In a very short while Texas Tech's fall camp will begin, which means that football in earnest is tap, tap, tapping on the door. We duly open that door with an analysis of Tech's positions and units as they currently stand.
2010 Position Grade: The expected quarterback controversy starring Steven Sheffield and Taylor Potts fizzled before it ever materialized. Potts seemed to be Tommy Tuberville's guy from the get-go, and the Abilene gunner never surrendered his front-runner/starter status throughout the season.
There were concerns that Potts would be interception-prone, but this too never really materialized as he threw only 10 interceptions in 551 pass attempts. His 141 passer rating was only No.31 nationally, however, which is okay for most places, but not what you'd expect from a Texas Tech quarterback. Still, the Red Raiders won eight games, which was in line with preseason expectations, and Potts was not the reason Tech didn't win more. In fact, Potts turned out to be far more of a game-managing quarterback than anybody expected.
2011 Starter: Just as Taylor Potts became the clear number one before the 2010 season ever began, Seth Doege is the undisputed starter going into 2011. It is becoming apparent that Tuberville wants stability and certainty at the position, and strives to keep distractions to a bare minimum.
Doege, a six-foot-one 200-pound junior from Wolfforth has some good quarterback characteristics. He wears the number seven and looks more than a little like John Elway in his uniform. Doege's drop-back technique and throwing motion look like that of an NFL quarterback. And despite two very serious knee injuries, Doege is a fleet and mobile quarterback. Expect offensive coordinator Neal Brown to use Doege on the bootleg frequently.
Much like Potts, however, Doege has shown lapses of judgment in practice, which led to multiple interceptions. He still locks onto receivers too much and makes ill-advised throws to the outside.
Doege is a very nice guy and is well liked by his teammates. But he's also rather quiet and it remains to be seen whether he's enough of a firebrand to be an effective on-field leader
The Field: The big question right now is whether Jacob Karam or Scotty Young will seize the backup quarterback role. Karam has shown flashes of brilliance, but is streaky. In the early-to-mid portion of spring workouts he was playing so well it looked like he might even be putting some heat on Doege. His play plateaued late in spring camp, however, and Scotty Young closed the gap dramatically between himself and Karam.
Karam has a world of intangibles. He may be the smartest player on the roster, is extremely confident and has an aggressive personality. Given the opportunity, he could develop into a superior field general.
Young, however, has the measurables. While Karam is only six feet tall, Young is six-foot-three and weighs a solid 200 pounds. Young also has the better arm, but Karam is more mobile. Right now it's a veritable tossup as to who becomes Doege's backup, but the prediction here is that Karam holds off Young.
True freshman Michael Brewer was a phenom early in the spring, but quickly fell back to earth. At one point it looked like he was going to force Neal Brown to make a tough decision about redshirting him, but it now looks like a certainty that Brewer will sit 2011 out.