When adversity hits, you have to find a way to bounce back. That is what the Texas Tech staff has been preaching the past offseason, but something that senior offensive lineman Tony Morales has faced the past four years.
Prior to his fifth year as a Red Raider, Morales had yet to play a down of football due to a series of injuries.
Yet, Saturday he started on the offensive line, alongside his twin brother Alfredo Morales and teammates.
“It was fun. I was excited to go out there and play with my brother and my other brothers on the offensive line,” Morales said. “It feels good to actually be apart of the team.”
The Morales brothers decided to go to the same college so their family could see them play together. The Morales family was in Lubbock on Saturday to witness that moment they have been waiting for.
The veterans on Texas Tech’s offensive line, Alfredo Morales, Jared Kaster, Le'Raven Clark and Baylen Brown have built a special bond, or as they would describe, a brotherhood. and that has kept Morales going the whole time.
“All of those guys have been supportive and have pushed me to do good in rehab, workouts,” Morales said. “They have always been there for me and it motivated me to overcome the adversity that I had to face.”
Not only did those guys bring him up, but Morales has motivated the whole team as well. Senior center Jared Kaster told the media on Monday it was exciting to see him get his first start after he’s “been through hell and back.”
“When you've got a guy like that who has been through so much, you feel the world for him, man," Kaster said. "Really see a guy push like that through all the stuff he's been through, you give it your all for people like that. That's what you play the game for are people like Tony.”
As for his performance, Morales admitted he was nervous and a little bit rusty, but not playing in a live game in four years will do that to you. He said he has a high standard for himself and is confident he will get better.
“It was a little different than practice, a little bit more high tempo that I wasn’t used to but I’ll get it down. I’m not worried I’ll be fine,” Morales said. “The more game reps I get, the more I will improve."