Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Looking Back at Class of 2003...All-Purpose RB's

Full Schedule by Position

Four Star RB's

1. Maurice (Jones) Drew, UCLA - A star running back at national powerhouse De La Salle (CA) HS, Drew headed to UCLA as the top all-purpose back in the country. He started all 3 years for the Bruins, being named All-Pac 10 punt returner (ahead of Reggie Bush) and 1st team All-American all-purpose back after the 2005 season. He shattered an NCAA record of 25.9 yds/punt return by establishing a new record of 28.5 yds/punt return.

2. Rashaun Grant, Georgia Tech - Named to the Freshman All-ACC team in 2004, Grant's career was repeatedly derailed by injuries. Every season he missed games due to various leg injuries. When on the field, he averaged 4.5-6 yds/carry...but unfortunately he never had more than 94 carries, which occurred during his freshman year. His extensive list of injuries kept him from receiving serious consideration in the 2008 NFL Draft.

3. David Marrero, Stanford - Marrero never had much of an impact for the Cardinal in his 3 seasons at Stanford. He transferred to San Jose State for grad school in 2007 and served as a backup punt and kick returner. He did attend Stanford's 2008 Pro Day but was never seen as a candidate to continue his football career in the professional ranks.

4. Michael Turner, Wisconsin - Out of Dunbar HS in Ft Worth, Turner appears on the Badgers 2003 roster. However, it doesn't look like he ever played a game for the Badgers...or anybody else according to my research. Feel free to leave a comment if you know anything about his playing career.

5. Albert Young, Iowa - Injuries have plagued Young since even he showed up in Iowa City. While a Hawkeye, he was injured during pre-season camp and was redshirted. Knee surgery after 2 games cut his 2004 campaign short. A healthy 2005 produced 1500+ all-purpose yards and 8 TD's. He missed a few games in 2006 due to a sprained knee but was able to start every game in 2007 and have a nice year of 1200 yds and 7 TD's. A fringe NFL prospect, Young was recently invited to the Minnesota Vikings mini-camp that begins today.

Other RB's of Note (edited)

19. Anthony Alridge, Houston - Unheralded out of Denton, TX, Alridge headed south to play for Art Briles (former Texas Tech RB Coach, current Baylor HC) in his first year at the helm in Houston. After his redshirt year in 2003, Alridge sat out the 2004 season and was not enrolled at Houston during that time. Upon his return to the team in 2005, Alridge played primarily as a wide receiver in Briles' wide open offense and averaged 22.7 yds/catch. In 2006, he was shifted into the backfield alongside Kevin Kolb (see #31 on dual-threat QB list) and RB Jackie Battle. They lead the team to a 10-win season and the Conference USA championship. Alridge averaged 10.1 yds/carry on only 95 carries to go along with 19 receptions for 274 yds. As the featured back in 2007, he did a great job in steadying the offense as the Cougars didn't settle on Fr (RS) Case Keenum at QB until later in the season. He churned out over 2000 all-purpose yards (1597 on the ground) and 20 TD's while finishing 2nd-team C-USA. He impressed scouts at the combine by running a 4.36 40 yd dash but concerns about his age (turns 25 in 2008) and size (5'9" 170 lbs) kept teams from drafting him. However, the Denver Broncos quickly signed him after the 2008 NFL Draft and he will begin minicamp this week.

The Tech Factor

Though the prototypical Texas Tech RB is best used as an all-purpose back (see Taurean Henderson and Shannon Woods), the one RB that Tech signed in 2003, JUCO RB Sione Havili, was not labeled as such by Rivals.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Looking Back at Class of 2003...Dual-Threat QB's

Full Schedule by Position

Four Star QB's

1. Robert Lane, Ole Miss - Recruited as a QB, Lane chose Ole Miss over LSU where his father, also named Robert, played QB from 1977-79. He demonstrated a proven knack for running the ball and in 2005 he started the transition to H-back. He spent the next 2 seasons playing H-back, fullback, and TE before finally settling at the TE position for the 2007. He finished his career with 803 all-purpose yards and 4TD's along with another 321 yds and 1 passing TD. He was not drafted in the 2008 NFL Draft and has not signed a free agent contract.

