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Red Raider Gridiron | Good Intensity and Tight End Talk


Practice Report: The big news yesterday, as posted by TTpilk645, that IR Austin Zouzalik is out two to four weeks with an emergency appendectomy surgery yesterday morning.  Doesn't sound as if Tuberville is too concerned.   The official site has a report from yesterday's two-a-day practices.  There's also video from yesterday, including head coach Tommy Tuberville, DB D.J. Johnson and QB Scotty Young.  Here's a quick recap (not a transcript):

Tommy Tuberville:  Good practices.  Intensity was good this morning.  Afternoon practice was a mental practice.  Need to get as many reps as possible.  Better concentration today.  Too many mental mistakes on Wednesday.  With Austin Zouzalik being out, is looking at Detron Lewis at punt returner, thinks he'll be back by the first of the game.  Alexander Torres and Eric Stephens worked punts.  Getting a lot of effort.  Moved Justin Keown back to center, Lonnie Edwards is playing well.  First scrimmage is Saturday morning.

D.J. Johnson:  Playing defense is both mental and physical.  Playing 95% at nickel.  Much different this year, more man coverage, lots of blitzing, and the nickel back must communicate much more.  Not concerned at cornerback with the youth, the freshmen came in ready to play.  LaRon Moore is coaching a lot since he is hurt.

Scotty Young:  Been trying to adjust to the speed of the game, learn as much as possible in the meetings.  Feels he's behind because he's not getting the reps, but watching Potts and Sheffield.  Taking in everything from them, coverages, defenses and footwork.

There's also a video of the team preparing for SMU with some wicked awesome guitar licks.  I'll make this one suggestion.  The folks producing these videos should talk to the Patton Production folks, who produce their own music and it would definitely be more hip (yes, I'm using this word despite the fact that it's not hip to use the word hip) than the background music in this video.  In my opinion, this is much better (make sure and watch the video as you'll get to see Tuberville's syrupy-sweet golf swing).  Shoot me an email and I'll get you in touch with them.

The Ride:  The official site released today that the athletic department would be debuting the show called, The Ride, on September 4th, which will be a behind-the-scenes look at Texas Tech athletics.  Here's the official release:

Texas Tech football will be the first program showcased in this new reality show and hours of footage from the summer and training camp are being edited at this moment for the very first episode. The weekly reality show will give fans a front row seat on the ride our student-athletes and coaching staffs take each week. Through the ups and downs, The Ride will provide a never before seen glimpse into the day-to-day trials and triumphs of Texas Tech athletics. The planning, execution, work and thrill of sport are all part of The Ride.

I think this will be a good thing, but I do hope it's done in a professional manner <sarc> personally, I'd like to see The Office meets Modern Family</sarc> and I'm really hopeful that this turns out well.  Here's where you'll be able to watch:

The weekly show will air in Lubbock on KAMC-TV and across state and nation on: Fox Sports Southwest, Fox College Sports, Fox Sports Plus, Time Warner Cable "Texas Channel" throughout the state, Cox Sports Network (Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Virginia and East Texas). The show will also air on the official athletics department website (

This is an aggressive marketing move, a move that could fall flat on it's face, but if I had to read between the lines, this move is more about creating a brand of Texas Tech.  Standing out from other universities and make a name for itself.

Notes, Notes and More Notes:  LAJ's Don Williams writes about Zouzalik's injury, and D.J. Johnson at nickel:

"You do a lot more blitzing, a lot more man-to-man coverage, and there’s a lot more communication," he said. "The nickel back has to communicate a lot more than the nickel back had to last year."

. . . Williams also notes that the center position is up for grabs between Chris Olson and Justin Keown:

"Those two guys will be our main centers," Tuberville said after Thursday’s evening workout, "and whoever doesn’t start probably will play another position."

Keown also has played guard in the past. Olson has played every position on the offensive line.

. . . and here's the plan for the quarterback position for Saturday's scrimmage:

Quarterback candidates Taylor Potts and Steven Sheffield figure to get about 25 to 30 snaps apiece, head coach Tommy Tuberville said, during the team’s first preseason scrimmage on Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium.

. . . finally, RB Harrison Jeffers is slowly but surely working his way back into practice:

"He did pass protect today," Tuberville said. "He’s having some contact, but we won’t tackle him. But he’s going full speed and everything else. He’s doing good. We need him to come along and be as healthy as possible."

So much more after the jump, including OC Brown's daily Twitter update, news on the tight ends, KAMC with a one-on-one with Tubs and good strong.

OC Brown Daily Twitter Update:  Yesterday's practices were better:

Very spirited workout today. Good work on both sides. Detron, Torres, Franks, Stephens, Crawford, Leong, and Batch had good days.less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone


New Tight Ends:  LAJ's Don Williams writes about the two new tight ends on the roster, Bo Whitney and Tony Trahan.  Here's Tuberville on the tight end position:

"In that position, we’re going to ask them to do more and more as we go through the season,’’ Tuberville said. "That position with Bo Whitney and a couple of other guys we’re looking at, we’re going to push them hard to try to make that position something that we want to do a lot more of."

And here's Trahan, a transfer from Rutgers, who will have to sit out this year, on deciding on Texas Tech:

"I knew that coach Tuberville had come in," Trahan said. "He had a strong background of using tight ends at Auburn. Texas Tech had always kind of been in the back of my mind, but they had never really used a tight end, so it didn’t cross my mind when I was getting recruited. When they started using the position more and I saw there was a need, I just kind of called them up and jumped on board."

And Whitney's story, coming from where OLB and DE coach Robert Prunty's was the head coach, Hargrave Military Academy:

Whitney went to Hargrave after attending high school in Union, S.C., and Laurens, S.C. He played half of last season at tight end, then moved back to his natural quarterback position when the starter got hurt.

Whitney was going to spend a second year at Hargrave and try to stir up Division I interest playing QB this year. But when Hargrave coach Robert Prunty was hired by Tech, Prunty told Whitney about the Red Raiders’ need for tight ends.

A major-college opportunity was what Whitney had been craving since high school.

"I had D-II school offers everywhere," he said, "but I wanted this atmosphere, so I held out."

Video:  KAMC with a one-on-one video with Tuberville . . . Fox34 with a short story on the quarterback position battle (nothing really new here) . . .

Miscellaneous:  Penn St. head coach Joe Paterno doesn't want to be like the guy at Texas Tech:

"In the old days I used to grab a couple kids and shove them around a little bit. There's two things wrong with that these days: Number one, the first one and the more important one is I don't want to get like the guy at Texas Tech, if you know what I mean. And the second thing is I prefer to wait until I get them in a meeting and say, hey, I don't like what we're doing there and I didn't like the way he handled that kid or do something like that."

. . . . good find by bmaxw, Graham Harrell is making things happen in Green Bay, but we all knew that Harrell could always do this:

But lately Harrell has grown a little bolder and had his best practice of camp Thursday night, when he took more reps than usual in preparation for Saturday night’s exhibition game against Cleveland. He closed practice with a credible two-minute drill where he took the No. 2 offense from about its own 40 with 1:27 to play and needing a touchdown, to scoring position with five completions. He spiked the ball at the 12-yard line for a final play, and against a defense that flooded the end zone, his scramble and throw to Patrick Williams was a little too wide for the receiver to keep his feet in bounds as he made the catch.

. . . the official site had a behind-the-scenes look at QB Taylor Potts, QB Steven Sheffield and DT Colby Whitlock at the Big 12 Media Days . . . ESPN's David Ubben with Mel Kiper on each school's best draft prospect . . .