I have had the pleasure of talking with Tramain Swindall here and there over the past few years. Those topics ranged from QB play, to the differences between playing for Coach Leach and Coach Tuberville, among others. But now that we can both expand on some topics, and the VTM readers can get some insight from a player who has been in the fight and helped make and keep Texas Tech relevant, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to do a Q&A!
For those who don't know about Tramain's career at Tech, he caught 150 passes for almost 1700 yards, 10 TDs and averaging 11.3 yards per catch. He was a staple of the WR corps that was to take over for Crabtree and others from 2009 and on. The only downside in his career came with a coaching change where he went from emerging force under Leach, to a backup under Tuberville. Even so, Tramain had a huge impact on the 2011 upset of Oklahoma in Norman with a 14 yard TD from Doege to seal it. It was his only catch in that game, but watch a catch and one of the only good things Tubs did at Tech. Not only did Tech snap an OU, 39 game home win streak, it helped destroy the mystique of Owen Field and sparked the noticeable decline in Oklahoma football. As someone who was at that game, stayed through the storm and saw our Red Raiders destroy OU in a game that wasn't as close as the score would indicate, seeing that TD by Tramain was awesome to say the least.
More on the awesomeness of Tramain Swindall later... let's get to the questions and what he thought of the Baylor game.
RS: Some of the writers, after the game, were going back and forth about how Kliff seemingly, "threw in the towel" with about 12 mins left in the 4th by putting in Davis Webb. The main contention being, last year's Baylor game the team fought to the bitter end, but not this year. You've been in a few games where this has happened. The one that comes to mind is the Aggie game in 2009. How do you view that as a player during and after the game.
TS: I was surprised to see him pull Pat that early. I believe Kliff was just trying to protect Pat and get him out of there without getting hurt again. As a players perspective my 1st reaction would be that we are "throwing in the towel" but that doesnt mean just laying down not still trying. Im sure that was a tough decision for Kliff but was made for the right reasons.
RS: Does it effect you going forward?
TS: No because every game is different. It just wasn't their day that game. You move on to the next one.
RS: What about now that you're an alum, and watching from a distance, how do you view it as a fan.
TS: I LOVE IT!! I say this a lot to my family and friends. I never knew how big of a deal it really was to have the opportunity I had. I have been to a couple Tech games since I left and to a couple UT games since i stay near Austin, NOT TO SUPPORT UT lol, but there for the opposing team supporting old teammates I know of that coaches now. But everytime I'm amazed how big of a stage that you are on out there. I always have to ask myself like wow I was really out there playing too? Lol. Im loving it tho. Its so exciting lol.
RS: You probably can still run some routes in your sleep. Watching this game, and obviously different staff, but how good are you at seeing a presnap formation and have a good idea of where the ball is going?
TS: Oh yes!
RS: Can you give us an example?
TS: I can definitely recognize the formations that Pat gives after the play ends while looking at the sideline. A couple play signals he gives I notice too. So the foundation is still there lol. My fiance gets annoyed that I always call out the formation when they show Pat giving the signal. It's fun tho. Brings back the memories.
RS: What did you take away from the Baylor game. Good and Bad?
TS: The good I would say Tech has one of the best offenses in the nation. So many explosive players with any of them with the ability to take it to the house on any given touch. The bad would of course be the defense. We all know Tech has really never had a great defense. I do believe with all the young players the defense has that they can be a great defense. I really like S Johnson and K Ward. Great competitors)
RS: Who is a must-watch player for you each week?
TS: I believe Tony Brown will be the player to watch. Had a big TD in the Baylor game. I feel like he is settled down and will look more comfortable to make more of those plays.
RS: Heading into Iowa State, its been thrown out there that Kingsbury should now rest Mahomes until the OU game and let Webb start against ISU and KU. Is that just inviting controversy with Mahomes still not 100%, especially if Webb plays well?
TS: Mahomes looked fine and should get better this week as well with treatment. Davis looked great as well but IMO Mahomes should play until he absolutely cant.
RS: You've been on a team dealing with a little back and forth at the QB position with Taylor and Steven. Not saying we are anywhere close to that now, but there was obviously some discussion in the off-season. Did the team really care who was under center or is that more of a fan creation?
TS: Yea of course the fans had their opinion or "favorite". But as for as the team we wanted whoever wanted to lead us to a win. Taylor and Sticks were both great in different ways. That was a tough one for Leach lol
RS: You caught passes from 4 QBs at Tech. Harrell, Potts, Sheffield and Doege. If you had one game to win, all things being equal, including staff and the rest of the team... who would you pick to put under center. I know its an unfair question haha.
TS: VERY TOUGH lol But I would have to go with G Money aka Harrell. Was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to play with him.
RS: Before I let you go... what is your highest high at Tech... as far as your playing career?
TS: Highest high would be playing on the 08 team as a redshirt freshman having the year we had and me being able to contribute like I did even tho it didnt end how we wanted it was still a great experience.
RS: Going into Iowa State... what should we look for in that game? Who are you looking for to step up?
TS: I look for the defense to play alot better. We all know we can't count out ISU. They always play hard. But I believe Tech's defense will look to set the tone of the game
RS: And give me one game on the remainder of the schedule that is Tech's best chance for a win/upset and one that we just need to win. Other than ISU and KU.
TS: I believe UT is a MUST win. I will definitely be at that game!! For the best "upset" win I see Tech beating OSU pretty good.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to Tramain for taking the time to talk with us and looking forward to doing it again soon! #RedRaiderFamily
If you have questions for Tramain for the next film session, leave those in the comments as well as any take you have on our short discussion.