2. Dennis Dixon, Oregon - After a slow start to his collegiate career, Dixon started to show signs of brilliance after taking over for an injured Kellen Clemens late in 2005. After setting career bests in three consecutive games to start the 2006 season, he fizzled late and the Ducks finished the season with a 38-8 drubbing to BYU in an irrelevant bowl game. Dixon took another step in 2007 and was a leading contender for the Heisman Memorial. However, a freak accident lead to torn ligaments in his knee...and thus the subsequent end to his season. Despite his injury, he was drafted in the 5th round by the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 2008 NFL Draft. If you feel so inclined, you can check out his website for updates on his rehab work.

3. Marcus Stone, NC State - Taking over as the starting QB during the 2005 season, Stone guided the Wolfpack to a 5-1 finish including a 20-15 upset of #9 Florida St in Tallahassee. Despite the success at QB, he was moved to TE before the 2006 season. Two seasons of serviceable play (36 catches for 452 yds and 1 TD in 2007) later and it appears that he didn't pursue an NFL career.

4. Tyler Donovan, Wisconsin - After serving as a backup for 3 seasons, Donovan finally got the starting nod in 2007. A productive, though not overly impressive, season lead the Badgers to a 9-4 finish after a loss to Tennessee in the Outback Bowl. Considered at best a fringe NFL prospect, he chose to sign with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL earlier this month.

5. Syvelle Newton, South Carolina - Newton saw limited action at QB in 2006 after Blake Mitchell (see Part 1) was benched following a shutout loss to Georgia. He spent time at QB, RB, and WR during his college career and is one of only 4 players in NCAA history to have 600+ passing, rushing, and receiving yards in a career. He initially signed with the Montreal Alouettes but left the team after they switched him from QB to WR. He is now on injured reserve for the Georgia Force of the AFL.

6. Omarr Conner, Mississippi State - Conner spent most of his time in Starkvegas as a secondary receiving option. However, he was sometimes called upon to step in at QB when injuries depleted the depth chart. Seeing playing time from the time he stepped on campus, Conner lettered all 4 years for the Bulldogs before finishing after the 2006 season. After going undrafted in the 2007 NFL Draft, he signed with the Mississippi Mudcats of the AIFL. He no longer shows to be on their roster though and his current whereabouts are unknown to me at this time.

7. Robert Johnson, Arkansas - RoJo was the Razorbacks' starting QB for the first 7 games of the 2005 season losing the job to true frosh Casey Dick. He again started the season at QB in 2006, but the heated QB battle between he, Dick, and blue chipper Mitch Mustain (now at Southern Cal) didn't turn out in his favor and he was eventually moved to WR. Johnson was a secondary receiving option for the 2007 season with a career high of 3 catches for 71 yards and 2 TD's vs Mississippi State. Undrafted in the 2008 NFL Draft, Johnson is hopeful of signing on with a team but an opportunity has materialized at this time.

8. James Battle, TCU - After leading the Denton Ryan Raiders to 3 state championship games (and 1 state title in 02), Battle made the trek down I-35 to play for the TCU Horned Frogs. After 2 seasons as a backup QB and/or on the practice squad, Battle transferred to Stephen F. Austin in hopes of seeing the field. However, I can't find any sites that indicate that he actually played for the Lumberjacks in 06 or 07. I did find one mention of him serving as an assistant coach back at Denton Ryan in 2006 but the team website doesn't reflect him as a coach at this time.

