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Red Raider Gridiron | Women's Clinic and We Can't Stop Rankings

Dawson Gets the Nod:  Picture of the day is Keyunta Dawson.

Women's Clinic = Success:  LAJ's Adam Zuvanich  reports on last night's women's football clinic, of which the proceeds went to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure fund.  This has been a long-standing tradition, even under Leach, and a good time was had by all:

"I think it’s good," said Tuberville, who had never hosted a football clinic for women. "The thing about it is we might be able to educate some of them to where they get more interested in it instead of sitting in the stands wondering what’s going on."

Inside receivers coach Sonny Cumbie, a former Tech quarterback, was working the clinic for the sixth time. He said the female fans often are more enthusiastic than the men who participate in Tech’s fantasy camps, and Wednesday’s group was no different.

"It’s always kind of refreshing, because these ladies are always so excited about football and to just be out here and be a part of what we’re doing. It gets us excited."

Ranking Linebackers:  ESPN's David Ubben ranks the linebackers of the Big 12 and both Brian Duncan and Bront Bird made the lists, 10 through 6 and 5 through 1:

9. Bront Bird, Texas Tech
Bird has to deal with a position change -- a move from the outside to the inside of defensive coordinator James Willis’ 3-4 -- but has the talent to make the adjustment. He also has the size; he gained 12 pounds to move to 252 pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame. He should surpass his 56 tackles from a year ago and solidify his status as one of the best linebackers in the Big 12.

3. Brian Duncan, Texas Tech
Duncan led the Red Raiders in tackles in 2009 with 87, and though he was held without a sack as a junior, the 6-foot-1, 240-pound senior may get big opportunities for game-changing plays in 2010. New defensive coordinator James Willis moved him to the outside of his 3-4, aggressive scheme, and Duncan should spend a lot more time in the offensive backfield with Willis' penchant for blitzing.

FSSW's Eddie Middlebrook also ranks the linebackers, but he ranks each team's linebacking corps and Texas Tech checks in at #5 (remember, I think Middlebrook takes into account experience and returning starters over talent):

5) Texas Tech: The Red Raiders' leading tackler the past two season, Brian Duncan, will move from middle linebacker to a hybrid position in Tommy Tuberville's new 3-4 defense. The rest of the projected starting corps contains two more seniors and a junior.

More on D. Washington:  Texas Tech's newest commit RB DeAndre Washington talked with LAJ's Don Williams about his recent commitment:  

He narrowed his choices to Tech, Boise State and Oklahoma State. He said Tech had two things he liked: coaches with whom he connected and the potential for playing time at running back. Baron Batch will be a senior next year, and the Raiders’ incoming class is short at that position since February signee Delans Griffin didn’t qualify.

"I credit my relationship with coach (Chad) Scott, the running backs coach,’’ Washington said. "He was like a father figure-slash-brother. That really helped, and the running back situation is a great situation. I feel like I can come in and compete early.’’

Washington said he thinks his versatility helped make him a Division I recruit and Tech coaches indicated they might put that to use.

"It’s exciting,’’ he said of his possible role. "It’ll be a little bit of slot (receiver), a little bit of running back — anything to create space and create mismatches.

"It just feels like (the offense) fits me perfectly, so I’m ready to go with it.’’

Washington said he will meet freshman eligibility requirements since he carries a 3.2 grade-point average and scored 1,290 on the SAT.

Tuberville Anxious to Get Going:'s Tommy Hicks writes that head coach Tommy Tuberville is ready to start the season:

But he said the fun part of the job begins this week when preseason practice begins.

"It seems like it's all coming together," Tuberville said. "When you're starting things from the ground up, it's harder. They've won a lot of games in the past but you always want to do things your way and hopefully make things better. We've got a good, young staff, but not many of us have been together before, so there's a learning curve.

"We're going to learn more about this team in the next two weeks than we did the entire spring. You've got to have some good players, but having a few good players doesn't win games. Having a bunch of guys who want to play wins games."