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Texas Tech Wednesday Morning Notes - It's Our Players Edition

Double-T Nation News:

Make sure and check out the Tortilla Retort's Texas vs. Texas Tech Post-Mortem

I always love reading Behind the Stripe's Dave Matter and he runs down his Big 12 Offensive Player, Defensive Player, and Freshman of the Year. Plenty of Texas Tech players in the mix.

ESPN's Big 12 Blogger Tim Griffin empties out the mailbag, lots of good things to read.

Texas Tech Football:

Let's address Captain Leach's contract situation. Last night, ESPN Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin wrote a piece stating that Myers will address Leach's contract situation at the end of the season. Keep in mind that Leach still has 2 years remaining on his contract. If you've ever been inclined to look at the contract itself, then you can thank Coaches Hot Seat because here it is. Leach currently brings in $1,750,000 a year, and that salary is to increase $1,850,000 in 2009 and $2,150,000 in 2010. Don Williams reminds us that this is the same stance that Myers has taken since the beginning of the season and that Leach will be paid $10 million over the next five years. I don't have any information other that what Bob Knight said on Gameday, which was that Myers fought for Leach to be in Lubbock, and I'd imagine that he knows what Myers is thinking.

LAJ's Don Williams writes the Oklahoma State Cowboys' running game will be a tough test for the Texas Tech defense. Here's Ruffin McNeill:

"I would say that’s a big part of it, and then the fact that we work on it, too," McNeill said. "They understand their (gaps) and their responsibilities because of their experience and because of the fact we work on it. Everybody realizes it’s critical that they do a good job attacking their gaps. I would say that’s a big deal. They understand it now."

McNeill also acknowledges that OSU has NFL-caliber players:

"This will be the best combination of skill-position players we’ve faced," McNeill said. "We haven’t faced a team with a great quarterback, an NFL tight end, an NFL wide receiver and two NFL running backs."

And Williams and McNeill provide a hint as to how Texas Tech will play OSU receiver Dez Bryant:

The Raiders’ rush defense will be challenged because of the presence on the outside of Bryant, who might be the closest thing around to Tech’s Mike Crabtree - a big, playmaking receiver.

Because of him, McNeill implied, Tech’s defensive line and linebackers will be on their own.

"It’ll be tough to add people to the box with No. 1 (Bryant) sitting out there," McNeill said. "We’ve got to give him a lot of attention."

LAJ's Don Williams with his Red Raiders Football Notebook has some thoughts on Stephen Hamby's play against UT's Roy Miller, and a possible number change for Brandon Carter.

RRS.com's Aaron Dickens and Brock Batchko breakout the Notebook and have some good notes on the work of the defensive line, in particular Colby Whitlock, the improved Oklahoma State defense, the young receivers stepping up, and the Texas Tech coaching staff is utilizing the Houston vs. OSU film for this week's game.

DT's Alex Ybarra writes that Ruffin McNell wants the Texas Tech defense to look back at the lessons learned from OSU last year:

Since replacing former Texas Tech defensive coordinator Lyle Setencich after a wild game against Oklahoma State in 2007, Ruffin McNeill does not see the defensive improvements as his doing, despite what others on the team may say.

"It's not me, it's our players," McNeill said. "We tell them every week it's not our call, they're the call. The players have taken accountability and responsibility for what they want to accomplish. All the credit and all the compliments go to the players on our team."

Texas Tech Recruiting:

LAJ's Don Williams has a little bit more on the new Texas Tech commitments, RB Eric Stephens and WR Emory Blake. Here's Stephens' high school head coach Terry Cron:

"He’s a great fit for Tech," Timberview coach Terry Cron said. "He’s the total package at running back. He’s got quickness, and he’s got power. His ability as a blocking back is great, and he’s got the best hands on our team."

Timberview, which dropped into Class 4A during the February realignment, went 9-4 last year in Class 5A.

"A big reason why we were able to go three rounds deep in the playoffs was because of him and what he brings to the table," Cron said. "He’s very durable. He takes a licking and keeps on ticking."

And Blake's high school coach Rodney Vincent:

"The biggest thing about Emory is he’s so football smart," Vincent said. "He’s one of those guys that really knows the finer points of receiver play. He runs great routes. Even when they double cover him, he knows ways to get open and he knows how to set up routes. That’s what makes him such a great wide receiver."

Vincent said Blake had at least 17 scholarship offers.

"I think Tech was always at the top of his list," Vincent said. "I don’t know why a wide receiver wouldn’t want to go to a place like that that, you know?"