Photos: In order to mix things up, I'll try to find a former Red Raider that's in the NFL during training camp. I've just about used every Texas Tech photo that I have access to with SBN and I thought that I could mix things up. On my short list of former players: Danny Amendola, Brandon Carter, Michael Crabtree, Keyunta Dawson, Dylan Gandy, Graham Harrell, Rajon Henley, Daniel Loper, Darcel McBath, Sammy Morris, Manny Ramirez, Brandon Sharpe, Louis Vasquez, Jamar Wall, Wes Welker and Brandon Williams. Anyone that I'm forgetting?
Notes, Notes and More Notes: Finally some news. LAJ's Don Williams has a full article on a bunch of items that I think we've all wanted to know for a while. We'll go through them note, by note because we're starved for information.
-- Did Not Qualify: Six commits from last year's class did not qualify: OL Aleon Calhoun, RB Delans Griffin, DE Lawrence Cayou, DB Brandon Smith, WR Lavaughn Whigham and DB Phillip Warren. If I remember correctly, Griffin and Smith were commits under Leach, while the other four were commits under Tuberville. I guess if you're taking flyers on guys, then maybe we see these guys wearing the scarlet and black if they all go the JUCO route.
-- Potts vs. Sheffield: Let's do this one more day.
-- Losing Weight: Another update on players that continue to lose weight:
Three blockers have dropped at least 40 pounds: Tackle LaAdrian Waddle (6-foot-6) went from 367 after last season to 322 in July; guard Deveric Gallington (6-3) from 354 after last season to 314; and tackle Mickey Okafor (6-6) from 345 after last season to 305.
-- Not on Roster, Yet: CB LaRon Moore and WR E.J. Celestie are not on the 105 man roster, but will be once they've recovered from injury. Tuberville did have this to say about Moore and this is bothersome:
Tuberville said Moore, a returning starter, is jogging and running, "but I think (his return) is going to be a while.’’
-- Agoucha Returns: DT Bobby Agoucha was kicked off the team two years ago by Leach and now he's been given a second chance by Tuberville:
"I’m a guy that will give people a second chance if they show me they deserve it,’’ Tuberville said. "I had a lot of long talks with him. He’s got an opportunity, but he knows he’s got to make the most of it. He’s changed in terms of understanding what’s going to be asked of him.’’
Don't get your hopes up on Agoucha seeing the field this year, despite the fact that Agoucha is going to be a junior. I hope he gets his degree and I hope that turns his life around as I seem to recall that Agoucha had a very rough up-bringing and hasn't had the easiest life. And for the record, this isn't a commentary, on my part, about Leach letting Agoucha go as I would think we all know that he seemed to give players opportunity to correct their behavior.
-- DeAndre Washington Commits: More on him later in a ROTHP.
-- Practices: I believe that practice is supposed to start on Saturday, while players report on Friday. There are only 3 scheduled two-a-days on August 12th, 16th and 18th at 9:30 a.m. and at 7:30 p.m.
-- White Helmet vs. Black Helmet: Tuberville had this to say about messing with tradition and moving away from the black helmet:
"I’m a traditionalist,’’ he said. "I don’t think you mess with tradition.’’
I think this is settled.
As a true freshman last year, Stephens spelled Batch with great effectiveness, averaging the same amount of yards per carry as Batch (5.2). Stephens is smaller than Batch but speedier and shiftier. He made a huge impact on special teams for the Red Raiders last year, setting the school record for kick return yardage in a season.
Stephens was all over the field in the Red Raiders’ Alamo Bowl win over Michigan State, finishing with 136 all-purpose yards. As one of the more versatile players in the conference, Stephens can make an impact in almost any role if he gets some open space. Tech’s offense may go to the ground more, but with playmakers like Stephens in the backfield, don’t expect it to be any less exciting than it was under Mike Leach.
Position Battles: We will never escape Potts vs. Sheffield, Rivals looks at position battles for a bunch of football teams and you've guessed it, the saga continues:
Texas Tech quarterback: Taylor Potts has a stronger arm and threw for 3,440 yards last season. Yet he was lifted in the Alamo Bowl for Steven Sheffield, who completed 74.3 percent of his attempts and had 14 touchdowns in a limited role last season. Expect the winner to throw the ball a bit less than he did last season, as coach Tommy Tuberville seems likely to want to lean on the run more than predecessor Mike Leach.