When Davis Webb wanted to map out some Texas Tech passing-game detail this summer with Bradley Marquez, all he had to do was holler.
Raising his voice sufficed, at or away from the practice field.
Marquez, you see, replaced all-America inside receiver Jace Amaro, not only at Amaro’s old position but as one of Webb’s roommates.
“I have film upstairs,” Webb said recently. “I can call Brad downstairs: ‘Hey, come upstairs for a second.’ We can go over a couple of plays, see what I want him to do and what I think he should do. Get on the same page like that.”
How convenient. In offseasons past, a Tech quarterback would have had to scream really loud to be heard by Marquez, several states away.
The Tech receiver spent the summers of 2012 and 2013 in Kingsport, Tennessee, playing for the New York Mets’ rookie affiliate in the Appalachian League.
An outfielder, he was ranked the best athlete in the Mets’ system after the 2011 and 2012 seasons by Baseball America.
Marquez put his pro baseball career on hold this summer, though, to get ready for his last go-round as a Big 12 football player.
“I just wanted to prepare myself as much as possible to have the best possible senior year that I can,” he said. “This is my last year. I wanted to leave my mark on Texas Tech, so I felt like this summer was much needed for me to just focus on football and get in the weight room, so hopefullly it’ll transition in the fall.”
It’s not as if Marquez is a marginal wideout. He caught 49 passes for 633 yards and six touchdowns a year ago, coming back from a season-ending knee injury the year before.
Tech coaches long have raved about Marquez as a model player who takes care of business on the field and in the classroom.
That being the case, one might wonder how much there was to be gained by his staying in Lubbock this summer. He already knew the offense. He’s already worked with Webb.
But Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury says not to underestimate the difference the last few months could make.
“It’s been huge,” Kingsbury said, “just watching his body change. He’s put on weight. He’s put on muscle. He’s run a lot more than he’s ever run. In the past, the first three weeks of camp, he’s just getting into shape, getting caught up with the rest of the guys, and now he’s there in the best shape of his life.
“So I expect it to be a huge, huge impact for his play this year.”
After this season, Marquez says he’ll return to baseball and head to spring training in February.
The Mets drafted him in 2011, and he said they wanted him to keep playing this year to get the work he needed and move up in the chain.
That he’s back in Lubbock for his senior season probably comes as a surprise to a segment of Tech fans, many of whom have expected him to walk away from football by now.
“It’s a little bit of love for the game and the university as well, to get that degree,” Marquez said.
“That’s the biggest thing for me, because sports aren’t going to be there forever, but that degree will.
“I know my mom wants me to get it more than anything. That was another thing that helped in my decision, being able to take some summer classes so I can graduate this December.”
Before gets his diploma with an exercise and sports science major, he’ll be trying to get down the nuances of playing Tech’s “Y” inside receiver, the position Amaro played last year. He’s also replaced Amaro at home.
Kenny Williams and Amaro were Webb’s housemates last year.
Now the arrangement has Webb and Williams upstairs, Marquez downstairs.
Just a shout away.
“We can get on the same page like that,” Webb said. “Just having Brad in the house and getting to know him on and off the field has been great for our team.”
Follow Don on Twitter