With the first days of spring practice underway, a lot of long-standing questions regarding where players will be positioned and how they’re adjusting to the new coaching staff are being answered. One player in particular, QB Alan Bowman, has been a focal point following the end to the 2018 football season. Bowman suffered a partially collapsed lung during the West Virginia game and was unable to make a sustained comeback. Jett Duffey’s replacement as a starter was polarized among Texas Tech fans. Duffey came into the program with an impressive high school stat-line topped off by a Mr. Texas Football award. Unfortunately it was his inability to consistently reproduce that level of success in the Scarlet and Black that led to a number of fans landing in different camps.
Currently on the Texas Tech roster there are six players listed as quarterback: Xavier Martin, McLane Carter, Jett Duffey, Colt Garrett, Caleb Griffin, and Alan Bowman. Of those, we have seen all but Xavier Martin and Caleb Griffin get reps in a game. You may remember Martin being listed as a receiver earlier in the year but Coach Wells’ philosophy on a new team is that “every kid in the program, whichever one they want to start at, we’ll start at. May not be where they finish.” So with six QBs on the list, you can bet that list will dwindle down to maybe four by the time the season comes.
Bowman has the best tape available despite being absent a good deal of the season. He threw 327 passes as a true freshman, completing 227 of them for 2,638 yards with 17 touchdowns against eight picks. The other substantial threat as a passer is Carter, who put up 28-of-51 for 318 yards with two touchdowns and two picks in 2017. It has been recently discovered that Carter had ankle surgery on that first-game injury that never allowed him to get back in it (and ultimately paved the way for Bowman to shine). The Avalanche-Journal’s Don Williams’ broke the news:
Wells confirmed QB McLane Carter had ankle surgery recently. Best case, he's back for last two weeks of spring, which would be 6 practices. "I think the obvious is that it does set him back, but it's something that needed to be done. It was the best thing for the young man."— Don Williams (@AJ_DonWilliams) March 4, 2019
With Carter down for an indeterminable amount of time, the competition is much more manageable for Bowman who still has some doubts with the lung-issue. During a post-practice interview he wanted to make it abundantly clear that “I’m full force. No stopping. I’m excited to go and I’m not holding back.” His confidence resides in the understanding that the scar-tissue actually made his lungs stronger. Now, any medical professional will tell you that the notion that scar tissue strengthens an area is ridiculous - but Bowman’s potential lays in his confidence. We’ve seen a number of medical miracles from athletes who refused to accept an injury as career-ending so maybe we can add Bowman to that list. For now though, the sophomore from Grapevine, Texas is just doing everything he can to acclimate to the new offensive schemes and be the guy for Texas Tech come the fall.