Texas Tech Football: 2022 Media Day Recap

The offseason is over.

This is a summary rather than a non-transcript. There’s an hour of video, so I just can’t keep up in a non-transcript sort of way. Also, a handful of players were made available, but I just didn’t have time to get to that. Regardless, I think there’s a ton of info here, nearly 2,500 words typed up so enjoy this and enjoy your day!

Head Coach Joey McGuire

  • Women of the Brand was a great atmosphere.
  • Guys are in a rolling lunch and then meetings and letting them see the schedule.
  • Very strong football team and made great strides, have some guys that really look good and are in great shape.
  • Are in such a great place, lots of guys hugging each other and they’ve only been away for a week. Excited for the attitude team-wise.
  • Still have tickets to Murray State. Promise the product on the field will get you excited.
  • Bryce Robinson is still injured from the bowl game, but he’s not back. Ahead of schedule.
  • Trevon McAlpin, hurt first of spring.
  • Cam Catrell won’t be back at any point.
  • Matt Young, those four will be out for the season.
  • Nate Floyd and Landon Hullaby are way ahead of schedule, but don’t want to push them, they are in really good shape, but won’t be in camp. All 6 guys will be rehabbing and lifting.
  • Really good depth and excited about the team for tomorrow.
  • Competition makes you better. Caleb Rogers won the left tackle job and how he’s competing against the left tackles in the conference to be the best int he Big 12. We want everyone to compete against somebody around the country. Cade Briggs and Dennis Wilburn at center. Cade has played college football and there is a battle there. Right guard is Landon Peterson had a really good spring and moved Michael Shanahan at right guard and his best practice was that spring game. Right tackle is Monroe Mills and Ty Buchanan. There’s a battle. We don’t pigeon hole those guys there, need to play the best five players.
  • Have broke this camp up, 7 or 8 practices is a mini-camp, the NCAA limits the time we meet initially and then we’ll start getting into how we practice during the season. Two scrimmages and live practices, after that will be the mock-week and then quarterbacks will be named. If a QB does something special, that’s his package, might see a couple of them at different times as receivers. May be a good option to throw the ball in the back of the endzone for Smith.
  • I told Emmett Jones and think of Loic Fouonji as a transfer. He’s a monster, need him to be really good and can take the top off of it. Really impressed with his ball skills, wanted his receivers to get 25,000 catches and they’ve done that, he’s going to be lined up on the right side as a starter.
  • Like Christmas. Preparing a team to play someone else really kicks in and have been waiting for this moment. Don’t want to rush to September 3rd, have a lot of things to do from now until then. Am really excited.
  • I don’t want to miss anyone, have 4 Amarillo guys. Have our walk-ons, call them the Dead Rabbits, one of the toughest gangs in New York and he’s the leader of that. He had one of the spring games and has earned his same for special teams. LB Moore is almost 265 right now and has put good weight on and will play outside linebacker/defensive end, Tyree Wilson is there and Myles Cole, will have to play a 9, 6, 5, and 4. Little slowed up with a hammy and is in camp, but is ready to go.
  • I talked to them about getting stronger and told them the weight will come. Jack Tucker looks like a totally different kid and they are all putting some good weight on.
  • Have a really good tight end room, the three guys who are the leaders, it is a healthy competition, Henry Teeter says he’s a fullback, Mason Tharp had a phenomenal spring and became physical and is 255, and Baylor Cupp is a vet and brings a lot of experience and picked up the offense quick. Kittley has a quarterback room he’s never had and a tight end room, he’s talking about that 12 and 13 package.
  • The guys have infectious attitudes (the coaches and staff). Put the staff together on how much they love players and football. The great attitude rubs off. Ask the strength staff, “how lucky are we?” and ask that the players know that. I do believe in shared adversity and shared success. We work really hard.
  • One thing when we first sat down with Kittley, we have a really good running back room, a true freshman is 208, Bryson from Tyler, Cam’Ron Valdez brings a different pace. Tahj and SaRodorick are vets and leaders of this team. Will be 20 personnel, but they will play off of each other. Will also ride the hot hand, but Kittley is really behind and it also balances out if the passing game is well, the running lanes open up.
  • As far as the cross-training it is mostly offensive line. Starts with toughness and need the o-line and d-line to be tough. That was Coach Hamby’s idea, have tried to create toughness and confidence in the offensive line. After the first day they were pretty tired, but they bought into it from the spring until game 1.
  • Erik Gray signed yesterday, will play offensive line and depending on depth, he’s going to swing between center and guard, but project at center. Athletically he will help the offensive line.
  • Think it is great for athletes, never understood why a player could not make money off of the brand you are creating. What helps us is that our locker room has a base, will see a lot of things in college athletics and chaos and feelings people will have for each other in the locker room. Pretty cool to talk to them, Jordan Brown’s mom works 3 jobs to pay for college. James Grando came to me and said that it changed his life. That’s 2 walk-ons who will play and great to see them get rewarded.
  • Will go all the way through, will respect Kobee Minor, but he has to be every bit of that. At Baylor, they had to earn single digits. With NIL, I was going to do that, but Behren Morton is doing something with his number and started talking to Team Luke and fight like Luke and his favorite number is #3 and it is up for grabs and wit going into game 1, that Sunday ending camp, Kobee will fight his butt off, the 2 off the top of my head are Teeter and Rabbit.
  • The Program is a company of ex-military special forces, was team-building and leadership based. This is my 3rd year to do it. Have to do a good job of choosing a leader and who has influence with the team. Had to find a way to manufacture the stress. Have it set up for spring break next year. They are going to follow up and the players can talk to them through the year.
  • When we’ve talked to commits, we still have a couple of spots that we are working on, but shows how serious Texas Tech is. Shows the commitment Texas Tech has. When Texas Tech, Matador Club, and Level 13, it was one of the biggest news stories in the nation, that shows you how important the community is. It is easy to do football, but when Holly Rowe retweets something. Don’t be shocked that it didn’t send vibrations through the Big 12.
  • The defense did a good job of building that roster. Think we have an advantage where DeRuyter can be multiple and can take that roster, can do 4-2-5, can do the bigger teams, excited to see what Tim can do, he’s seen it all. He’s put our guys in good spots to be successful.
  • The love for the university, really thought that he understood the place, but don’t think that people really understand it. Just take the cactus and how many people love Lubbock and West Texas, for anyone to say anything negative. We just pissed some people off about a cactus.

