Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine believes Texas Tech will field an entertaining team this season.
But a big winner?
The magazine’s annual summer edition doesn’t seem sure what to make of the Red Raiders in 2014, slotting them sixth in the Big 12 Conference, but with a chance to surprise.
“The second year under Kliff Kingsbury feels like it could go any which way but loose,” Texas Football says. “The offense must replace playmakers on the outside, but looks to have stability at QB with Davis Webb. The defense has tons of playmakers, but remains a bit of a mystery.
“10 wins? Maybe. Miss a bowl? Also maybe. Really, only one thing’s for sure: The Red Raiders are must-see TV every week.”
Tech is coming off an 8-5 season, one in which the Red Raiders won their first seven games, lost five Big 12 games in a row, then upset Pac-12 South Division champion Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl.
One key development late in the year was Webb’s big finish in San Diego and transfers by Baker Mayfield and Michael Brewer that cleared the stage at quarterback.
Now Texas Football has Tech fighting with TCU in the middle of the pack, but suggests Kingsbury will be under the gun to make the Red Raiders more than just competitive.
“The honeymoon is over in Lubbock, and the fans are hungry for a winner,” the magazine says. “Don’t be surprised if Davis Webb gives them one.”
Texas Football forecasts Oklahoma to win the Big 12, followed by Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas. Then come TCU and Tech fighting in the middle, ahead of Kansas State, Iowa State, West Virginia and Kansas.
On the all-Texas college team, Tech junior tackle Le’Raven Clark is the Red Raiders’ only first-team honoree. The Red Raiders’ second-team selections are junior inside reciever Jakeem Grant, senior kicker Ryan Bustin, junior outside linebacker Pete Robertson and senior outside linebacker Kenny Williams.
Texas Football has Williams as the second-team utility player, a nod to Williams switching from offense to defense after two years as Tech’s leading rusher and his also covering punts.
Kingsbury said after spring practice he expects Williams to help the defense and still be heard from situationally on offense, having a role in a package of plays.
The 400-page summer edition also previews more than 1,400 high schools.
Three high school players committed to Tech are preseason all-state selections: Katy safety Collin Wilder in Class 6A, Texas City linebacker D’Vonta Hinton in Class 5A and Stephenville quarterback Jarrett Stidham in Class 4A.
Stidham also is Texas Football’s preseason pick for Class 4A player of the year.
Seagraves running back Cory Kyle, the state’s top returning rusher after a season in which he went off for 3,179 yards, is preseason Class 2A all-state.
Lubbock High’s Devante Greathouse, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound receiver, is spotlighted as one of 5A’s “money players.”
Frenship, 12-1 last season but moving up to the state’s top classification, is ranked No. 26 in Class 6A. Area teams ranked in the top 20 in their respective classifications include Shallowater (13-1 last year), Littlefield (7-5), Idalou (8-4), Abernathy (11-2), New Deal (12-2), Seagraves (9-5) and Sundown (8-4).
The UIL rebranded six-man as Class 1A during the February realignment. Among those teams ranked in the preseason top 10 are Ira (12-1), Valley (10-4), Borden County (6-6), Grady (7-5), Motley County (8-5), Paducah (6-5) and Jayton (9-3).
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