Red Raider Gridiron | Stewart Stays Home; Wesley, Bullitt and Porter Return; TTU & ASU Confirm Series

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech and Arizona St. confirmed a home-and-home series starting in 2016 and 2017. Austin Stewart stays at home per a coach's decision, while Dennell Wesley, Terrance Bullitt and Tre Porter all return to practice. TTU also received a commit from S Payton Hendrix.

Good morning everyone.  I'd love to hear what Texas Tech gear you received for Christmas. I got a new hat with an original mascot and my mom also got me Texas Tech duct tape.  Seriously. Post them if you got them.

In other news, it does appear that Texas Tech did formally announce the two game series with Arizona St., but the years I had yesterday were incorrect. The series will actually start in 2016 in Tempe and 2017 in Lubbock. I'm glad to see Kliff Kingsbury and AD Kirby Hocutt welcome the challenge.  It's not easy for Kingsbury to schedule these tougher games, it would be a lot easier to play a directional school and get a guaranteed win.

Links:

Stewart Stays Home: This isn't really great news, as Austin Stewart did not travel with the team and was left at home, a coach's decision (via LAJ).

Wesley, Bullitt & Porter Return: Luckily, Texas Tech is seeing the return of some defenders as DT Dennell Wesley, OLB Terrance Bullitt and S Tre Porter all returned to practice after being out with injuries (via LAJ). Here's Co-DC Mike Smith:

"We’ve got guys that have been beat up all year that are coming back on defense that are looking healthy," Smith said, "and guys that just were fighting nagging injuries are looking healthy. Today I was watching Terrance, and he’s just a totally different person."

Thomsen at ASU: Former Texas Tech coach and Abilene Christian HC, but current Arizona St. offensive line coach, Chris Thomsen, talks a bit about playing Texas Tech (via LAJ).  Thomsen led Texas Tech to a win last year against Minnesota last year, which is an awesome turn of events and am glad that Thomsen landed on his feet.  Here is Thomsen:

"It’s been a fun year," Thomsen said. "Coach (Todd) Graham’s done a great job getting things pointed in the right direction in a short period of time. Players rallied around that, and we’ve got a lot of really good leaders like we had at Tech last year, some good seniors. That’s been a key for us. It’s been an enjoyable year, a good ride."

Graham Says ASU Still Hungry: Arizona St. head coach Todd Graham says that the Sun Devils are still hungry (via AZ Central).

Hendrix Commits to Texas Tech: I've got a profile going up later today, but this is a pretty big deal as Bishop Dunne safety Payton Hendrix committed to Texas Tech last night (via RRS). Hendrix is the #85 rated player in the state.  He's pretty good.

Smith and Curtis: This was a bit long, but really interesting.  DB coach Kevin Curtis and Co-DC Mike Smith were on The Thetford and Ashby Show and they discussed going into the Lubbock ISD Hall of Fame.  They talk about everything, if you've ever listened to Thetford and Ashby, their interviews meander from just about everything, from baseball to high school playing days.  Anyway, they also are asked a bit about Sonny Cumbie leaving and Smith and Curtis give the standard answer, which is that they hate to lose Cumbie, but he did what was best for his family.  Thetford and/or Ashby seem to indicate that maybe part of the reason for the move was maybe to be closer to a hospital for Cumbie's new son.  They all sort of danced around it and didn't confirm anything, but they talked about it.  I guess I just found it odd to talk about, but not really confirm that this might have been a reason.

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