Smith goes to middle
If Will Smith is Texas Tech’s first-team middle linebacker next season, then Tuesday is where it all started. Smith moved to the middle during the Red Raiders’ ninth spring football practice, and head coach Tommy Tuberville sounded as if he wants the junior transfer to claim the spot.
Tuberville said Smith tackles well, runs well from the inside to the perimeter and understands and communicates the defense.
“If you play him at an outside linebacker position, there’s going to be some games you might not get 20 snaps,” Tuberville said, “because a defensive back’s going to take your spot (against passing teams).
“After watching the first eight practices and two scrimmages, there’s no doubt he’s going to be one of our better linebackers, maybe the best.”
With Smith moving inside, Sam Eguavoen moved from the middle to the outside. Blake Dees and Zach Winbush patrolled the middle Tuesday in addition to Smith.
Eguavoen, Justin Cooper and Pete Robertson worked strong side, and Daniel Cobb and Chris Payne worked weak side.
Tuberville said Payne has looked good after missing some workouts with knee soreness, but he’s looking for more from Cobb.
“He’s got more experience, but he just hasn’t played up to his potential,” Tuberville said.
Tuberville said Cobb’s effort is fine, but he needs to work on his mental game.
In five-DB packages, a linebacker comes off in favor of Jarvis Phillips or Tre Porter, who are working as the first and second nickel back, respectively.
Coaches have spent the first two-thirds of workouts trying to determine which spots several of the linebackers are best suited to play.
“The last five practices, I think coach (Art) Kaufman’s going to get them all in one position and leave them, which I think will help them.”
Starters miss workout
Cornerback Eugene Neboh suffered a concussion and might be held out the rest of spring practice, head coach Tommy Tuberville said Tuesday. Neboh worked with the first team the first two weeks, making a good case to start.
After Saturday’s scrimmage, linebacker Terrance Bullitt said teammates had taken to calling Neboh “the Reptile.”
“He’s quick like a reptile,” Bullitt said. “He strikes.”
Derrick Mays played with the first unit in Neboh’s spot.
Starting left guard Beau Carpenter was in what Tuberville described as “a slight fender bender” and missed Tuesday’s workout with a neck sprain. Alfredo Morales took Carpenter’s spot with the first team.
Tuberville said Carpenter could be back for today’s practice, though.
Defensive tackle Lee Adams suffered a possible concussion late in Tuesday’s practice, Tuberville said.
Reynolds makes noise
Cornerback Jeremy Reynolds, a redshirt freshman, has used the spring to make himself better, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“He’s got a lot of football sense,” Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said, “and I like the way he breaks on the ball. He’s got a good chance to be a heck of a corner.”
Last year, Reynolds showed good hip turn and range. That being the case, he trained at field corner, which plays the wide side of the field.
This spring, Reynolds repeatedly has shown a willingness to put a lick on running backs and receivers. On Tuesday, he gave up a deep ball to flanker Bradley Marquez in 7-on-7, but came back in a team period to tackle Marquez for a loss on a tunnel screen.
“He wants to play,” Tuberville said. “He wants to be a physical corner, rather than just a cover guy.”
Tech will have its 10th of the NCAA-allotted 15 spring sessions at 4 p.m. today, then won’t be back on the field until after next week’s university spring break. The Red Raiders moved up the originally scheduled workout by a day because the forecast calls for high temperatures of 79 degrees today and 46 degrees Thursday. ... CB Cornelius Douglas has been one of the defense’s best players this spring, picking off passes and making decisive breaks to deflect passes. The offense finally got one on him Tuesday as FL Darrin Moore caught a 45-yard TD pass over Douglas in 11-on-11. ... LG Alfredo Morales and RT Le’Raven Clark both were called for false starts within the first eight snaps of the early team period, which extended an annoying trend. “It seems like we’re making a lot of mistakes,” Tuberville said. “Saturday we had seven or eight illegal-procedure penalties. You can’t have that in a game, but hopefully we’ll get those out of the way this spring.”
Compiled by Don Williams