The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake: Secondary Most Improved; Kevin Curtis Helps a Giant

In this Morning’s Stake: Texas Tech may be taking bids for the south endzone facility and indoor practice facility, the secondary may be the most improved in the Big 12 and Kevin Curtis helps a Polish giant.

Taking Bids. This was a pretty interesting find by Dunka, which is TexasBids has a listing for bids for the south endzone facility and sports performance complex along with some other things. The estimated bid is $86,000,000 and I have no idea if that’s even accurate or close to being an amount that could build that indoor facility.

Most Improved. The ESPN Big 12 Blog Bros held a roundtable and they asked which position group will be most improved and Max Olson picked the Texas Tech secondary:

Olson: I think a group poised to take a big step is Texas Tech’s secondary. That’s a super young group and I’m interested to see how David Gibbs’ teachings influence them. I look at that roster and see some talented guys like Justis Nelson, Nigel Bethel II, Tevin Madison, Jalen Barnes and Payton Hendrix who ought to develop more confidence under the guidance of Gibbs and Kevin Curtis and force more turnovers in the fall.

Double T Saddle Monument. DT’s Jeremy Krakosky has a bit of history, the Double T Saddle Monument, that sits in the South tunnel where the players come onto the field and touch the saddle before the game. Just to remind you all, the saddle is a result of a 1995 event where the Masked Rider fell off the horse and the horse runs into the tunnel where the horse slipped and ran into a wall and died instantly. The saddle was later donated and not every player wants to touch it, the quote is via Chris Snead:

“I’ve walked in and out of that locker room several times, and I have a little bit of a creepy feeling about it. There’s nothing wrong with it, I think it’s a neat tradition,” he said. “It’s one of those things that, as many times as I’ve been down there, I have never touched it. I could have walked up and rubbed all over it but I’ve never touched it.”

In the years following the death about half of the players did not touch it because they were superstitious, Snead said. To this day, there are still a few players who will not touch the saddle because of their beliefs.

Curtis Helps a Giant. Kind of a neat story that I first found on ESPN where cornerbacks coach Kevin Curtis helped 6-9/351 Babatunde Aiyegbusi, a Polish player, get noticed enough to be signed by the Minnesota Vikings:

Aiyegbusi never played a down of college football and has spent the last few years playing in the Polish American Football League. Agent Jeff Griffin came into contact with Aiyegbusi through Texas Tech assistant coach Kevin Curtis, a client and former fourth-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers, who spent two years playing in NFL Europe for the Cologne Centurions.

Curtis received a YouTube video from one of his former coaches in NFL Europe, who happens to work with Aiyegbusi, to see whether Texas Tech would be interested in signing him. The problem was Aiyegbusi, who turns 27 in May, had exhausted his college eligibility by competing in Poland’s professional league.

“So Kevin called me, and was like, ‘Hey man, watch this. You’re going to call me back,'” Griffin said. “I looked at the video, and I was like, ‘What the heck is that?'”

Griffin called Curtis soon after watching the video to find out how he could get in contact with Aiyegbusi, who up to that point had only talked to Curtis on Skype, which is how the agent made contact with Aiyegbusi.

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