When people think of Texas Tech, they think of offense. In the 2016 recruiting class, the Red Raiders have a player in Mansfield (Tex.) Lake Ridge quarterback Jett Duffey who will hopefully lead them to the same place he’s leading his high school, a championship game.
“The school has only been open for four years,” Duffey stated. “We will be the first senior class that was here the whole four years. We started here my freshman year and we went 0-10. Then the next year was my first year starting varsity and we went 2-8, but were losing close games. Last year we went 8-5 and went three rounds deep. Now we are going to the state title. Everyone’s ready. Everyone’s really excited. Hopefully we can make our mark and give the school its first state championship.”
Duffey has passed for 2,687 yards, 29 touchdowns and rushed for 1,698 yards, 19 touchdowns to lead the Eagles to a 15-0 record thus far.
Lake Ridge takes on Richmond George Ranch in the Texas UIL Class 5A Division I championship 8 p.m. Friday at NRG Stadium in Houston. Before heading South, Duffey was awarded in a ceremony Monday night with the Tom Landry Award, which recognizes the best high school football player in North Texas.
After the state title game, Duffey is anxious to get his career at Texas Tech started. He signed his financial aid agreement last Wednesday and is glad to have it done.
“It was just a relief for the process to truly be over and know where I am going,” Duffey said. “Whenever you’re committed, recruiting is still crazy, but once you’re signed, you’re done. My family and everyone was excited and we’re all really thankful for it, but it’s a big relief for all of us to have it done.
“My parents are really excited for me to go to Texas Tech,” Duffey said. “At first, they were saying how it’s my decision and up to me to find where I fit best, but as the process has gone on and I’ve been committed and we’ve taken more visits to campus, they have learned more about it and are just as excited about Texas Tech as I am.”
With the process completed, Scout’s No. 26-rated quarterback reflected on the process and what sold him on Texas Tech.
“At first I just talked to coach Kingsbury and coach Morris,” Duffey stated. "We talked about the offense and how they run 80 some plays a game. I will be able to spread the ball around and use my legs to extend and create plays as a dual-threat quarterback. Coach Kingsbury is a great coach and with the staff, it’s a no-brainer. It’s amazing. I can tell that the program is going to take off. Not only that, but Texas Tech has a physical therapy program attached to the school and not everyone has that so that was a huge bonus for me on top of being close to home."
Even with the coaching changes happening the last few weeks, Duffey isn’t concerned.
“Staff changes aren’t a big thing,” Duffey said. “College football is a business and sometimes changes have to be made and sometimes people leave. You just have to commit for the right reasons and move forward.”
With the paperwork signed and the season about wrapped up, this leader is already talking to his future teammates and building relationships there.
“Everyone in the 2016 class, we have a group chat,” Duffey stated. “We talk in there about how we are going to take off and Texas Tech will be seen as a top-notch program. When I talk to the young players like Jalen Reagor and Jack Anderson, I just tell them how the program is going to take off and how we need to keep moving forward and they all listen to that and understand that. We are all competitors and want to win.”