Defensive Coordinator Tim DeRuyter

  • Think McGuire has a tremendous plan and have a model to what Rhule did at Baylor. Going to start with normal NCAA period, will have physical period and other periods where we are not. Will grind, like where the players are at. Their physical changes are apparent.
  • Still work to do on 2-deep. Have a 1.5 deep, freshmen and transfers will have an opportunity. Not enough depth, but have a good start on it. All 3 levels need help, brought some guys in, some young guys at linebacker, on the back-end, brought in a transfer and some freshmen.
  • Tyree Wilson needs to get where he can play consistently and play healthy, has the physical traits to be a Sunday player. Has edge rush ability, and has size and length. Gives a lot of flexibility. Poised to have a tremendous year.
  • Malik Dunlap hit 23 mph on the GPS, good to see th progression where guys have come.
  • Look for consistency, Krishon Merriweather, he has the respect of the players and staff. need to work on being more vocal. He is poised to have a heck of a year.
  • LB Moore has traits we are looking for, have to put some more size on him, he is physical enough to set the edge and athletic enough to drop into space, he had to go up and catch it. He’s got all of the tools, he has a nice future ahead of him.
  • Keyon Blankenbanker looked as a guy that could play the slot and corner and we are thin at cornerback. His position flexibility and the fact that he’s started and played a lot of football. Thought he could fit the culture.
  • Joseph Adidere was on our recruiting list, but saw him in the weight room, is a guy that looks the part, he can now lift and run. He’s all-in and wants to maximize everything he does.
  • Most important quality is grit, a defensive player has to have mental toughness, the guys who are the most successful who are athletic, but also have the grit to overcome adversity and still make plays
  • McGuire’s enthusiasm is tough to describe, the players had a nice bump coming off the bowl win, had guys develop some swagger and develop some of that in the spring. Had to play fast and play hard. Have a coaching staff that coaches hard and loves them harder. People know how genuine he is and how fired up he is.
  • Biggest thing was McGuire. Knew about Tech, knew the fanbase and love coaching in places like this that have fanatical fanbase, but the bottom line was McGuire, including Kenny Perry. Daughter was here a year and a half ago with Wells and to see the facilities and the fanbase and the support.
  • I think the defense will be pretty good, will see a defense that will play really hard and play for each other and will reflect what our coach is about. Won’t be perfect, but will play really hard and if we can take the ball away like I think we can, we’ll be good.

Offensive Coordinator Zach Kittley

  • Coach McGuire and I had the conversation with a quarterback battle. That’s the track that we’re on.
  • Very excited for Loic, he brings a different element for the game. Will be at Z-receiver. He’s excited too and fired up to get out there.
  • We’re going to use our running backs here, want to put the best 11 players on the field and Tahj and SaRodorick are two of them, they will be involved in the passing game too. Have young backs as well.
  • Receiver room is stacked, guys will not always be at X and Z. At X Jerand Bradley and J.J. Sparkman and Chad Townsend, he’s a 4.3 guy. At Z Loic and Brady Boyd and Coy Eakin, Tyler King, Jordan Brown, see a big mixture there.
  • More of a compliment to Coach Arbuckle, he did a lot for me. Can’t say enough about Ben and they are excited at Western.
  • Cole Spencer is huge and he’s an older guy, is able to bring a different leadership quality. He’s a 23-year old guy.
  • Quarterbacks will have a battle, all spring and fall. Our individual success means nothing without team success, root for each other, but still compete. Team is confident that we can win the Big 12 Championship with all of those guys.
  • Trey Cleveland will start inside for us, played majority outside, but thought that he could give us a boost inside. My job is if we go 10 personnel, who are the best 4. He could play inside and outside. Tyler King, Brady Boyd can play everywhere.
  • Baylor Cupp is a physical freak, he runs great and great ball skills, have not yet to see him with the pads on. Very excited about him.
  • The biggest thing is not to over-think it, lots of wrinkles, but if you understand the base stuff, the guys are open-minded, some carry-over with Cumbie’s offense. They did click, spring practice 12 or 13 and started to open things up. Early on we were more base, and towards the end of spring and going into the fall, they can dive in more deep to the more fun stuff.
  • The love of the game comes from McGuire, the fanbase understands who he is. We get to do this for a living. Script certain plays for guys, but we are a big family and really genuinely have fun.
  • Tyler Shough is the veteran and played the most snaps, he’s seen more and plays a major key because put a lot on their plate. Also a great athlete. Donovan Smith is a great athlete, a freak, and a huge arm, and can control the ball. Behren Morton is the young gunslinger and has put on 15 pounds this spring and is more physical. He’s done those things, they all bring the running element and they can move the chains with their feet.
  • Very surreal, it is a blessing to be back, there is no other place I’d rather be and get chills thinking about September 3rd and thankful for the opportunity to be home.
  • Think what they are good at and cater to those attributes, as the player grows, you cater to those areas. Clearly you need to be a leader and have toughness, battle through injuries and the team sees that. Very fortunate that all 3 have those qualities.

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