Odds and Ends
It stinks, but I'm still somewhat behind, which means that I'm probably not going to have any original content for at least a day. Hopefully tomorrow or Thursday I'll get something up, but keep in mind that Big 12 Media days starts next week and I think practices starts the first week or so of August. It's right around the corner.
Texas Tech Football
The official site has updated the football roster (pdf) and I haven't quite had the time to take a look at all of the variations in weight and who is actually on the summer roster including the incoming freshmen. Certainly worth a look and feel free to post a comment if you notice something out of the ordinary.
Lots of Spread
It's been noted that it appears that it's "Spread Week" at ESPN and so there's a ton of coaches talking spread, including your very own defensive coordinator, Ruffin McNeill. The quote that stood out to me was that it was McNeill's answer when asked about his recruiting philosophies and whether or not that's changed:
How much have you changed your recruiting philosophies to try to get specific players to fill those needs?
RM: Up front, all of your defensive linemen have to be able to pass rush more because of all of the reps they are facing. The linebackers now have to be more open-space types who can cover receivers. And the defensive backs, because of all of the seven-on-seven training they are getting, their man techniques and their understanding of combating a pass offense have got to improve. You've seen changes in all that as well.
You have to search for those kinds of players. You can practice and work on stopping the spread, but it still comes down to one-on-one effort on defense. Even with all of the spreads we see, there will be times when it comes down to one-on-one play that has to be made. And on defense, you just have to find those kids that can make those plays. It's basic and simple and part of whatever defense you have.
Isn't this at the heart at stopping the spread? Texas Tech has typically lagged behind on defense in terms of caliber of athletes and I think it's safe to say that the past two year's recruiting classes, particularly last year, indicate to me a change in the type of athlete recruited. The better the athlete, the easier it is to stop the spread.
Chris Brown of Smart Football does a great job of rounding up all of the ESPN college coach interviews regarding the spread and we still continue to have writers make excuses why players in the spread won't succeed.
I've been a little lazy, but wanted to post two videos from Fox34, the first being the continuing countdown of the most important players for Texas Tech and the Oklahoma recap (sad faces everyone):
Yesterday was QB Graham Harrell's first day of practice and I'm sure that my coverage of Harrell in the CFL will wane a bit as the season starts, and Harrell is going to be facing quite a bit of competition in Saskatchewan:
There wasn’t a lot to see because Harrell had only limited repetitions as the Riders worked on their preparations for Saturday’s game at Mosaic Stadium against the Edmonton Eskimos.
"The biggest difference is when you look down the line there aren’t any receivers,’’ Harrell said after Tuesday’s practice. "I have to look behind me to find them.’’
Harrell joins a crowded house in terms of quarterback. There are five under contract — starter Darian Durant and backups Steven Jyles, Dalton Bell and Cole Bergquist. They are all under 27 and are getting a quick lesson in the business aspect of professional football.
"It’s about competition and I think they know that,’’ said Womack. "Graham isn’t coming here to play right away and he knows that there aren’t any guarantees. We’re going to play the best guy.’’
Nicky Rowland Could Walk-On
The Rowland family name might continue as Nicky Rowland, brother of Jordy, could walk-on at Texas Tech for the football team. There's somewhat of a twist to this story as Nicky was playing in last night's Texas high school all-star basketball game.
Kelly Hildebrandt Set to Marry Kelly Hildebrandt
Apparently this is pretty big news as it was one of the first things that popped up this morning in my Google news search, but former Texas Tech receiver Kelly Hildebrandt is marrying a girl named Kelly Hildebrandt:
A whirlwind of visits followed. When she went to Texas, he took her hunting and to a football game, his beloved Texas Tech team against Nebraska.
He's bewildered that although she likes football, she prefers hockey. But he chalks it up to the fact her mother was born in Canada – St. Catharines, to be exact.
At the beach near her Coral Springs home, they often fool around with a metal detector. In December, he buried a treasure chest with a ring inside, and made sure she found it with the detector.
Two weeks ago he packed up for Florida, where the couple will marry in October and where he plans to continue working as a financial adviser. But it was a tough move.
"It's hard to get a cowboy out of Texas," he explains.
DMN's Chuck Carlton has the video from KCBD in Lubbock.