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Red Raider Gridiron: Kaster Healthy and Bigger; Wallerstedt Builds Consistency

Jared Kaster is now fully healthy after an 2013 where he was injured the full year. Matt Wallerstedt helps build consistency with the defense and updates on Nigel Bethel, II, Justin Murphy, Demetrius Alston, Davis Webb and John White.

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This is the last Saturday before Texas Tech will have football again.  Let's do this.

Roster Analysis. Via the LAJ (two sets today, one here and one here), a short blurb on each player and a quote from a coach.  Make sure and click on the link for the quote:

* CB Nigel Bethel II: Should be on the scout team to start the season, but will have an opportunity to work his way into the rotation if he plays well in practices.
* OT Justin Murphy: Has worked in the second team and seems to be headed to redshirt this year.
* DT Demetrius Alston: Moving better than he did in the spring and is being pushed by Keland McElrath, wants to be the face of this defense.
* QB Davis Webb: Coaches have enjoyed watching him develop and been very resilient.
* S John White: Has not played safety but does play a big role in special teams.

Payne Working Back from Injury and Grades. Via the LAJ, we get a look at LB Chris Payne, who currently isn't on the roster and is working his way back from injury as well as a grade issue that is keeping him sidelined.  The coaches expected big things from Payne and Kingsbury said that it would be a few weeks before he started practicing and might not be able to participate until November:

"If he does have a chance, it's going to be down the road - maybe November, middle of November, bowl game. He's coming back from injury, but you never know. He could help on special teams."

I had somewhat thought that Payne might just be a lost cause, but it's interesting that Kingsbury is holding out that Payne could be a factor late in the year.

Also, does anyone know how not being on the roster, which I assume counts for the 85 scholarships or maybe also counts to the 105 player limit, works into this situation? Anyone know the rules?

Kaster Bigger and Ready. There's been some discussion about C Jared Kaster and he spoke to the LAJ about how he's gained weight and fully healthy.   Kaster is up to 290 and head coach Kliff Kingsbury said that Kaster tore his right shoulder labrum in preseason practice, but played the entire year with that injury in 2013.  Kingsbury appreciates Kaster's toughness and the example he provides because of what he played through:

"You love it," Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said of the toughness, "especially when that's the leader of the offensive line. He's the voice of the huddle for that group, and that means a lot that he's willing to pay that price and push through, knowing what he was dealing with."

Wallerstedt Builds Consistency. Chuck Carlton writes about how defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt is building consistency and confidence in his second year at Texas Tech.  Interestingly, Wallerstdt talks about how fragile mentally last year's group was and sorta let November snow-ball from year's past and says that this year this group will overcome that.  Wallerstedt also talks about how the four JUCO players have to step up and stop the run:

"All those guys will be a huge piece of the puzzle," said Wallerstedt, who arrived with Kingsbury from the Texas A&M staff. "When you're trying to stop the run or somebody is trying to jam the ball down our throat, those guys have to step up big time for us."

Miscellaneous. Via C&CM, WR Dorial Green-Beckham has been denied his appear to the NCAA and will not be eligible in 2014 . . . Campus Insiders previews Texas Tech (this is written by Pete Fiutuk, who used to write for Scout maybe?) . . .