9. Tom(my) Zbikowski, Notre Dame - Arguably the most well known player on this list (thanks to NBC and the Notre Dame media machine), Zbikowski started for 3 years at strong safety and punt returner, being named 3rd-team All American at both positions during his time as a golden domer. A decorated amateur boxer, Zbikowski made his professional debut in the summer of 2006 at Madison Square Garden, defeating Robert Bell (who entered the ring in an Ohio State jersey) by TKO in 49 seconds. Zbikowski was recently drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

10. Bernard Jackson, Colorado - Jackson's first two years (04 and 05) in Boulder resulted in minimal playing time at WR, TB, and on special teams. He took over as the team's starting QB in Week 2 of the 2006 season after James Cox was benched following a 19-10 loss to 1-AA Montana State. Named a team captain prior to 2007 spring practice, Jackson was unable to remain academically eligible and a rumored switch to WR never materialized. He showed up for the Buffs Pro Day for NFL scouts earlier this spring but has not been contacted by any NFL teams at this time. I also found a tidbit mentioning that he became a father in 2006 and that the demands on his time played a significant role in him losing his eligibility in the spring of 2007.

Other QB's of Note

15. Reggie Ball, Georgia Tech - Started at QB for 4 years at Georgia Tech without a redshirt. Missed the last game of his collegiate career after being declared academically ineligible. He moved to WR for the NFL Combine but a 4.8 40-time left scouts underwhelmed. He went to training camp with the Detroit Lions but was cut. He was picked up for the Lions' practice squad in December 2007.

31. Kevin Kolb, Houston - Kolb started for 4 years at QB for the Cougars, earning a laundry list of awards within C-USA. He was the first pick of the Philadelphia Eagles (36th overall) in the 2007 NFL Draft and is currently the #2 QB behind Donovan McNabb, to whom he is considered the heir apparent.

The Tech Factor

This might come as a shocker to many...but the Red Raiders haven't actively pursued the dual-threat (aka run-first) QB in the Mike Leach offense. They did sign top JUCO prospect Robert Johnson in 2004 but he eventually transitioned to WR.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Looking Back at Class of 2003...Pro-Style QB's

Full Schedule by Position

Five Star QB

1. Kyle Wright, Miami Hurricanes - Wright went to Miami as the #1 QB prospect in the nation (5th overall). After an underwhelming career at the U where he suffered multiple injuries and multiple benchings as the starter, Wright went undrafted in the 2008 NFL Draft. He agreed to a Free Agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings.

Four Star QB's

2. Chris Leak, Florida Gators - Leak took over under center midway through his freshman year (2003). He was a 4-year starter, leading the Gators to a 13-1 season that culminated in winning the 2007 BCS National Championship over Ohio State. After not being picked in the 2007 NFL Draft, he signed with the Chicago Bears as a FA. However, he was cut on September 16th and was not picked up by any other team.

3. Tommy Grady, Oklahoma Sooners - Grady was the backup QB to Jason White during his redshirt freshman year (2004) and saw limited playing time. However, the Sooners signed top QB prospect Rhett Bomar after the season and Grady chose to transfer to Utah. He was the Utes' backup QB the past 2 seasons after sitting out in 2005 due to NCAA transfer rules. He doesn't appear to have been listed as an NFL prospect for the 2008 Draft and has not signed on with any team.

4. Clayton Richard, Michigan Wolverines - After his redshirt year, Richard lost the QB job to Chad Henne. At that time, he chose to focus on his baseball career and was drafted in the 8th round by the Chicago White Sox. He is currently playing for the White Sox AA team in Birmingham, AL.

5. Kevin McCabe, Virginia Cavaliers - Information is hard to find on McCabe. He went to UVA and was their backup QB as recently as 2006. However, he doesn't show up in their 2007 media guide and lists a QB by the same name as playing for the California (PA) Vulcans, an
NCAA Div II school.

6. JaMarcus Russell, LSU - Arguably the biggest name on this list, Russell was SEC Player of the Year (2006), winner of the Manning Award (2006), and Sugar Bowl MVP (2007). His stellar 2006-07 season lead to his selection as the #1 overall draft pick by the Oakland Raiders in the 2007 NFL Draft.

7. Andre Woodson, Kentucky - A 3-year starter, Woodson's biggest accomplishment was setting a new NCAA mark of 325 pass attempts without an interception. However, as his team's early success turned into a late season swoon, he saw his draft stock fall from potential 1st round pick all the way to the 6th round where he was drafted by the NY Giants.

