Kliff Kingsbury tried, first as the offensive coordinator at Houston and then at Texas A&M, to sign Reginald Davis out of Class 1A Tenaha.
But despite Kingsbury’s best efforts, Davis was never headed anywhere but Lubbock.
“We went hard at him at both schools and tried to pull him away from Texas Tech,” Kingsbury said. “But he was a Red Raider all the way. I know he wants to be here, so that’s pretty cool.”
Kingsbury’s loss on the recruiting trail is now his gain, as Davis, a redshirt freshman, prepares for his first season of college action with the Red Raiders.
As a dual-threat quarterback at Tenaha, Davis rushed for almost 2,000 yards while scoring 35 touchdowns during his senior season. As a junior, he recorded five total touchdowns during his team’s victory in the 2011 state championship game.
That play-making ability showed up Saturday in Midland, when Davis made an acrobatic, 5-yard touchdown pass in the back of end zone, part of a three-catch, 39-yard performance.
“He’s done a really good job coming from a small town and adjusting,” Kingsbury said. “We’ve been real impressed. I think the sky’s the limit if he keeps working.”
Davis is not the only former small-school athlete who could provide some help at the receiver position this season.
Redshirt freshman Dominique Wheeler, a do-it-all threat at Class 2A Crockett, has shown some flashes after a season on the scout team, including a 24-yard catch in the Midland scrimmage.
“He’s been good,” Kingsbury said of Wheeler. “He’s a kid who they would just snap the ball to in high school and let him run. So he’s adjusting to being a receiver — techniques, routes, things of that nature — but the effort has been good. So if he keeps at it he’s got a chance.”
Texas Tech’s scrimmage on Saturday in Midland, it’s first public appearance this season, wasn’t without some of the sloppiness that can only be expected from a team participating in its first spring camp under an entirely new coaching staff.
But when Kliff Kingsbury scrutinized the film of the event in the days that followed, he found he had little problem with the effort that played out in front of him.
“I thought there were some guys out there who were really turning it on,” he said. “Not many loafs, which is good. It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t that clean of a scrimmage, but the effort was there. We can build off that.”
Kingsbury said his team’s next scrimmage — 8 p.m. Friday at Jones AT&T Stadium, an event open to the public — will take on the same look, a full-contact affair with a number of offense-versus-defenses series and some kicking game thrown in.
Wide receivers Eric Ward and Bradley Marquez, who are both rehabbing injuries, will be among the players who will be held out, Kingsbury said.
“It will be cool to play under the lights,” the coach said. “Hopefully it will be a nice crowd, nice weather. Any time you get in that stadium you should be excited to go. I think we’ll be revved up.”
Compiled by Nick Kosmider