Texas Tech Football Notebook: Sammy Morris Joins Staff; Antonio Huffman Promoted

A new hire and a promotion.

A couple of interesting notes that I haven’t had time to touch on.

Texas Tech and Matt Wells announced the hiring of Sammy Morris, the former Red Raider footballer who will be the assistant director of player support development. here is Wells on the hire:

“It’s an honor to welcome back a Red Raider great to our staff,” Wells said. “Our student-athletes will greatly benefit from Sammy Morris, his experience and his presence in our program each and every day. He will be a tremendous resource for newcomers entering this program as well as to those whose careers have ended and are looking to continue their careers professionally.”

According to the story, Morris will be the liaison between the team and the NFL personnel as well as an advisor for freshmen and players transferring into the program and a life coach.

Before the spring game, Texas Tech and Wells also announced that Antonio Huffman would be promoted to Associate Athletic Director for Football Administration.

Huffman will continue to be over operations for the football program but he will also be the liaison for student-athletes regarding any name, image, likeness legislation that ends up being passed. Here is Wells on Huffman:

“This is a well-deserved promotion and recognition of Antonio for all his hard work and dedication to our football program as well as the opportunity to promote him into a role in our athletics department that is evolving to become a key part of college athletics,” Wells said. “Antonio is a vital member of this staff and someone I depend on each and every day. Most importantly, Antonio bleeds scarlet and black and works every day to make this program better. We’re fortunate to have him as a Red Raider.”

I think the addition to Morris and the promotion of Huffman are fantastic for the program overall. The addition of Morris is really significant and I suppose that this hire could be one that goes beyond Wells, but even short-term, a guy that is the guy that talks to potential transfers is really a role that would seemingly be great for a guy who is a Red Raider and played in the NFL.

Huffman’s promotion is proactive for sure, but most likely needed given the direction of the name, image, likeness legislation barreling through the various state and federal legislatures. I’d even go so far as to think about hiring a company that knows how to license this and make it incredibly easy for the student athletes to profit off of their likeness. I’d add that a program that tries to inhibit this sort of thing will likely be left in the dust in terms of recruiting.

CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin has a nice story on Texas Tech safety Zech McPhearson, who I have seen mocked from 3rd round to 7th round, but people love his collegiate productivity. Regardless, this is a nice story on McPhearson who has a whole family (including an older brother who joined the Texas Tech football team after playing baseball) of athletes.

It’s not often you’re one of eight kids — seven of them boys. But it’s even more unusual when all seven siblings make college sports their athletic floor. And that’s not even accounting for Mom and Dad.

Just see if you can keep up: Zech (short for Zechariah) is the son of Gerrick and Kim McPhearson. Gerrick played defensive back at Boston College, coming out of school alongside future Super Bowl champion Bill Romanowski, before earning a tryout with the Patriots in 1988. Kim played running back and offensive line for the Baltimore Burn of the former National Women’s Football League.


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