8. Justin Midgett, Florida - Midgett attended Florida for a short time before academic problems (amongst other things) lead to his suspension and subsequent transfer to 1-AA Eastern Illinois (of Tony Romo fame). However, he remained academically ineligible at EIU and eventually surfaced with the Florida Firecats. He spent time with af2's Lubbock Renegades and Alabama Steeldogs in 2007 before being resigned by the Firecats for the 2008 season. However, the team website doesn't show him to be on the roster at this time.

9. Sam Keller, Arizona State - A backup his first two seasons, Keller played very well as the Sun Devils' starting QB in 2005. However, a broken hand sidelined him after only 4 games and Rudy Carpenter took over the starting job. Keller decided to transfer to Nebraska before the 2006 season and redshirted while having to sit out for a year. Keller fell short of expectations for the Huskers in 2007 and was replaced by backup QB Joe Ganz after breaking his collarbone in the team's 9th game vs Texas. He went undrafted in the 2008 NFL Draft and has yet to be contacted by any teams as a possible free agent pickup.

10. Brady Quinn, Notre Dame - A four-year starter for the Fighting Irish, he helped lead the team back into the national spotlight after Charlie Weis took over as coach in 2005, breaking 36 school passing records along the way. A 2 time All-American, he was a Heisman finalist in 2005 and 2006, and winner of the Sammy Baugh award in 2006. Quinn was drafted in the 1st round by the Cleveland Browns in the 2007 NFL Draft.

11. Blake Mitchell, South Carolina - A three-year starter for the Gamecocks, Mitchell's college career fell far short of expectations. He is the only USC QB to beat Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, and Clemson. He also played a major role in being upset by Vanderbilt 17-6 AT HOME when the Gamecocks were #6 in the country.

12. T.C. Ostrander, Stanford - Ostrander was a backup QB to now Buffalo Bills QB Trent Edwards for most of his time at Stanford. He started 11 games over a 3 year span before suffering a seizure the week before the Cardinal 24-23 victory over #1 USC this past season. He went undrafted in the 2008 NFL Draft but was quickly signed by the New Orleans Saints as a free agent.

13. Michael Affleck, Arizona State - He redshirted at ASU, underwent shoulder surgery, transferred to BYU, was dismissed for multiple run-ins with law enforcement, and transferred to Dixie State before eventually landing at Utah State in 2006. He threw 2 passes (both incompletions) in 2006 and I can't find any information on his whereabouts since that time. He was not on the team in 2007.

14. Drew Tate, Iowa - A highly touted gun slinger out of Baytown, TX (Lee HS), Tate chose the Hawkeyes over his beloved Texas A&M Aggies after longtime A&M coach R.C. Slocum was dismissed from the team. He was the Big 10 Player of the Year in 2004 and MVP of the Capital One Bowl (2005). He signed with the St Louis Rams in May 2007 but was released a few weeks later. He's now a backup QB for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL.

15. Richard Kovalcheck, Arizona - Kovalcheck graduated from Arizona in 2 years and enrolled at Vanderbilt in 2006 while attending grad school. He was 3-8 as a starter for the Wildcats and served as a backup at Vandy to Jay Cutler in 2006. He did not pursue an NFL career.

16. Matt Flynn, LSU - Flynn served as JaMarcus Russell's backup for 2 seasons before taking over the reigns for 2007. He guided the Tigers to a 38-24 win over Ohio State in the BCS National Championship game and was named the game's MVP. He was also MVP of the 2006 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl as he filled in for an injured Russell as the Tigers pounded Miami 40-3. The Green Bay Packers drafted Flynn in the 7th round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

17. Johnny DuRocher, Oregon - DuRocher planned to lead the Ducks to the Rose Bowl and beyond. He wound up transferring to the Washington Huskies. It was then discovered that he had a brain tumor during a routine test following a concussion suffered in a game. Despite limited experience, he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 34th round of the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft. He remained in Arizona for extended spring training and has yet to join a team in Class A for the Mariners.

