The information coming out out practice #2 and #3 was light, at best. There’s been no formal media availability after each practice from what I can tell. We have 0:37 of highlights for practice #2 and 0:17 of highlights for practice #3:
Practice No. 3⃣ at #TTUCamp17 ✅
— Texas Tech Football (@TexasTechFB) August 3, 2017
And we also get Four Downs, which is four things you probably didn’t know about some of the players and the first episode is from DL Zach Barnes:
A-J Media’s Don Williams writes about defensive tackle Zach Barnes, who may be the most unlikely defensive lineman who is majoring in wind energy (he was previously majoring in mechanical engineering) but needs to start making an impact on Saturdays:
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Barnes started preseason workouts this week second team to Mychealon Thomas at defensive tackle after being moved there in the spring from end.
“I felt like I was at home,” he said. “I didn’t have any problems that I could see with it, so I’m excited to be there. I really love all the physicality. That’s really where I started playing football at, so that’s taking me back to my roots.”
The fifth-year senior has 22 tackles, including 1 1/2 sacks, in career 22 games with three starts. Defensive coordinator David Gibbs said his challenge with Barnes is getting him to play the way he practices. The effort’s there from Monday through Friday, but the results on Saturdays haven’t stood out.
“And he knows it. We talk about it all the time,” Gibbs said. “But he got better this spring.”
RedRaiderSports’ Will McKay writes about new center Paul Stawarz and his transition from guard to center this past spring and fellow offensive lineman Travis Bruffy thinks a lot of Stawarz:
“He’s the smartest guy on the football field at any time. He’ll probably never say that because he’s super humble, but Paul is the smartest guy I’ve ever seen that plays football. He’s a great orchestrator. He’s the best person I’ve ever seen that. He can analyze a defense better than anyone I’ve ever seen. He can make the adjustments super quick, check the plays, and he’s the guy I definitely want in charge of my offensive line.”
On top of communicating with his line, the center better be on the same page with his quarterback, too. Someone has to snap the ball to the QB, and the duo better be on the same wavelength with protections. If they aren’t, the signal caller could get mauled off the snap from a free running defender, or a tailback could get stuffed for a loss. This relationship is paramount for the offense to get moving.
Also from RedRaiderSports’ Will McKay is a feature on running back Demarcus Felton, who’s been my pick for the starter at running back, is working on making sure that he’s the starter moving forward. Felton discusses what running back coach Jabbar Juluke is working with them at the running back position:
“It’s very comforting to have a coach like that, because it really shows that he cares. At the end of the day, football isn’t everything. Football doesn’t last forever. We can talk to him about life, and that means something.”
On the field, Juluke has made it clear what he needs Felton to work on and emphasize, too.
“He really wants me to work on staying low in the hole. It’s about slow to, fast through. That’s our motto. It’s about staying low through the hole and not allowing anyone to tackle you when you’re in it.”
RedRaiderSports’ Drew Kohnle writes about one of the newer and more significant offers in Garland Lafrance out of New Orleans, Louisiana, who was previously committed to Tulane, but recently decommitted. Kohnle thinks that Texas Tech may take two running backs in the 2018 class and I’m more inclined to think that Lafrance is being offered because Devin Brumfield may not commit to Texas Tech (he’s looking around and taking in all of his options and for what it’s worth, is predicted to go to Missouri) so you’ve got to find some other options and you can’t be shut out at the running back position.