Surgery sidelines safety
Texas Tech freshman Jalen Barnes posted Tuesday on his Instagram account that he had shoulder surgery and will be out for the season. Barnes posted a picture of himself with his arm in a sling, saying he was “fresh out of surgery.”
That development means junior-college transfer Dorian Crawford or redshirt freshman Keenon Ward could be J.J. Gaines’ backup at strong safety. Crawford and Barnes were competing for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart.
On Monday, defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt said Ward could be the third safety behind starters Tre Porter and Gaines. Ward is listed behind Porter.
Barnes was a first-team all-District 21-5A honoree last year Port Arthur Austin after he made 54 tackles, an interception and five pass breakups.
Squeezed for time
Texas Tech fullback Omar Ontiveros played in 19 games the last two years, primarily on special teams and getting limited time on offense as a blocking back. Those chances won’t be any easier to come by this season.
The Red Raiders aren’t planning many big-back sets, according to running backs coach Mike Jinks, and he doesn’t want Kenny Williams and DeAndre Washington spending much time on the sideline.
Ontiveros, a 6-foot-1, 236-pound junior from Austin Westlake, suffered a season-ending knee injury last year in game eight at Kansas State. Before that, he’d caught three passes for 24 yards.
“Omar’s done a great job of working back from the injury,” Jinks said. “We have some short-yardage sets and things of that nature that Omar will be involved in. But really, being honest with you, we want to keep Dre and Kenny on the field as much as we can. Those two guys are truly special. They’re big-time players.”
The $5.3 million in annual donations to the Red Raider Club that Tech announced last week will be sufficient to cover scholarship costs for all athletes, a Tech official said.
According to Amy Heard, associate athletic director/Red Raider Club, the total tab for athletic scholarships for fall, spring and summer comes to $5.217 million.
It’s the first time donations have met or exceeded scholarship costs, according to Tech officials. In recent years, annual shortfalls have been in the range of $2 million to $3 million, according to reports in the Avalanche-Journal.
The fiscal year ends Aug. 31, meaning the $5.3 million in donations could increase.
Compiled by Don Williams