Gridiron on the Plains: Mike Mitchell’s Impact; DeAndre Washington Wants 2,000 Yards

LB Mike Mitchell is making an impact on the field and his father speaks out about watching him close to home. RB DeAndre Washington wants to eclipse 2,000 yards and who is calling plays at UT?

Mitchell Making Impact. Via LAJ’s Don Williams, Texas Tech linebacker Mike Mitchell is making an impact and there’s quite a bit there, including quotes from Mitchell’s father, Ken, talks about Mike growing up and Ken’s hope to make it out to Lubbock to watch his son. Ken is battling, as the article notes, an undisclosed medical condition, and Mike talked about the biggest challenge in getting back on the field:

“Probably the biggest challenge is getting used to the game speed again, especially the college game speed,” he said. “It’s a lot faster than high school. And I had to sit out a little while, too. So having to come back in and get back into football shape has probably been the biggest challenge.”

And center Jared Kaster talks about the type of athlete and player Mitchell is:

“We call him the SPARQ king,” center Jared Kaster said. “What did he run, like a 4.3 SPARQ? You can see it on the field from one sideline to the other. He’s fast. He’s smart. He knows football well. He’s going to bring this defense a competitive edge, that’s for sure.”

There’s a lot more there, so go check it out.

Washington Hopes for Big Season. Also via the LAJ’s Don Williams and Daniel Paulling, they write that RB DeAndre Washington is hoping to get those 2,000 yards, the quarterback race is still on-going and S Jalen Barnes is out for the rest of the spring with a bruised knee, but it’s nothing serious.

Who’s On First. Texas’ offensive line coach Joe Wickline is embroiled in a lawsuit with his former employer, Oklahoma State, as to the payment of $600,000 to be repaid back to Oklahoma State. The point of contention is that if Wickline left to call plays, then he didn’t have to re-pay said $600,000. We’re at the point where depositions are being taken and the AP has the details:

In his sworn testimony, Strong couldn’t give a percentage of plays called by Wickline. But all three coaches insisted Wickline has a vital role in deciding whether to run off tackle or to the outside, both in the pregame scripts crafted in weekly strategy sessions and from the sideline after kickoff.

Wickline was the most combative, regularly sparring with the Oklahoma State lawyer during his interview.

“I’m a decision-maker. I make calls. I call plays,” Wickline said.

All three said it’s Watson’s job to call pass plays and Wickline’s to handle the running game. And in games when Texas has a big lead, Wickline’s role grows.

“If you’re playing someone and you just beating the brakes off them, we’ll probably run the ball to get out of there. So he’s going to handle the play calling,” Strong said.

Texas Tech’s Cost of Attendance. Via the Chronicle of Higher Education Texas Tech is doing well, quite well, when it comes to the increase for the new cost of attendance at $5,100 additional dollars each semester, which is also 5th in the nation.

Miscellaneous. Allen Kenney of The Student Section writes that you shouldn’t bank on Big 12 adding a championship game . . . Texas Tech has offered OL Quinn Mittermeier and this StarHerald article notes that midwest schools are higher on his list than Texas Tech and doesn’t expect him to commit in the 2015 class . . .

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