Texas Tech Football Notebook: Ewers Chooses Texas

It’s gonna be okay.

Ohio State transfer quarterback Quinn Ewers chose the Texas Longhorns yesterday. It was a wild ride and it was sort of something that Texas Tech was even being considered. That’s the power of Joey McGuire and that’s pretty cool. My guess is that with Zach Kittley at the helm calling the offense, the Texas Tech offense is going to be just fine.

There’s part of me that’s not going to criticize him. He’s probably being promised a lot of Name, Image, Likeness money and the idea that he’ll play. I know that there was a lot about how Ewers earned $1 million from NIL deals at Ohio State, but I’d guess that money was dependent on playing time. Hence the transfer. Ewers seeks time on the field because without it, he doesn’t have any earning potential. That path is easier at Texas where Hudson Card and Casey Thompson were replaced frequently by each other. Ewers is betting he can beat both of them and maybe the Texas coaching staff is telling him that he will without competition. We also know how things at Texas have turned out recently and if I’m betting on the success of a team, I’ll bet on McGuire pretty easily over Steve Sarkisian. Not everyone feels that way and that’s okay.

Any big NIL idea that you have will largely be dependent on performance. I think advertisers are figuring that out to an extent. Pay-to-play deals are still illegal. And it’s no lock that he’ll beat Thompson, who was pretty good and will probably get better now that he has a year under his belt. Maybe Ewers didn’t feel like he could beat Tyler Shough, Donovan Smith and Brehen Morton as easily. I sort of agree with that.

Two months ago Ewers never would have given Texas Tech a second thought and that’s the cool thing that Joey McGuire is doing. Heck, I haven’t even had time to do profiles on the 2023 recruiting class, but as of right now, that’s a top 5 in the nation class that he’s building without having coached a game or missing a beat on the 2022 class. The fact that he’s built significantly on the class that Matt Wells started is extraordinary. Ewers would have certainly been nice, but what’s happening otherwise is significantly more important.

We talked about this on Friday, but Texas Tech and head coach Joey McGuire made it official naming Tim DeRuyter as the defensive coordinator.

“The priority for me upon accepting this position was to find a veteran, accomplished defensive coordinator, and we did just that with Tim DeRuyter,” McGuire said. “Coach DeRuyter is well-respected throughout college football for the tenacity and aggressive style his defenses are known for. We are excited to welcome him and his wife Kara to Lubbock.”

Rivals’ Mike Farrell wrote about significant coordinator hires and the aforementioned Kittley was hired by McGuire for Texas Tech:

5. Zach Kittley to Texas Tech — A little more under the radar than some of the other hires, Kittley’s rapid rise over the past few seasons is nothing short of remarkable, and he will bring his modern air-raid attack to Texas Tech. The Lubbock native has spent the last two seasons installing his offense first at FCS Houston Baptist and then at Western Kentucky, and with massive success. This past season, Bailey Zappe (who moved from HBU to WKU with Kittley) led the nation in passing yards with 5,545 – more than 1,000 yards more than the No. 2 player on the list – as well as touchdowns with 56 (13 more than the No. 2 player). Expect to see some huge numbers once again for the Red Raiders’ offense.

Not Texas Tech related, but did not know that Pitt’s offensive coordinator, Mark Whipple, flipped to Nebraska

Dallas Morning News’ Ryan Mainville has a really nice article about how McGuire is trying to mix both old and new in his coaching hires.

Arguably the most depleted part of the Texas Tech roster over the years has been in the trenches. McGuire clearly sees that and is trying to limit the damages. The Red Raiders have hired Stephen Hamby away from Western Kentucky as their offensive line coach. Hamby turned the Hilltoppers into one of the best pass blocking teams in the country over the last two years; something he’ll need to replicate once again under Kittley.

On the defensive line, Zarnell Fitch steps in to try and fix arguably the weakest part of the roster. The Red Raiders gave opposing quarterbacks enough time to make a sandwich in the pocket this season, but Fitch’s pass rushers have been the complete opposite of that. In six seasons at TCU, the Horned Frogs totaled 183 sacks under Fitch.


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