Other QB's of Note

25. Matt Ryan, Boston College - Ryan was recently chosen as the #1 QB in the 2008 NFL Draft (3rd overall) by the Atlanta Falcons.

39. Joe Flacco, Deleware - Shined in 1-AA and was picked by the Baltimore Ravens 18th overall in the 2008 NFL Draft.

The Tech Factor

24. Phillip Daugherty, Texas Tech - Daugherty originally inked with the Red Raiders but elected to transfer after being buried on the depth chart (amongst other things). He landed at 1-AA Sam Houston State. Tech fans will remember him as the backup QB for SHSU in the Red Raiders 80-21 victory over the helpless Bearkats in the fall of 2005.

Looking Back at Class of 2003

This is the first of a 9 part series looking back at the Recruiting Class of 2003. I'll be looking at what has happened to every 5 Star and 4 Star recruit (per rankings) at each position (excl. fullback and kicker). I'll include other players of note that weren't as highly recruited coming out of HS. Finally, I'll look at the Texas Tech recruits to give it some application to the blog. Here is the schedule:

Pro Style QB
Dual Threat QB
All-Purpose RB
Running Back
Tight End
Wide Receiver
Offensive Tackle
Offensive Guard
Defensive End
Defensive Tackle
Inside Linebacker
Outside Linebacker

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Thoughts from the Spring Game

Well I returned in Dallas tonight at just the right time to see the Stars punch in 2 early 3rd period goals and finish with a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks that sends them to the Western Conference Semifinals vs either San Jose or Calgary later this week. Now...onto the spring game.

First off, here are the posts that I made from the Jones on Saturday. I'm going to break my review down into PROs and CONs.

- The defense recorded 9 sacks lead by Brandon Jones with 3, Daniel Howard with 2, and McKinner Dixon with 2.
- The defense only had 1 TFL (Tackle For a Loss) on 47 rushing plays.

- Michael Crabtree had 6 catches for 54 yards and 1 TD.
- Michael Crabtree had 2 drops on VERY catchable balls.

- Blake Kelley and Adam James likely played themselves into the WR rotation in 2008.
- Todd Walker went from the most talked about WR in spring practice to a virtual afterthought on Saturday. He had 1 catch for 3 yards in "bonus time" on Saturday.

- The offensive line was without 3 of it's Top 7 on Saturday. Rylan Reed, Louis Vasquez, and Lonnie Edwards all sat out with injuries.
- The perceived depth at OL might not be exactly what we once thought. The OL looked very average for most of the spring game.

- Sam Fehoko was an absolute stud on Saturday. He flew around the field making play after play.
- He's likely to be 2nd on the depth chart at MLB but should earn significant playing time in Ruffin's defensive rotation of 22-26 guys.

- McKinner Dixon continued to show his exceptional athletic ability in his return to the Hub City.
- Jake Ratliff who??? He was a total non-factor on Saturday just as he has been all spring. Look for Daniel Howard and/or Brandon Sesay to move ahead of him in the fall.

- Aaron Crawford and Baron Batch ran very well at times.
- Baron Batch lost 8 yards in his last 3 carries, Crawford was shutdown except for a 19 yd burst followed by a 12 yd run 2 plays later.

- Shannon Woods showed why he lead the Big 12 in all purpose yards gained in 2007 and is a 2 year starter at RB.
- Shannon Woods continued to show his tendency to not hit the hole and take what the defense gives him. Instead, he kept trying to bounce it outside but was only able to turn the corner 1 time for a nice 18 yard gain.

Ok. That about sums up my thoughts on the spring game. If anything else comes to me tomorrow I'll add it to this list.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Unofficial Stats for today...

They're still playing even though the clock is at 00:00...but here are my unofficial spring game stats:

Finishing up the day...

The backups are in now to finish out the game.

Black 26
Red 17

5:30 left in 4th and counting...

I'll be back tomorrow with a full report as my fiancee and I are celebrating our birthdays together this evening.

Crawford with a TD, Harrell finding a rhythm

Graham completes 4 of 5 on the drive (3 of them to Detron Lewis) and Aaron Crawford has runs of 7 and 20 before punching it in from 6 yards out.

