Football

Texas Tech Football Scratch Pad | Report Day

It is report day for Texas Tech football.

Head coach Matt Wells opened report day with a press conference and he said that this is essentially the start of the fourth quarter to his offseason, that there has been a lot of buy-in by the players, and a lot of strides were made over the summer.

“How we do anything is how we do everything.”

As you probably know, this is my version of a non-transcript, which means that I listen to the video and just start typing. As an aside, Wells talks much slower than Kliff Kingsbury so this is easier to do. That’s not a shot at Kingsbury, just an observation in how fast or slow people talk. There were some roster updates:

  • Four grad transfers, Zech McPherson, Evan Rambo, Armand Shine, and R.J. Turner will be in major competition for spots. Their demeanor has added to their culture.
  • Kosi Eldridge is a JUCO linebacker, can play inside or outside, has added 12 pounds.
  • Jackson Tyner is a non-scholarship quarterback for the team.
  • Terrence Steele and Lonzell Gilmore are going to be limited, a lot more at the beginning of training camp. Will have more updates at the end of the month. Lonzell was injured at the end of the spring. Seth Collins will be out an extended amount of time and has been very dedicated, but the collarbone injury has taken quite a bit of time. John Scott and Christian Taylor are out for the year. Sterling Galban and Tyler Carr have injuries being managed and should be full-go relatively quickly. Alante Brown is dealing with eligibility issues, and will have another update next week.

Then we get to the reporter questions and answers.

  • Maverick McIvor has been going through the whole summer, will keep an eye on his reps at the beginning of his reps, to make sure they’re not putting too many reps on him early, but he’s clear.
  • Center needs multiple, Dawson Deaton will start there tomorrow, multiple guys can play, Will Farrar and Jack Anderson. Must cross-train offensive linemen and must have multiple snappers. The tackles must be able to play both spots.
  • Anderson can play all three spots and he could play tight end in short-yardage goal line.
  • The biggest change has been the buy-in, from the first time I met with the team, but the work, the effort, and the accountability is where it needs to be and players leading players is what is needed to go from good to great. His biggest change is losing hear and will have to switch from a visor guy to a hat guy.
  • Programs that you already have a familiar knowledge with, we know the perception of those programs, how they lift weights and how they practice. Had connection with all four players. Knows Kyle Whittingham so knows Shyne, Wells coaches Zech’s brother in New Mexico, Steve Farmer recruited Turner at Louisiana. Need for those players to add to that culture.
  • Privilege to coach and invest in kids lives, mentor them, see their lives change, how they become fathers, husbands, and get jobs, big intrinsic benefits to the job. The challenge and passion to Saturdays. It’s been a way of life, jobs, a scholarship, and can now give back to the game.
  • At left tackle, Travis Bruffy will play both, will see about Weston Wright and Troy Bradshaw at that spot. Lonzell is a biceps injury. Xavier Martin, McLane Mannix, and Dalton Rigdon. Will play 4 outside receivers at minimum, 2 inside receivers, 2 tight ends, and 2 running backs. Going to be a lot of skill guys playing.
  • T.J. Vasher has been full all summer, he’s strong and has a bright future, he continues to refine his game, it’s all route running and be detailed, the more detailed he becomes in and out of his breaks, but at 6’6″ that’s difficult, he’s learning how to be a dedicated college player and if he continues that progression he’ll be one of the best in the league?
  • McLane Mannix has really trimmed his body down and is more lean, he’s leaned out, he eats right, nutrition is important to him, you’ve seen a body change, he’s worked hard and am proud of him.
  • Have made progress on a lot of things, the real answer to the chemistry and togetherness will be part of training camp.
  • Wonder how the offensive line will shake out and how the combo guys will work out. There’s a development, a camaraderie and chemistry, and toughness factor. Have to come out of it fresh. Field will be 170 degrees, get the ready and healthy.
  • Donta Thompson weighed 216 at the end of spring and is up to 240 and he is a different guy blocking. Simon Gonzalez has a bit of an idea and has changed his body. Tyler Carr is a tough kid. Travis Koontz the ability for him to learn and function will be the biggest key for him, how quick can he pick our stuff up.
  • Ever since I’ve been a head coach, have played 3 to 6 true freshmen in a year, we coach every one of them, hold them to the same expectations and standards. It is a freshman class, potentially linebacker, those guys are going to get more early reps because we’re thin there, the receivers, freshmen DB’s are talented, they can earn their way up.

Thoughts:

  • I think I’m pretty well used to Wells and how he relates to the media and how he presents himself. I keep writing this, but he’s just a football coach and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way. I don’t think he minds dealing with the media, I think he somewhat likes it in a way as he asked Don Williams if he wanted to ask the first question. He’s pretty open, to an extent, about the injury situations and he’s really pretty blunt about it. Yeah, I’m good with just getting to the point and not expanding on it if that’s how you want to roll.
  • I’m good with Deaton at center and as Wells said, it could be Anderson or someone else, but I’d guess that it is between these two.
  • Not having your left tackle available for the start of camp with an “upper body injury” is worrisome. So we go the whole spring with Steele at left tackle and Bruffy moving to right tackle and now that plan may be off and Bruffy may be back to left tackle. I think there is a lot to be happy about and there’s a lot of returning talent at offensive line. And from what I can tell, Steele’s injury happened during the spring, so hopefully he’ll be back sooner rather than later.
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