Football

Texas Tech National Signing Day: Non-Transcripts

A non-transcript of yesterday’s press conference.

Nothing was more important to me that what the coaches had to say, so I spent an hour+ this morning to do a non-transcript of the press conference. There will be misspellings on my end and some phrases probably won’t make sense. I’ve essentially just run through this once without backing up and typing as fast as I can. Please try to overlook those erros.

Kliff Kingsbury:

Got a bunch of the guys signed up in the early signing day, just making everything was in place and everything wrapped up.

. . . I think it can go both ways, I think for a lot of those players they are ready to have things wrapped up, I think it worked out well. I’ll be interested to hear what high school coaches think, they’re trying to make the playoffs.

. . . The recruiting period, becomes an early spring like feel, start to focus attention on those future classes.

. . . It’s going to be interesting, those kids are really young to be brought on campus, and you’re asking a 16 year old to stay on a college campus for two nights and I’m not sure that’s good for anybody. We’ll see how recruits feel about it and go from there.

. . . [Henry and Thompson] Both went over 3,000 yards in their careers, both can catch the ball, Henry is smaller and quicker, great hands, but really good running between the tackles. Thompson is a bigger body, a tremendous athlete, 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns, very good high school players that can transition to our offense. Thompson is a quiet kid, not interested in putting his stuff out there, I’m glad we got him because when you get around him and see his focus, it jumps out to you. We like our running back position currently. We anticipate De’Leon being part of the team this spring, with those guys skillset, and being able to catch the ball out of the backfield, we’ll see.

. . . . Even more so there, with Keke’s departure early, we think there are some bodies that can pick things athletically, it is a talented class. With a couple of those guys, Sterling [Galban] and Myller [Royals] are already here and see how they fare in the spring.

. . . We were heavy defense last year and signed some late guys that helped those numbers, this year, we were getting caught up on offense and next year it will be more evenly split.

. . . We had a couple more targeted, we found it is nice to have that flexibility with grad transfers junior college players, I think we have 2-3 moving forward and see what’s out there.

. . . We’ll see, we like the two tight end bodies we have, Donta Thompson and Tyler Carr, we’d be interested in a grad transfer.

. . . We’re still working through it, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

. . . Johns had great references, coaches I respect and admire, his organization and structure and wants to continue to evolve his offense and that’s exciting to me. He’s a football junkie and trying to figure out how to get better every day.

. . . I think we can continue to adapt to our personnel and we’ll have some athletic quarterbacks and we need to give ourselves the best chance possible to be as good as we can offensively. I think with 5 starting offensive linemen, and solid running backs, we can do some things.

. . . I think the way teams are playing right now, the way the defenses, this new coverage, we need to be better in the run game and so hopefully he can help us.

. . . It’s been great, in the past we’ve had to protect those guys because we didn’t have the bodies to rotate through, now we are 3 deep and now we can grind those guys and be physical and grind and that’s a step up from year’s past. having numbers here and on the defensive line.

. . . The only thing was Justus Parker and Ja’Deion High getting his 6th year back, not really, just a bunch of scholarships on campus, having 70 to go through spring ball.

. . . I don’t know of the top of my head, 5 to 6 I would guess.

. . . it will be 25 players in 2019. I think last year we lost 12 seniors, next year it will 24 or 25 and we’ll be a bigger class next year.

. . . I don’t know if there was a focus other than trying to find guys that we felt could provide depth, we were being selective and what could fit in our scheme.

. . . No doubt, that made it a luxury for Coach Gibbs to be selective that fit all of their criteria and developing.

. . . He is very productive, over 11,000 yards, and 120 touchdowns and 4 year starter. He’s done all of the quarterback gurus that he can, smart kid and I expect him to go out there and cut it loose, he’s not going to back down from the competition. If he’s the best one, he’ll be the starter. That competition is what will help that quarterback room. This is the first time since my first year since we’ve had a true quarterback competition.

. . . Any time you can add that wow factor, we know that geographically it can be tough to get out here, we definitely had positive feedback from high school coaches and parents.

. . . yeah, I think we’re more focused now on making sure we get the right fit and right player. the first part we were chasing stars and now we make sure that they fit and that they have a passion for the university.

. . . We’re close, I expect an announcement by this evening or tomorrow and then we’ll have one more spot to fill.

