Chapter XVIII: Kingsbury Talks End of Spring Practice; Robert Casteneda No Longer on Team

It’s officially the offseason.


Kliff Kingsbury

  • Thought the practice was competitive, more situation, and really wanted to slow it down to get some good film for the offseason.
  • Defense has gotten better and better. Wanted to slow it down, give a good picture and make our guys on offense play straight up.
  • Robert Casteneda is not with us, and will leave it at that. Kingsbury just didn’t want to comment on this and said that he’s sure something will be coming out soon. That’s the reason for the decommitment of Tyler Casteneda.
  • Madison Akamnonu was at left guard and Kingsbury said that he felt he was a better fit there. Kingsbury said that he felt like they needed to get Madison inside to see if he can be that 5th starting piece and he probalby had 6 or 7 practices there.
  • D’Vonta Hinton was held out for a head-area type of thing.
  • What’s next? Three weeks of offseason. Whitt will crank it up, and this will be a prelude to the summer. Go right into training hard on Monday.
  • Really liked how nobody feels comfortable, nobody feels that they have a position locked in. This is the most fun he’s had with all of the youth and competing at each position.
  • Kingsbury thought all spring, all of the quarterbacks did good things. Nik Shimonek has come on strong is a really good thrower of the football. Payne Sullins and Jett Duffey both had good springs. Kingsbury said that it is exciting to have guys you have faith in.
  • What’s next for the staff? The coaching staff will be on the road on Sunday and will start recruiting. Kingsbury will do exit interviews with players and really dig in deep and study football.
  • Reginald Davis’ spring has been awesome. The light goes on for him and that’s what he’s been doing. His intensity and focus. Kingsbury hopes he has the same result.
  • Kingsbury was asked to name some starters at outside receiver and right now, he said that he wouldn’t name a starter, but he feels like Texas Tech has a bunch of guys that can play. He made it clear today that he expects Devin Lauderdale to be back this summer. Not sure exactly where he’ll play, but he does expect Lauderdale to return.
  • There’s definitely more depth on the defensive line and feels like that there are still a bunch that will come in and play. The first group has come a long ways. Having Pipkin and Hill, big physical bodies, has helped. Elisha Howard has had a good spring, great with his hands and very intelligent, if we could get him eligible, we’d really like that.
  • The freshman guys, they did well, the high school kids. Derrick and De’Quan, were in JUCO, but Kingsbury was really impressed with the high school kids.

Patrick Mahomes

  • Mahomes said that he thinks the team is going in hot. Said that the team is going to compete in the weight room and go from there.
  • Mahomes was asked if he’s gotten better and said that he feels like he has. Said it is hard to critique yourself, but he watched the spring game and he feels like he has gotten bigger and stronger and overall improved. Mahomes is trying to keep turnovers down, had two interceptions today.
  • Said he hasn’t been throwing interceptions, said he can live with the tipped pass, but Gibbs threw something that he hadn’t seen with the Dakota Allen interception.
  • Kingsbury keeps preaching to him to not be greedy, take the small stuff and live to see another day.
  • Over the last few weeks, just taking what’s there. Said he made one bad throw, but overall he has gotten better at that.
  • Biggest improvement is learning from mistakes, watching film from last year and this year, try to key on the interceptions he’s thrown as well as the good plays.
  • During this offseason period, said that he’ll still be throwing. Said that he and Nik still have competition getting bigger with the weights.
  • Another big item for Mahomes has been working on his pocket presence, staying in the pocket and getting through his reads. and tried not to do as much scrambling each play.
  • Mahomes said that the communication between he and Kingsbury has become awesome and said that Kingsbury has given Mahomes the freedom to make plays. Kingsbury told Mahomes to check it with 1 second and that shows the confidence he has in Mahomes.
  • As to the Chris Beard situation, said that it is a really good hire, and watched him with the upset at Little Rock.

Justis Nelson

  • Nelson said that the team has to be excited with your teammates, everybody is bringing energy.
  • Nelson was excited that the team got turnovers, and made plays. Kingsbury slowed it down for the defense, which you can tell they appreciate.
  • The coverage they were in on his interception was called “Okie Wall” and said that he was supposed to bat the ball down.
  • He’s pleased with the turnovers and progress. Kingsbury slowed it down for us, have to be pleased with turnovers.
  • Biggest offseason goals are to gain weight and get bigger. Get stronger and faster, especially with him, getting bigger. Whitt does a great job.
  • Said that Texas Tech has a lot of guys that can make plays, Ward, Thierry, Jah’Shawn, Tevin. Just a matter of playing together. Has guys that want to get the ball.
  • Biggest change from last year is communication. Everyone knows wha they are supposed, what they are supposed to do, knowing what each position is supposed to be doing.
  • Said that the secondary hangs out all of the time on and off the field that camaraderie helps.

Dylan Cantrell

  • As far as the competition at wide receiver, Cantrell said that they Just try to feed off of each other. Try to make the receiving room the best it can be.
  • With these next three weeks, this is the last chance the team has to add some muscle mass before they start the summer running.
  • Excited to finally be a full go and 100%, it was hard at times last year, knowing he could be out there contributing, it was tough at times, but he’s excited for the season.

Dakota Allen

  • Felt like the defense competed very well compared to scrimmage in Midland.
  • Just treat it like another opportunity to get better. Definitely created some turnovers.
  • Said he dropped back to the back of the endzone and Pat didn’t see him and he knew that as soon as Pat threw the ball, Mahomes regretted the pass.
  • The part about being excited is something the defense really hasn’t had. Said that the team all loves each other more, playing together as a team, when a brother makes a play, you need to celebrate it.
  • Allen said that they feel like we have finally figured out what they need to do start winning.
  • As far as the offseason, it is back to the grind and get bigger stronger and faster, stay in the film room and get ready for the football season.



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