The flooding in south Louisiana over the past two weeks may or may not have registered with some Texas Tech football players. The circumstances resonate with Red Raiders defensive end Lonzell Gilmore, though.
Gilmore, his family displaced 11 years ago by Hurricane Katrina, can empathize with those in the flood-ravaged Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas.
“It kind of got close to my new home, Houston, with my family,” Gilmore said of the current flooding. “It’s a pretty bad situation down there. All I can do is pray, hope it gets better.”
Kent Hance once told a joke about some fellow supervising an offseason football stadium project. Asked if the work would be completed in time for the opener, he answered with a question: “Is it a day game or a night game?”
No such worries on Texas Tech’s north end zone development, apparently, at least as far most people will be able to tell.
“Who’s our next all-American?” a Texas Tech football staffer asked me the other day. “Other than number 5.”
I paused for a moment, not sure if we were playing “Match Game” — me trying to come up with the name he had in mind — or if he was soliciting my opinion.
“Number 86,” he said, following up before I finished thinking. “He’s smooooth.”
One of Texas Tech’s perceived strengths this season is having a lot of options at receiver.
The football might not go to Derrick Willies, a tall, tantalizing newcomer, as often as Tech fans would like, but Willies says he’s OK with that.
“Coach Kingsbury does a great job making sure everybody’s getting the ball,” Willies said after Tuesday’s practice.
Texas Tech had two freshmen start at linebacker at different times last season, and that could be the case again this year.
Jordyn Brooks, a 6-foot-1, 243-pound freshman from Houston Stratford, and graduate transfer Luke Stice from the University of Houston are vying for the job at weak-side linebacker. Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said after Tuesday’s workout Brooks could start.
“I’m not sure if he will,” Kingsbury said, “but I would not bet against it, particularly as the season goes on. He’s got that type of ability.”
Kirby Hocutt’s getting ready to start his first season in one of college sports’ most high-profile positions: Chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee.
But the Texas Tech athletic director served on the panel previously and says there’s not the politicking some cynical fans might suspect.
Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt says adding a 2018 football season opener against Mississippi necessitates moving the Red Raiders’ previously scheduled opener against Missouri State to another season.
That’s the holdup in finalizing the Tech-Ole Miss matchup reported recently by ESPN.com.
To the extent Gary Moore’s played at all for Texas Tech, he’s been a situtational option. A pass-rush piece on third-and-long. A special-teams player.
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound defensive end’s been in the program for three years going on four, counting his redshirt season, and now, with the departures of Branden Jackson and Pete Robertson, he has a starting job to look after.
Texas Tech coaches haven’t been shy about heaping praise on Terence Steele.
What’s unusual about that? Nothing, other than the big offensive tackle’s yet to play a college game. Reading between the lines, though, Tech coaches seem to think Steele could be another Le’Raven Clark, the three-time all-Big 12 tackle who started every game the last four years on the Red Raiders’ offensive line.
Put Steele on the spot, ask if he can play at Clark’s level, and the redshirt freshman squirms and smiles a little.
Piling up honors is a seemingly annual thing for Zach Thomas.
That was true when he was a player, and it remains so in his retirement.
A year after he was selected for the College Football Hall of Fame, the much-decorated linebacker will be inducted this fall into the Texas Tech Ring of Honor, becoming the fifth member of the exclusive club.
Sophomore running back Demarcus Felton broke free for a big gain during the early team period in Wednesday’s Texas Tech football practice.
All well and good with Quinton White, who’s also competing for time at running back but increasingly earns his spurs in diversified ways.
“The type of guy I am, I would much rather hit somebody and let Stockton or Felton break the long touchdown run,” White said later.
Texas Tech defensive tackle Breiden Fehoko started all 13 games last year as a second-semester freshman, giving the Red Raiders some push up front and hope for the future.
Defensive coordinator David Gibbs would like to see less of Fehoko this season, which might seem counterintuitive.
“He played too much,” Gibbs said. “We didn’t have anybody to spell him, so his production was down because he got beat up. He won’t play near as much simply because you cannot play 80, 85 plays a game against these Big 12 offensive linemen.
Mahomes named to Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award watch
Mahomes named to Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award watch
Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes II on Tuesday was named to the preseason watch list for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, which goes to the top offensive player in major-college football who has played at some level in Texas.
The quarterback was one of 41 players nationally recognized on the watch list which was announced by the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce during its annual kickoff luncheon event.
Texas Tech’s preseason practices and scrimmages are closed to the public and media.
But if you’d been at Jones AT&T Stadium on Saturday, you might’ve liked what you saw from Keenon Ward and Keke Coutee apparently.
Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said the senior safety from Snyder and the sophomore inside receiver from Lufkin were the players of the day during the scrimmage.
Kingsbury said Ward’s tackling “has improved dramatically.”
“I saw it in the spring. It continues to happen in fall camp,” Kingsbury said.