. . . Our staff really stepped up, Brandon Jones and Emmett Jones really sold our office.

. . . Jaylon is a talented player, an all district running back and 1 technique, that’s a rare combination of explosiveness, just getting him here and learning, he’ll have to step up to crack that lineup. We’re going to limit him this spring and monitor him.

. . . Kisean Carter is a dynamic playmaker, obviously had some ties there, last guy from the Woodlands, we felt like we ha a good chance and Kittley did a good job of recruiting him on that end, he’s got game-changing speed, a guy that is a great young man and hope it works out as well for him as it did for Danny.

. . . We can show a lot of good highlights, put it that way, we’ll show guys that can show highlights and add Keke and I think those slot guys get excited.

. . . We would never do that, Chuck, haven’t done that, just being able to show off everything, they can see all of the players in the NFL and the quality of work in that setting, it definitely makes an impression.

. . . [Ezukanma] His length and body control for being that long, as a junior had 20 touchdowns, was banged up, just tremendous ball skills.

. . . [Royals] More fluid and faster than I thought in person, really dominated most of the teams we played, getting him early is huge, the biggest thing to work on is the weight and strength games, has a chance to play early.

. . . I think that’s something you always touch on, the beautiful thing about Texas Tech, when you get out here, it sells itself, they fall in love with the people.

David Gibbs:

. . . We still have a long ways to go, but the progress has been seen on the game film. And we have all of those kids back, which makes it a lot easier, makes i it harder in recruiting, they are so spoiled, they want to hear that they can start, it’s harder to recruit, which is a good thing. They are good kids, they are winners, play multiple sports. Unless Riko Jeffers shows, up they probably aren’t going to play.

. . . I just know this, up until this year, people only follow DB’s that we recruit when people start showing ht e progress, the earliest ting that it did. The bigger schools lose a player they have to go find a player and they take yours. Patrick Curley has known we liked him, at first we weren’t going to take a linebacker, we didn’t want to offer him until late, because we know what would have happened. So we offered late. He can run, he can hit, he can play inside, outside, starts on their basketball team, won 43 straight games. Excited to have him, very athletic.

. . . There’s no doubt, that’s the thing that goes back to Spike Dykes and being out here in Lubbock, you have to have the right kid come out here, that’s an excuse too. I get, we’re going to beat them with the players they don’t want and we want. The process is going forward, and I expect that to continue to happen.

. . . [Xavier Benson] Good player, can play inside and outside, saw him run around last spring, I think he could play defnsive back, linebacker, or outside linebacker. Tough kid, good basketball player, he’s a winner, a playmaker, he’s going to get big. I’ve seen his daddy. He’s going to get big. I’m going to wait and see, as long as he can run and hit. That kid can run, I’m surprised he wasn’t more recruited than he was.

. . . Because he’s 6’0″ and not 6’3″. He ran sprints today, and outran every lineman, offensive and defensive. Got hurt playing basketball. I believe if he would have played his senior year, we would maybe not have gotten him. Good kid, smart and good family.

. . . John Scott, averages 28 points a game. Very athletic and raw, he comes from a program where he has a lot of improvement to make. Hitchcock you have to go find it, the kid is athletic and can play anywhere on the defensive line.

. . . You want me to say it was short and we didn’t get some players, again, there’s a fine line with us, because after this year, it won’t be the case, it’s not sexy to play defense at Texas Tech, I get that. A year from now, we won’t be having that discussion, a year from now, we’ll realize we have another year to compete. They better really good players to come in and play next year because our guys are only going to get better.

. . . There’s no urgency, there were some guys we could have taken, but they had to understand that they weren’t gong to play, we redshirted 6 years last year and they are all going to play this year. The competition will be fierce, which will only make us better.

. . . I’ll say whatever you want, after the bowl game, we gave up 2 long passes and if we had signed 5 of 6, I would have been happy with what we got. This is old school coaching b.s., it’s about the guys that you get, not about the guys you don’t get. The guys that we signed are going to be good frickin Red Raiders, good players, going to love being here, going to take care of business. And the next group they are going to do the same thing.

