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Texas Tech Big 12 Media Day schedule, players announced

Posted: July 6, 2017 - 5:02pm

Following a 5-7 season, the Texas Tech football team has plenty of questions to answer come fall.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury, along with playmakers from the offensive and defensive side, will attempt to shed a little light on expectations and more at Big 12 Media Days set for July 17-18 at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco.

Kingsbury’s press conference will be shown live from 11:15 to 11:35 a.m. on Fox Sports Southwest and Big12Sports.com.

Along with Kingsbury, who enters his fifth year at the helm, Texas Tech will send wide receivers Cameron Batson, Dylan Cantrell and Keke Coutee, along with defensive back Jah’Shawn Johnson to speak on the opening day of the event.

Coutee (890 yards, seven touchdowns), Cantrell (675 yards, eight TDs) and Batson (644 yards, eight TDs) are expected to be at the forefront of a dynamic passing offense, which ranked No. 1 at 463 yards per game last season.

With the departure of leading receiver Jonathan Giles (1,158 yards, 13 TDs), Coutee is expected to be one of several stars to become breakout stars in the wide receiver corps.

But a key component is gone: record-breaking quarterback Patrick Mahomes II, a two-time FBS total offense leader, who was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 10th pick of the NFL Draft back in April.

Also, missing from the Red Raiders’s media day quartet is quarterback Nik Shimonek, who is expected to replace Mahomes II in the fall.

Shimonek, a fifth-year senior, showed flashes of a greatness when he replaced an injured Mahomes II in a 55-19 victory over Kansas last September. He threw for 271 yards and four touchdowns.

The Iowa transfer, who appeared in four games and finished with 464 yards and six touchdowns, will be expected to keep the offensive machine that is the Red Raiders’ offense humming throughout the season.

Texas Tech is one of five schools which elected to not bring a quarterback. Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph, TCU’s Kenny Hill, Iowa State’s Joel Lanning and Kansas State’s Jesse Ertz are the five quarterbacks set to attend the event.

Johnson, one of a few bright spots on a Red Raiders’ defense that ranked in the bottom 10 of total defense, is expected help Texas Tech slow down some of those signal callers and offenses.

The 5-10, 185-pound Ennis native finished with 77 total tackles — second only to freshman Jordyn Brooks at 86 — and recorded two interceptions, one sack and recovered one fumble as a sophomore last season.

For the first time, the Big 12 will host its annual football media day at The Ford Center at The Star, which is the official team headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys.

Texas Tech held one of its three spring games inside The Ford Center at The Star back in April.

The Red Raiders slated to begin their 2017 season by hosting Eastern Washington for a Sept. 2 contest at Jones AT&T Stadium on Sept. 2. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. and the game will be televised on FOX Sports Southwest.

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