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Red Raider Gridiron | Punter Competition and Hammerhead Ward

Practice Reports:  The official site has the goods and and video.  Yesterday head coach Tommy Tuberville talked punters and what he wants out of his quarterbacks (more on that below), IR Detron Lewis and WR Alexander Torres.  The official site also exclusively reports that Torres is pretty good:

Alex Torres, Texas Tech's leading receiver last season, is looking even better in his sophomore season. Torres has caught virtually everything that has been thrown his way since training camp started on Saturday. That should come as no surprise to anyone as he hauled in a team-high 67 receptions in 2009. In today's practice, he made a couple of spectacular grabs so let's hope he keeps improving every day.

LAJ's Don Williams writes his notebook, which details that Tuberville details what he wants in a quarterback:

"The one thing I’m looking at is leadership and not turning the ball over — know when to pull the ball down and run, not just throw it up for grabs,’’ Tuberville said.


"As I told them, just throwing a completion is not going to get them on the field,’’ Tuberville said. "Running the offense and keeping control of the ball and moving it down the field is what makes plays.’’


"But it’s all those things in between the deep ball — getting the running game going, being the leader in the huddle, or the so-called huddle, on the sideline,’’ Tuberville said. "All those things are going to make a difference.’’

This sounds about right, doesn't it? 

. . . Tuberville also confirmed what TTUMAR posted yesterday, which is that there are discussions regarding a new video board, where Tuberville has apparently gotten his A-Team together to take care of the current video board:

"I tried to blow it up this summer,’’ he said with a grin. "I’m going to loosen some bolts on it.

AD Gerald Myers says that Tuberville has put in the request:

"Tommy’d really like to see a video screen down here on the south end. We don’t have a time frame for it right now, but it’s something that we’re definitely looking at."

. . . Williams also talked with redshirt freshman WR Eric Ward, who has a new nickname:

"I love it when they run the ball, because I love blocking,’’ he said.  Ward said a defensive coach had taken to calling him "Hammerhead" or "Hammer" for short, and the nickname seems to have caught on.

"Ever since then, I just start laying people out,’’ Ward said, "because I want my teammates to do good down field. So I just look for the person that’s slipping, and they’re my target.’’ and FSSW, both by Travis Cram, has two practice reports with different media outlets.  In the RP article, Cram has an update on this week's injuries, which is that DT Britton Barbee had successful surgery to repair his torn Achilles tendon and redshirt freshman DE Kerry Hyder just has a sprained knee.  Cram writes that Hyder could be a starting defensive tackle alongside Colby Whitlock.  Huh?  In the FSSW article, Cram has this tidbit about OT Terry McDaniel on the QB decision:

Tech senior offensive lineman Terry McDaniel said he does not know who will win the starting spot, but that all the team will be behind either guy. Playing left tackle, he’s a good guy for any right-handed quarterback to have on his side.

"As far as what I’ve seen, Potts and Sticks are both great leaders," McDaniel said. "Whoever starts, it doesn’t matter to me, I love them both. Whoever starts, I’m behind their back and I’ve got the blind side for them."

Just a couple of things here, which is that McDaniel is just a sophomore, but this quote somewhat makes me think that McDaniel is back at left tackle, which is fine by me.  Just a little something I noticed.

So much more after the jump.

Punter Competition:  LAJ's Don Williams writes about the punter competition between senior Jonathan LaCour and sophomore Ryan Erxleben.  LaCour would have won the job if the competition was just this spring:

"Coming out of spring, LaCour would have been our punter, if we’d have done what we’re doing now,’’ Tuberville said Tuesday. "It’s going to be a lot of competition. Both have strong legs, and they look pretty good so far working with a couple of new snappers.’’

LaCour also talked about his suspension from last year:

The Big 12 suspended him the first half of the season for testing positive for a banned substance. LaCour said it was an over-the-counter product he had taken one time — the day before a drug test.

He said he had researched the product online, and did not find the name on a banned substance list. He went ahead and took it, though Tech coaches warn players not to take any supplement that isn’t OKed by medical staff first.

"I guess technically the substance was listed on the bottle,’’ LaCour said, "but it was in a chemical compound form that only a scientist or chemist could read. I had no way of understanding it.

"I should have definitely got it checked before. It was my mistake, and I paid the consequences for it."

I'm glad to know what the situation was last year as I've been thinking about this since his suspension.

Tweets:  OC Neal Brown tweets and the first tweet is from yesterday and the second is from Monday:

Both QB's threw the ball really well today. Others who impressed were Batch, James, Franks, Torres, Stephens. Pleased with OL today.less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

Standouts from yesterday's practice Leong, Torres, Zoo, Fisher, Stephens, Crawford, and Olson. At it again this afternoon.less than a minute ago via web


Irked that Practices are Closed:  LAJ's Courtney Linehan is irked that practices are now closed, writing that the public that pays for season tickets deserves to have practices open.  I guess this is to clarify somethings that Linehan wrote, which is that it almost makes it sound as if the media has no access to practices.  They do, in fact Tuberville is making players more available than Leach ever did and the first 20 minutes for every practice is open to the media to get their daily bit of film.  As you guys and gals know, the video that you see in a two minute clip from the local media is pretty mundane.  Linehan also writes that had the practices been open in December of last year, that the media would have been the watchdog (I think this is her point) to know what's going on between coaches and athletes.  I guess I just don't understand Linehan's gripe, other than she thinks that the media and public deserve more than the access and season tickets that they paid for.  As an aside, I bought a package of sunflower seeds yesterday and told the store clerk that  that I deserved more because I have always purchased sunflower seeds from this store and I always purchase David's sunflower seeds.  The clerk told me if I wanted more sunflower seeds then I would need to pay for them and you get what you pay for.

Miscellaneous:  MyPlainview's Kevin Lewis writes that Plainview is proud of former Red Raider, Jamar Wall . . . I missed this earlier in the week, but Rock M Nation's Bill C. has a BTBS for the Iowa St. defense (also a link to the offense there as well) . . . the Denver Post's John Henderson previews the Red Raiders . . . ESPN's David Ubben has the APR scores from last year, which is graduation rates and stuff, and Mike Leach had a rating of 962, which was third in the Big 12 . . .

Video:  KAMC with a look at the quarterbacks (is there anyway that the good folks at KAMC can make their video screen just a smidge bigger?). . . Fox34 with a few seconds of day 4 practices . . .