So Much Stuff: There's just a ton of stuff out there today and I don't have time to write two or three posts, so it all gets dumped into a DTN DD.
Enjoy the Journey: Ball Don't Lie writer Kelly Dwyer has a must read article for Texas Tech fans who are torn about the current situation and how to handle being upset and made and being a fan. Dwyer is a Chicago Bulls fan and Dwyer ranted and raved during the Bulls 1990's run:
I fretted and ranked and raved and took long, solitary walks because the stakes were so high. So to speak, as it were, ‘natch, all that.
But to prefer those stakes to an upside that only goes so high? To prefer your place, amongst the rest? It's ridiculous.
You have to cherish these moments. You have to revel in them, as angry as you may be. Not for fear that they'll slip away. And not because of an insistence that demands you make all these big moments as big as they can possibly be.
No, you're supposed to enjoy these things because they're fun.
I won't tell you that this entire situation is supposed to be fun because it's not. But sometimes it's okay to step back and have some fun, because that's what being a fan is, at least in my opinion.
Dallas Recruiting Review: I still intend on going to the Dallas Recruiting Review on Thursday. For those of you going, please find me and say hello. You can find plenty of pictures of me in this summer's fly-fishing post, except I will have showered and shaved, but generally that's me.
Zach Thomas to Donate Brain: You've seen a few players come out over the last few days and our very own Zach Thomas will donate his brain after death to science for research on head trauma studies. I think this is one of those things where the more we find out about how violent football is and the damage it does to the brain it's not going to be good.
Athletic Talent Show: DT's Adam Coleman writes about last night's Second Annual Student-Athlete Talent Show (also check out the video) and QB Jacob Karam took the first place last night, which entailed Karam on the piano and LB Brian Duncan serenading the former director of this event who is currently battling cancer. But it was Karam that stole the show:
Judges based decisions on criteria such as crowd involvement and creativity, which Karam stole the show in both.
Karam played songs such as "Halo" by Beyoncé and "I Gotta Feeling" by The Black Eyed Peas on the piano. The songs prompted a sing-a-long from the crowd.
"This is one of my favorite things to do," Karam said. "To do music, on top of that, for a good cause for our university and for a student-athlete organization. It doesn’t get any better than that."
Karam had an added bonus as well. Tech linebacker Brian Duncan came on stage and brought former CHAMPS/Life Skills Coordinator Angie McKinnell with him so he could sing to her while Karam played the piano.
Who else has a nice warm fuzzy feeling to start the morning?
Recruiting Rankings are All Bullocks . . . Sorta: Dr. Saturday's Matt Hinton does this annually, which is to take a look at the recruiting rankings in reference to whether or not the rated players will eventually become All-Americans. I think the thing that you can take away from this whole thing is that recruiting is a crapshoot . . . to an extent.
Hinton goes through and shows that 5-star players have a 1 and 15 shot of being an All-American, while a 4-star has a 1 and 54 chance, a 3-star has a 1 and 147, and a 2-star has a 1 and 358 chance. What I think the greater point of this shows is that although the recruiting rankings are flawed, i.e. only 1 out of 15 5-star prospects eventually become an All-American, a prospect's chances of reaching that level is certainly better is the prospect is a 5-star player rather than a 2-star player. That's not to say that a 2-star player can't get to that level, but rather the odds aren't as good. Again, it's not as if the recruiting services can or should proclaim that their always right, but generally speaking, they're right to an extent.
If I had the time, I'd take a look at All-Conference performers relative to their star rating to make it relevant to Texas Tech (maybe that's a project for later in the week).
Strength and Conditioning Coach Update: Yesterday, it was announced that Joe Walker, an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Auburn, was named to replace Bennie Wylie. WAHS's Ryan Hyatt opines that there may be something to the fact that Tuberville is seriously wanting to improve speed across the board:
Many folks in the know will tell you they thought Wylie did a great job making players stronger and more powerful, but at the same time they had reservations about his commitment to the quickness side of things. The word was that Wylie focused so much on "stats" and power numbers that jump off that page but that there was a disconnect at times to how that translated onto the playing field for all positions.
Interesting. Again, perhaps this was just a situation where Tuberville wanted to emphasize a completely different aspect to strength and conditioning? That's not to say that Wylie isn't really good at what he does, but rather that Tuberville wants something different. Never intending it be a knock against Wylie.
The whole situation is curious in that Wylie showed up at Tuberville's initial press conference. I can't help but wonder now if this entire situation was essentially Tuberville letting Wylie know that he's going in a different direction, but he had so much respect for Wylie that he wanted to retain him until he found employment? I don't know and I also know that I've never written so much about strength and conditioning coaches.
Recruiting Links: Again, I think the DTN community deserves a big high-five or fist-bump for most if not all of these articles. You guys and gals are on top of things.
- The Red-Black game is scheduled for April 17, 2009 (per Tuberville's Facebook page), and not Easter weekend. That's a relief because there's no way I was going to get a kitchen-pass for Easter weekend.
- The Miami Herald's Recruiting Blog has a piece on LaVaughn Whigham and Phillip Warren absolutely love Lubbock and Texas Tech. And I've been corrected in that both Whigham and Warren will both play defensive back for Texas Tech. Here's Whigham on his visit to Lubbock:
"Great school, tremendous city and an opportunity to play for a coaching staff and a program that has certainly turned the corner," said Whigham, who had been sought after by several schools. "This is a chance to go someplace nobody from our area has ever gone to. That's exciting to me."
