas Tech sophomore goes into spring as the unquestioned No. 1 quarterback with the mid-term transfers of Baker Mayfield, Michael Brewer and Clayton Nicholas. He’s got a shorter haircut and is carrying 210 pounds on his 6-foot-4 frame.
And he’s being noticed a lot more after throwing four touchdown passes in the Red Raiders’ first four offensive series of the Holiday Bowl.