. . . I don’t personally, there are too many loopholes, it’s great for the kid, until they come on the campus and start school, they are not yours, all of the kids that say they are committed, the other 127 schools are still trying to get them until they step foot on our campus. It could be 3 months from now and decide he’s not coming. I don’t know, I’m not a genius.

. . . The old bend but don’t break is about worn out here, I’ve been playing that card for 3 years. Kliff’s deal is finish, we were competitive and we fought and we gave our offense the chance to win games, but a newcoming quarterback, we have to play better on defense and we need to figure out how to win high scoring games. The players believe in wha we are doing. They are back, the back-ups are back, the guys who have practiced can step in and play an dhte redshirt can come in and play.

. . . Both d-linemen are really good players, Wallace and Mbanasor, all DB’s can play, 3.5 GPA’s, the older guys have to fight off the younger guys, but that’s how you build a good program. Frye, Leggett, I recruited them all, they’re all good players.

. . . Red Raider for a veteran coach, I got a steal, good people and hard-working guys, and a young guy who knows what I want and knows how to work.

Kevin Johns:

. . . Been here a week, about a week and a half, got caught up with guys who were committed. Not a ton of input, looks like a lot of good players, size and speed.

. . . I don’t want to single anyone out, there is a lot of speed and playmakers, with what coach King has done in the past, we’re going to put as many playmakers on the field as we can and try to wear out the defense.

. . . We have a need at running back, we have two different players, Henry can score anywhere on the field. Thompson, is more of a bigger back and a pounder. Don’t want to load up with guys that are exactly the same.

. . . I’m trying to learn a bit of both, that’s why this past week has been such a whirlwind. Just base opinions based on work ethic. I have not tried to outside opinions, I want them to know they have a new crack a fair shake, so we’ll piece that together during spring ball. It’s a fresh start for everyone.

. . . I don’t know if you could be in a better situation, I have had short meetings with those guys, they are the strongest position, they should be a year stronger and wiser. Watch the super bowl, the Patriots ,couldn’t block them. Control the line of scrimmage and win every game.

. . . What we’re going to do is do what we have, I think right now, what do we have and what will work. Everyone uses a spread offense, some guys use 2 running backs and 3 wides, a tight end and 3 wides, running quarterbacks and some don’t. We’ll be different than last year. That’s a very fluid question, we’ll work on that this spring and figure out who we are. In my world, I’ve played more with a tight end and 3 wides, but I was taught a long time ago that a good coach adapts to what they have. I’m more familiar with 1 back, 1 tight end and 3 wides, you can still substitute that tight end with a running back.

. . . I’ve seen some names, they have some bodies that fit that position, I haven’t seen enough to say we can build around enough a guy. Will they be productive, and a lot of those questions remain unanswered until we get to practice.

. . . It is interesting, in a lot of those places, we didn’t have quarterbacks that could run, well, then you need something to protect the edge, this year with what we have, so maybe we wont’ need that tight end presence. Just a different spread offense, and can mean a lot of different things.

. . . I think that is in the works, I don’t know that we’ve sat down and said what we’re going to do. With Kingsbury, best play callers in the game, if we don’t use that to our advantage, that’s foolish on my part. My role is coming in to help him any way that I can, putting together the game plan, challenging, what has been done in the past. Nothing has been set in stone today.

. . . This is totally outside the box for Kingsbury, this was through our coaching connections. Late December is when you made some initial contact. I know he did his homework on different candidates, and he checked off the boxes tha were important to him. I think it is a credit to him to go outside his network, that’s outstanding leadership to bring someone in to say how can I evolve.

. . . It’s just production, it’s like the Patriots,, you have to give them a lot of credit for what they’ve done. Every single year, those guys are at the top of stats and production and they are doing something right and just to see what I can add to it.

. . . I don’t know that it’s hard to go back, I just want to win. It doesn’t hurt my ego, it’s pretty cool for me to work with someone as well. I look at is an opportunity to grow, learn a new system and work with Kingsbury as long as he’ll have me here.

. . . We try to be dynamic enough even though we have run plays called, we have screens build in or routes built in so you can’t let a defense cheat. You have to find ways to take the extra hat out of the box. Also our commitment with it, protect the point of attack with the tight end.

. . . Football is such a big part of my life, enjoy reading and leadership, I try to do as much research. I enjoy being a dad and playing golf with my kids, I would invest my time with my kids as much as I can.

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