Black 20
Red 17

:26 left in 3rd quarter

NOTE: They're using a running clock in the 3rd quarter.

And it's halftime

The defense has been the story of the day so far. The crowd has been treated to a very impressive defensive performance with 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and an INT. Some of the stats I have:

Harrell...11 of 23 for 135...1 TD 1 INT 1 Fumble
Potts...19 of 28 for 139...sacked 5 times

Batch 11 for 44 yds and a fumble

Crabtree 5 catches for 53 yds, 1 TD and 2 drops
Detron Lewis 4 catches for 50 yards
Adam James 3 catches for 45 yards

Defensively...Colby Whitlock, Chris Perry, Daniel Howard, Richard Jones, and McKinner Dixon all have sacks on Taylor Potts.
Sam Fehoko has an interception and a fumble recovery.
David Neill recovered a fumble by Batch that was caused Sam Fehoko and somebody else.

Defense with ANOTHER big stop

With the offense starting on their own 7...they go backwards on 1st down and then Harrell can't find an open man after that.

Black 17
Red 7

3:41 left in 2nd quarter

2nd string moves the ball...

but the defense gets a big stop on 3rd and goal at the 1 and then Baron Batch is hit in the backfield by Fehoko and somebody else on 4th down and fumbles...recovered by DT David Neill.

Black 15
Red 7

4:20 left in 2nd quarter

Defense with another hold

Harrell leads the offense down to the 10 (with a few nice runs from Shannon Woods) but 2 incompletes and a dropped ball by Blake Kelley on 3rd down ends in a missed 27 yd FG attempt from Cory Fowler.

Black 12
Red 7

11:44 left in 2nd

Fehoko with an INT

Sam Fehoko steps in front of a Graham Harrell pass for a very nice INT. No worries as TPotts comes back in and throws a few wild balls to lead to a turnover on downs.

Black 12
Red 7

13:28 left in 2nd quarter

Crabtree tries to throw

Crabtree got the ball on a quick pass from GH and started to throw downfield but had to pull up and run for a few yards instead.

Crabtree makes quick work of the defense

It takes 2 plays for the 1st team offense to find the endzone...

Harrell gets the ball to Crabtree on the edge and he side steps the defender for an easy 19 yd TD.

Black 11
Red 7

6:13 left in 1st quarter

Defense with 2 more sacks

Taylor Potts was sacked by Chris Perry on 1st down and Daniel Howard on 3rd down...another 3 and out.

Black 11
Red 0

6:27 left in 1st

Lewis can't hold on

4th and 6 at the Black 27 yd line...but Detron Lewis drops a great pass from GH across the middle to turn the ball over.  The play before, Pete Richardson had a great pass breakup on a pass intended for Todd Walker.

Neill getting pressure

Backup DT David Neill makes a nice move to get up the gut and force Taylor Potts to throw a ball that falls helplessly incomplete in the flats.

Black 6
Red 0

8:55 left in 1st quarter

Fehoko recovers a fumble

GH was leading the offense down the field...but a fumbled snap at the 21 was recovered by Sam Fehoko

Red - 0
Black - 6

10:35 left in the 1st quarter

Whitlock with a sack

Colby Whitlock blew right up the middle on 3rd and 10 for an 8 yard "sack" (there's no tackling of the QB) of Taylor Potts to force a 3 and out.

Rules of the Spring Game

Offense in red shirts/white pants

Defense in black shirts/white pants

- Four 15 minute quarters, clock runs continuously in the 2nd half.
- One 15 minute halftime
- 1st and 2nd string will rotate
- Kickoffs (no tackling) to start each half

Defensive scoring:
7 points for a TD
3 points for a turnover
2 points for a 3 and out
1 point for a sack
1 point for turnover on downs

Waiting on the game to start

and we've got a few minutes of bull in the ring at midfield to get the guys warmed up for today...

