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Double-T Nation Daily Diatribe // 08.19.09

Odds and Ends

  Possible Auburn Financial Crisis:  Pretty interesting read from Chris Brown at Smart Football (did you know that Smart Football has a whole new look and is no longer at blogspot?) about a possible financial crisis for Auburn due to a booster and a member of the board of trustees being in some financial hot water.  It's a good read and certainly interesting to consider the possible ramifications of something like this happening at any school.

Texas Tech Football

  Stephens Impressing:  LAJ's Don Williams features freshman RB Eric Stephens and Captain Mike Leach likes what he has in Stephens:

"Real good," Leach said of Stephens’ camp so far. "Smart guy. Able to put things together quickly. Just real levelheaded for a freshman. He’s been able to step in and not take that whole lack of confidence (approach). He goes out there, does what he can do, and then just learns more each day. I think he’s played impressive."

And fellow freshmen S Will Ford and S Daniel Cobb have some good things to say about Stephens:

"He’s a real shifty running back, has really good speed and he’s really strong," said safety Will Ford, another freshman. "So he’s a power back and a speed back."

Cobb, the freshman safety who dealt Stephens the first blow, had summed up his skill set this way a few days before: "He’s elusive. He’s quick. If you don’t break down (to tackle) on him, he’ll get you."

Personally, I'd love to see Stephens redshirt this year, otherwise you've got both Harrison Jeffers and Stephens on the same graduation path.  I know, you always play your best players, but I can't help but think that with Batch, who's injury doesn't appear to be as serious, Aaron Crawford and Jeffers all at the helm, Stephens might not see that much time.  Additionally, we constantly hear about how difficult it can be to learn the pass-blocking scheme for a running back and that this can take some time.  If Crawford and Jeffers are more proficient in that area, then for myself, Stephens plays unless there is some catastrophic event.  By the way, there's also a mention in the article about an Auburn assistant coach trying to come in and sign Stephens away from Texas Tech.  It happened with Emory Blake and could have potentially happened with Stephens.  Interesting.

  Torres Backstory:  We've all been somewhat wondering about WR Alexander Torres backstory and the El Paso Times Bill Knight writes a feature on Torres who is battling fellow WR Jacoby Franks for Michael Crabtree's old spot:

"Everything is going good ... going really good," Torres said after arecent Red Raider afternoon session. "Jacoby Franks (a sophomore out of West Orange-Stark) and I are battling for a job, but it's a friendly competition. We talk about the mistakes we are making, point out where the hole was. We're getting equal reps and we give each other a breather. That's the beauty of having the depth we have at wide receiver at Texas Tech."

The feature also discusses Torres walking-on at Texas Tech, his time at the Air Force Academy prep school as well as his time as a quarterback in El Paso (I had forgotten this):

"Coach (Tony) Grijalva (then the Franklin head coach) and all the coaches at Franklin helped me so much," Torres said. "They ran this wide open offense. And it helped me to play quarterback, to see where the holes are, to gain a different perspective, to see coverage differently. I think it has definitely helped me as a receiver."

Go read the whole thing.

  Tech Notes:  LAJ's Don Williams begins his notes article with the transfer of WR Adrian Reese to Northwestern State and best friend DT Rajon Henley says that Reese made the best decision for himself:

"It’s crazy how things happen — one day be here, and one day be gone,’’ Henley said. "It doesn’t really bother me. I think (Reese) made the best decision for himself, and I support him in anything. I still talk to him.’’

. . . the defense is trying to practice forcing fumbles . . . S Will Ford is working with the first team nickel defense as is CB Taylor Charbonnet . . . DT's David Neill, Pearlie Graves and Myles Wade have all been working with the third team unit . . . converted DT Victor Hunter is causing disruptions along the defensive line . . .

  Scouting Practice:  RaiderAde's ayleein has a detailed practice report from Monday night's scrimmage and DMN's Chuck Carlton checked in on practice.

  Scouting the Enemy:  Bring On The Cats previews the Kansas St. Wildcats running backs . . . Corn Nation expresses concern about the Nebraska Cornhuskers offensive line . . . Rock M Nation's Beyond the Box Score previews on the Kansas Jayhawks offense . . . Oread Boom Kings runs through the items that concern him about the Kansas Jayhawks . . . The Tulsa World looks at the Oklahoma St. Cowboys practice . . .

  Big 12 Conference: predicts the Big 12 conference . . . ESPN's Tim Griffin predicts some things for the Big 12 . . .

Texas Tech Baseball

  Top Recruits Remain:  LAJ's George Watson details that all four players drafted in the MLB draft did not sign with their respective teams and will play for the Red Raiders:

The Red Raiders had four incoming recruits taken in the draft – pitchers Jay Johnson and Brandon Petite out of Canada and Robert Doran from Seward County (Kan.) College and slugger Stephen Hagan from Eastern Oklahoma Junior College.

And Spencer likes his incoming pitchers:

Spencer expects Johnson and Doran to improve their draft standing after just one year at Tech, and with Chad Bettis back in the fold as a junior and expected to be a high draft pick in 2010, Spencer feels that will elevate the program in terms of future recruiting.

As well as Hagan, who could be a huge bat in the lineup:

Spencer said he expects all incoming recruits to make an impact in 2010, especially on the mound. Hagan could be the next top power hitter in the Big 12 Conference after leading the junior college ranks in home runs last season.