Throughout the summer, we will be taking a look inside the state of the Texas Tech football program. We will analyze each position as a whole and look at the players that have left the team, the current starting players, and how each position is set up for the future. What better way to start off this series than to look at the most important position on the field, the quarterbacks.
Pat Mahomes might be the most skilled quarterback in program history, and that is not going to be easy to replace. Mahomes took an already prolific system and made it even more dangerous with his mobility and improvisation. Much of last year, Mahomes found himself carrying a young team and being forced to score, and he came through. Mahomes has been able to continue an already long list of recent Texas Tech quarterback legends like Kingsbury, Symons, Cumbie, Harrell, and Doege.
Kingsbury usually likes to have open competition throughout the roster and this offseason is no different because he has yet to officially name a starter for next season. With that being said, there’s almost no doubt Nic Shimonek will be the main guy behind center. Replacing a legend is not an easy task, however Shimonek is hoping that his time as a starter is more like BJ Symons and less like Taylor Potts. One big difference between this offseason and last for this position is that there is much more depth this year. Last year Shimonek was a relative unknown, and with Webb transferring there was worry among the fanbase of what would happen if Mahomes went down. This year, with Payne Sullins returning, Carter Mclane transferring in, and Xavier Martin coming from High School, this is the deepest the unit has been for a while.
The biggest question mark is Jett Duffey. Duffey was the perceived heir apparent in the Kingsbury system however he has found himself in some trouble with the university after being suspended until the fall. Kingsbury has stated he would welcome Duffey back to the team in August, but we will see if that comes to fruition. Duffey’s path has becomes even tougher given the commitments of both Carter and Martin. Both quarterbacks impressed during spring practices and have shown that they may have what it takes to be the next Texas Tech starting quarterback once Shimonek graduates. Carter is the likely #2 on the depth chart which bodes well for him going forward, but Martin brings an athleticism that Kingsbury has shown to like. From Manziel to Mahomes, Kingsbury brings the best out of players who have escapability and Martin looks to fit that mold. One thing is for certain, the quarterback dominance doesn’t seem to be going away from Texas Tech anytime soon.