Live from the Spring Game

Barring any unforeseen circumstances...I'll have a live blog going from the Jones press box of the spring game.  Check back about after lunch...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Red/Black game to be broadcast nationally


Live simulcast of Texas Tech Red-Black Game at 11 am ET, followed by

University of Pittsburgh Blue-Gold Game at 6 pm ET

The Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Pittsburgh Panthers conclude their 2008 spring football season live in front of a national audience on the NFL Network.

“Spring Game Saturday” on NFL Network begins with the Texas Tech Red-Black game live at 11:00 AM ET from Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, TX. NFL Network will simulcast FOX 34 MyLubbockTV’s local broadcast featuring Drew Dougherty calling the game, with Chris Level serving as color analyst.

“We are extremely happy the NFL Network has agreed to broadcast our annual Red-Black spring football game,” Texas Tech Director of Athletics Gerald Myers said. “This broadcast is a reward for the student-athletes and coaches that put in a lot of hard work to prepare for the 2008 season. We are excited to continue our relationship with the NFL Network that started with the 2006 Insight Bowl.”

EDIT: The time in the press release is wrong. The broadcast will start at 1PM EST

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tech loses over $200k on the Gator Bowl

Texas Tech lost $202,240 for playing in the 2008 Konica Minolta Gator Bowl. The article goes into detail, but here are the highlights:

- TT had approx 750 people travelling to the game (this number includes the team, band, etc)
- TT received $925k from the Big 12 for playing in Tier 1 Bowl (Big 12 received $2.5 mil from Gator Bowl)
- TT received $199/mile travelled for reimbursement of travel expenses. (1202 miles x $199 = $239,198)
- TT subtracted $74k after ticket sales did not equal the price of complimentary tickets used by the school.
- 68% of expenses were transportation, meals and lodging
- 27 % of expenses were awards and extra compenstation for staff
- 5% of expenses were for promotion, media guides, and misc supplies

A few other significant notes. UT lost about $68k in their trip to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl. Tech AD Gerald Myers said that the Big 12 AD's unanimously recommended that a retroactive expense check be issued to cover the financial burden for schools that are losing money. Myers expects Big 12 presidents to approve the issuing of a check for schools that lost money at their next meeting on May 23rd. However, don't expect them to adjust the reimbursement budget for next season's bowl games.

Monday, April 14, 2008

New Uniforms in 2008

I'm a big fan of unis/logo/etc (and yes I do frequent UniWatchBlog) so I thought I'd pass along some of the changes you'll be seeing in 2008.

First up,
there's new look on the way for the Utah Utes. They're switching from Nike to Under Armour this year:

The announcement for these came out at the end of March. Keep an eye out for an alternate black jersey as well. In keeping with the blandness of many UA uniform designs, it looks like Utah received very similar treatment to what was announced for Hawai'i a few months back:

In Big 12 news, Iowa State is moving to this new logo for the 2008 season:

Heading down to Florida we find THIS new black jersey will be worn by the Miami Hurricanes in 2008. Expect it to debut for an evening, mid-season game:

Georgia Tech has a new design coming from Russell Athletic this fall. The biggest changes are the addition of the white helmet and some new piping. I haven't found an official pic yet...only this one that was mined out of the locker room a few weeks ago:

There's a pic out there of North Carolina adding a navy alternate uniform to wear with their Carolina Blue pants. I'll see if I can find it...

That's all for now. Getting pretty geared up for the Red/Black game on Saturday. If all goes well I should be able to live blog from the press box at the Jones.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Spring Practice Photos (04/05/08)

HERE are my photos from yesterday's practice. I'll be back in Lubbock next weekend as well so hopefully I can make it to part of practice. There's a Red Raider Club golf outing in Tahoka on Saturday afternoon so I might not make it to practice. I'll have more info on that later though.

