The December shift in recruiting philosophy under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury saw a lack of mid-term enrollees for the first time in several years for Texas Tech football. With only three (Davis Webb, J.J. Lollar, Peyton Williams early or mid term transfers, and only 2 confirmed as of Wednesday by Texas Tech, there might not be the normal spring speculation as to who of the newcomers will or won't contribute.
Webb would really have to wow the coaches, in my opinion, to do anything but redshirt in 2013. Look no further than Michael Brewer as a case in point. The 2013 heir-apparent at QB for the Red Raiders did enough to make coaches toy with the idea of playing him in 2011, but Brewer ultimately redshirted. That said, QB depth then was a little better then than it is now with Scotty Young and Jacob Karam having transferred (in part to Brewer's ascent up the depth chart). Even though QB depth is low, I don't see Davis Webb on the field in 2013.
There was speculation that Peyton Williams would transfer in at semester, but he is not listed on the spring roster. I'll do some digging here.
JJ Lollar is the one new midyear addition on the roster that could see meaningful playing time in 2013. After his eye surgery and sitting out the fall semester, but also helping out a high school team, Lollar seems ready to go.
He's also a must follow on Twitter (@JLollar_TTU) . Most experts that saw his film called Lollar a 2.0 version of Colby Whitlock. The difference between Whitlock's freshman year (2007) and Lollar's upcoming freshman campaign is depth. With the returning experience of Kerry Hyder, Dennell Wesley, and Delvon Simmons at defensive tackle, there may not be the need for Lollar to play immediately. Two things that could change that, other than flat out earning the playing time, would be Michael Starts changing positions AND/OR NOT BEING ON THE ROSTER FOR THE SPRING.
We'll stop right there. I think Lollar now plays. He's already bigger than Donte Phillips, who has been in the program for two years, and taller than Anthony "Scooter" Smith, who is listed at 5'10'' 312 (Short yardage back anyone?).
This is a key development, but if Lollar is hungry and earns the snaps, this helps tremendously, as Tech could lose their top 3 defensive linemen next year if Simmons has a breakout year and opts into the draft. This will now be a development to watch.
I love spring football. It builds the foundation of what will be debated, contested and prognosticated in the months that follow.
The best part about particular spring is that it's an open audition for everyone. Kliff has already said that the competition is open. There are no preconceived notions and everyone is on a clean slate. Returning starters have to earn their spots and the younger generation of Red Raiders wants to make a name for itself moving forward.
Sorting it out will be part of the fun.