And although Warren is not highly rated, his high school head coach thinks that Warren is going to be special:
For Warren, who has truly flown way beneath the radar screen most of the year, the chance to finally show that he belongs at a major Division 1 program was gratifying. His coach Pat Burrows has told people all season that Warren is the kind of player who will leave a mark at the next level and beyond.
- It appears that the Tuberville's hiring of Hargrave Military Academy's Robert Prunty as an outside linebackers coach may lure J.R. Ferguson, one of the top defensive ends in the country, to Texas Tech:
"Tonight, we're going to sit down and sort out all the categories we've determined are priorities for him. We're going to get things eliminated and organized tonight. The goal is to come into Wednesday in deciding on where he wants to go. It's the most grueling process, and he still has no clue."
I have no expectations that Tuberville would be able to sway someone so quickly, but if it happens, then all the better. Here's some Youtube video on Ferguson: Clip 1 and Clip 2 (and I probably enjoyed the 2nd clip more, which was Ferguson just talking and it makes me happy to hear well-spoken young folks).
- DMN's Chuck Carlton gets into the recruiting mode as he has a short preview (it's the DMN and it's not always accurate or really that up to date, so grain of salt folks and there's an automatic video, so turn down your sound).
LAJ's Don Williams talks with Sugar Land DT Mike Jones about his commitment to Texas Tech:
Though undersized by Big 12 Conference defensive tackle standards, Jones seemed to have plenty of other selling points. Academically, he said he has a 3.66 grade-point average and scored 1,080 on the SAT. Athletically, he had an outstanding senior season, good enough to be one of 10 finalists for the Touchdown Club of Houston’s defensive player of the year award.
Jones said Tech defensive coordinator James Willis wants him to start out playing a defensive end technique and move inside as he adds weight. Jones’ high school coach, James Brown, said it won’t be a problem.
"No doubt, he can be at the 280, 290 mark by the end of summertime,’’ Brown said. "He’s a young kid, he’s 17 years old, so physically he still has a lot of maturing to do. Even if he puts on some weight, with his quickness and speed, he’s going to be able to maintain that. He’s a sub-5 (second) guy in the 40.’’
- Again, from the Miami Herald, it appears that LB Darrin Kitchens has narrowed his choices to Florida and Texas Tech. That's a sentence I don't have to type very often. Kitchens hasn't had the easiest life and the article gives you some back-ground on a person who has made the most of things thus far. Here's Kitchens on his visit to Texas Tech:
``At Texas Tech, I really enjoyed my visit. I enjoyed the coaches, teammates, the people around town were really friendly. It's a new environment. I like that. I want the chance to grow up on my own.''
FWST's William Wilkerson talks with the Southlake Carroll football players who have received scholarships and Texas Tech commit Jackson Richards knows that it's about what happens on the field and in the classroom:
"It just goes to show our hard work on and off the field," said Jackson Richards, a defensive end who has committed to Texas Tech. "You've got to take care of business in the classroom because scholarships aren't just about playing football. We put a lot of effort into our football but also our academics. It's a reflection of our efforts."
- Per RRS.com, OL James Polk re-affirms his commitment to Texas Tech.
Most Loathsome: Hey Jenny Slater's Doug Gillett continues his count-down and Texas Tech's very own Kent Hance made the 20 through 11 list:
15. Kent Hance
Charges: ESPN analyst and all-world helicopter parent Craig James would be hard-pressed to outwit your average telephone pole, yet he still had the bare minimum of cunning it took to intimidate Texas Tech chancellor Hance into firing Mike Leach, the winningest coach in school history, over little more than foggy accusations that Leach harmed "the health and well-being of an injured student-athlete" (i.e. James's ne'er-do-well son). Just to really twist the knife in, Hance fired Leach the day before the coach would've been owed a "contract completion bonus" of $800,000. This at the university that hired Bobby Knight, who'd actually choked a kid at his previous job at Indiana.
Exhibit A: Hance also oversaw the hiring of disgraced attorney general Alberto Gonzales as a visiting professor in the political-science department teaching a "special topics" course on the executive branch.
Sentence: Waterboarded by Leach, who will, of course, be wearing a pirate outfit the entire time.
Catching up with Basketball: I've pretty much ignored the basketball team for the last few days, but wanted to update a few things, which included the fact that SF Mike Singletary was injured in Saturday's game against the Aggies, but LAJ's Courtney Linehan reported yesterday that Singletary should be able to play on Saturday and head coach Pat Knight had this to say:
"He’s sore but he injured the front of his shoulder, so it’s just a sitauation where it could be sore and he has to ice it," Knight said. "The back part’s the part you don’t want injured. It allows the shoulder to get weak and pop out."
Linehan also wrote a story about how the Aggies learned how to win against Texas Tech, by going inside and scoring 44 points on Saturday. Is it just me or does this seem to be a strange story for a Texas Tech-centric newspaper?
Practicing in the Cold: DT's Mike Graham (I missed this story the other morning) wrote about the team starting practice earlier this week and head coach Dan Spencer again believes that his team, if they stay healthy, can compete for the Big 12 title:
"Our expectations are that we’re going to be better than we were a year ago," he said. "We’re gonna compete well, where we finish, that’s hard to say right now. If we stay healthy we’re going to be competitive. I’d like to tell you we’re going to win the Big 12 and that is our goal."