THIS link will run the photos in a slideshow format if you don't want to have to do any clicking.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Live from the Jones, Spring Practice Notes

Went to practice for about an hour and a half today. The fiancee was wonderful and came I was nice enough to leave early in exchange. Got some really nice photos but I can't upload them until I get back to Dallas in a few days. Without further are a few thoughts:

- First up was special teams work.
Jonathan LaCour would've had at least 1 punt blocked if this was a game situation. It was a good snap and hold but somebody (Duncan or Hunter maybe??? It was a 50's number) got through VERY quickly.
- In DB drills,
Darcel McBath was very solid. Caught everything thrown to him and stayed balanced through all his movements.
Jordy Rowland really stood out to me. He moves as well as any other DB we have out there. Every shift was very smooth.
LA Reed dropped multiple balls (3) out of the 5 or 6 reps he took. He's still very raw though he shows very good instincts, more about that in the scrimmage notes.
Michael Crabtree was himself as usual but had one very uncharacteristic drop in WR/DB drills. He ran up to me and said, "How did I drop that??? It hit me in the hands. No more of that today."

---Switch to full 11-on-11 scrimmage---

- On the first drive,
Taylor Potts lead the offense right down the field and Aaron Crawford punched it in from a yard out for the score. He (TP) looks very calm and confident running the offense.
Graham Harrell stepped up and made a couple very nice throws to lead to a second TD.
Stefan Loucks looked VERRRY bad today. Ruffin McNeill had McKinner Dixon lined up at rush end and Loucks was very quick to move away from his side after taking the snap. As a result...he wasn't maintaining any pocket presence or going through his progression consistently. Dixon beat his man a few times and would've most certainly blown up the QB if given the chance.
Eric Morris was very fiery today. A few times he was gang tackled for a short gain and he came out of the pile bouncing around and shouting some unmentionables at various players.
- After a great defensive breakup of a pass intended for Crabs at the goalline, Ruffin was talking up the secondary on a great play when he saw that a late flag was thrown. The call was defensive PI and Ruffin quickly turned on the officials. "That was a BS call. How can you make that call???" This drew some nice laughter on the sidelines. Evidently there's no offseason for officials!
Louis Vasquez spent some time at left tackle with the first team offense. Brandon Williams beat him on the first few plays but LV adjusted and kept BW out of the play after that.

- There were a lot of 2 back sets run today. One interesting formation was 2 backs, with 3 WR's bunched on one side. They put Shannon Woods in motion out to the opposite before running the play. It was only run once. They also ran 3 or 4 running plays out of the 3 wide pro formation (QB under center) with the line having "smaller" splits.
- Finally, the defense stepped up and stopped the 1st team offense at about the 18 while they were driving. They of course go for it on 4th in a scrimmage. GH throws a strike to Todd Walker at the goal line but Taylor Charbonnet makes an amazing play and knocks the ball out of Walker's hands to secure the turnover.

Misc Notes

- 2009 WR recruit Jarrod Darden (Keller Central HS) was in attendance. For most of practice, he seemed more interested in his iPod than talking to anybody. However, I did see him spend some time with Leach, Crabtree, GH, and the WR coaches at various times throughout practice. Once full scrimmage started he paid particular attention to the near side (home side) WR's.

- Good crowd today. There were a few hundred people spread out through the stands and around the sidelines. Great weather and not a cloud in the sky.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pat Green, Garth Brooks, and Tech vs OSU in Dallas

Check out this article from Brandon George over at the DMN.  I found this quote from Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance of particular interest:

"We had thought about Pat Green from Tech and Garth Brooks from Oklahoma State," Hance said.

As much as I like Pat Green...and Texas Tech...this could be an interesting series of events. The addition of Garth Brooks playing in Dallas (he sold out Billy Bob's and Texas Stadium faster than anybody ever) would likely draw even more people in for th event.

On a serious note, if Tech is getting the same $5 mil/year that Arkie and Aggie are getting...then this is a no-brainer to put the game at Jerry World. Hate it or love it, the TTU Athletic Dept doesn't have a donor giving 9 figures to upgrade the facilities and pay for every last tube of toothpaste used by it's $5 mil is HUGE as far as they're concerned. Sign me $200 for 2 club level tickets is in the mail!

Bad news out of Raiderland

Freshman (RS) DL Bobby Agoucha has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules.  I don't have any details and thus can't comment as to what exactly happened.  Best wishes to Bobby in the future.