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VTM Roundtable: Biggest Takeaways From Fall Camp; Position Changes & Best Defensive Player

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This week's Viva The Matadors roundtable talks about the biggest takeaway from the first few weeks of camp, the position changes of the players and the best defensive player.

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1. What is your biggest takeaway from the first two weeks of fall camp?

DoubleTFaithful: My biggest takeaway is that there is a lot of excitement and expectations within the players for this season, on both sides of the ball. Davis Webb is talking about his goals to be the best there ever was at Texas Tech. Marquez is talking about being a faster version of Amaro. The defense is talking about how comfortable they are in a second season in Wallerstedt's scheme. I just think everybody is a lot more settled this fall camp as opposed to last season, and for good reasons. No, this team may not #WTWFT or whatever the new #hashtag is these days, but they don't lack the confidence that they may win them all.

MikeTTU: My biggest takeaway from this first week and a half is the consistency this year. Last year, everyone was running around like chickens with their head's cut off trying to figure out the playbook. This year, everyone is much more comfortable with the playbook and are starting to play without thinking. Not only that, but you have a no-brainier QB in Webb and depth at multiple positions, which give the player more comfort. So seeing players more consistent and comfortable this year is my biggest takeaway.

Travis: I'm at a disadvantage because I was off the grid all of last week and have been trying to catch up ever since. So, I'll just go ahead and throw bombs and say I'm joining team Mahomes. #TeamMahomes

Seth: The depth is going to be key and I think that Kliff Kingsbury and Matt Wallerstedt really shored up the defensive depth for the defensive line and the linebacker positions. Those are pretty well set, but the secondary still seems problematic. Wallerstedt only picked up one JUCO defensive back, Josh Keys, and we haven't heard from him. I thought for sure that he would be in the mix at a nickel back or something like that, but Wallerstedt is just talking about the freshmen cornerbacks, Tevin Madison and Jah'Shawn Johnson, in addition to the two incumbents, LaDarius Newbold and Theirry Nguema. The lack of depth at the secondary spot is legitimately concerning for me.

2. Any thoughts on the early position changes for some of the players (Tyler Middleton from cornerback to inside receiver, Caleb Woodward from the secondary to inside receiver, Dylan Cantrell will just play receiver on the outside, etc.)?

DoubleTFaithful: For the longest time, Texas Tech had a depth chart at receiver that included many more names than you could even remember. When I looked at the roster when it was released, I took notice that there didn't seem to be as many receivers. But following the signing of something like 7 or 8 DBs in this last signing class, I think being able to move Middleton and Woodward to the offensive side of the ball is indicative that Tech won't be playing athletes out of position. This should allow them to have a much larger impact in their position group. As for Cantrell, I don't think it really matters where he plays. His size and hands are going to be an asset anywhere he's on the field and personally, I'm a fan of the tall, possession-type receivers on the outside.

MikeTTU: I think all these players switching from the secondary to receiver (along with Cantrell to the outside) simply means that Tech now has depth at the position. We didn't have a lot of true secondary players last year, which might've been why we had some guys who shouldn't have been playing the secondary play those positions. Now these players can play a position they're more conformable at and can play better. As for Kenny Williams playing linebacker, this worries me a little bit, meaning we don't have a true Raider on the roster. However, with Atoe now coming aboard, this should help tremendously. I feel confident that Kenny can hold the position down until Atoe is ready.

Travis: From the outside looking in, it seems odd to move players from positions that are already thin (secondary) to positions that are stocked (receiver), but until proven otherwise, I'll keep faith in Kingsbury and Wallerstedt. It is also quite possible that every player will move to receiver at one point or another so my man Patrick Mahomes can throw him a touchdown. #TeamMahomes

Seth: I really dislike the move for Middleton, and as addressed above, it seems as if the cornerback spot is really one that needs some veteran leadership. Of course, that could simply mean that Middleton should never have been a cornerback and that redshirt year seems a bit wasted. Still, if Middleton can make a move, he could eventually move into Marquez's spot next year at the Y receiver and that would be a nice. Woodward was like Reginald Davis and Keenon Ward, a guy that played quarterback for his high school team and was moved to defensive back upon arrival. With both Middleton and Woodward, they'll be able to find that groove offensively much easier than it was on defense.

3. Who is the best player on the defense?

DoubleTFaithful: Well that's just an impossible question to answer. I could maybe tell you the best players at the individual positions. But if we are talking about best player being the guy that is the defensive MVP (somebody Kerry Hyder in 2013), I think I'm going to go with Sam Eguavoen. There are plenty of options to pick from here, basically one in every position group, like Justis Nelson, JJ Gaines, Pete Robertson and maybe one of the newcomer JUCO d-linemen. But I think Eguavoen, as a senior, is going to have a huge role in this defense after sliding over to weakside linebacker where Will Smith was last season.

MikeTTU: I would say that the best player on defense would probably have to be Sam Equavoen. He is a senior linebacker that has the tools to be a talented linebacker and is a leader in the locker room. I think he will be one of the keys next year in stopping the run, and could really help lead this team down a better path this year. I've always been a fan of Equavoen, so I hope he has a breakout year this upcoming season.

Travis: Before all is said and done it could very well be my boy P-Mahomey. But right now, and this is more of a wish than anything else, I'm hoping it will be Rika Levi.

Seth: I actually think I've already asked this question before, but I think the best player is Sam Eguavoen, but if this side of the ball is going to have any sort of success, then the MVP will need to be a combination of Levi, Smith, McElrath, Richards, Jackson, Alston and Thorpe. They all need to be, collectively, the best group of players that this side of the ball has.