The day after the Texas Bowl quarterback Davis Webb announced his intention to transfer from Texas Tech following graduation in May. There should be no shortage of schools interested in the 6-foot-5 Webb, who threw for 5,557 yards and 46 touchdowns in 23 appearances as a Red Raider.
His announcement got me thinking about Texas Tech's depth chart at the most important position on the field. Who is in play and just what are their credentials?
The obvious one is Patrick Mahomes. This offense is his baby as much as anyone not named Kliff Kingsbury. As a true sophomore in 2015, Mahomes led the Red Raiders to a program-record for points scored in a season with 586. The Red Raiders scored the second most points per game in the nation at 45.1 per outing. Texas Tech also fielded the second most prolific passing offense in the country at 388.2 yards per game.
Mahomes passed for 4,653 yards and 36 touchdowns and rushed for another 456 yards and 10 scores. He has a rocket arm, generally makes good decisions and can impose his will by moving the chains with his legs.
The most dynamic part of his game, though is when he combines the two. Mahomes is at his best scrambling around behind line of scrimmage, extending the play and devastating defenses with remarkably accurate throws on the run.
He should be one of the most exciting players in all of college football next season.
Nic Shimonek moves into the primary backup role, which is a big step up in terms of snaps and stature on the team. After watching from the sidelines for the past two seasons, Shimonek is just one play away from being the starting quarterback at Texas Tech.
The 6-foot-3 junior transferred after redshirting his freshman year at Iowa. He walked on at Tech, but has since been awarded a scholarship. Despite being third on the depth chart all of last season he did see the field in a couple games.
I like Shimonek for several reasons No. 1: he's big and athletic. Though listed at 210, he looks bigger.
No. 2: He was a a prolific dual-threat QB in high school as he passed for 2,700 yards, 33 touchdowns and rushed for another 850 yards and 17 scores as a senior at Corsicana Mildred.
No. 3: This will be his third season in Kingsbury's system so he should really be getting a handle on the offense.
The newcomer is mid-term enrollee Jett Duffey, who is coming off a prolific senior season at Mansfield Lake Ridge. After competing in the prestigious Elite 11 and The Opening national finals last summer in Oregon, Duffey led his high school team to a state title appearance, won the Tom Landry Award which is given to the top high school football player in North Texas and was named Mr. Texas Football by Dave Campbell's.
Duffey finished with the season with 2,750 yards, 29 touchdowns passing and 1,668 yards, 19 touchdowns rushing. I expect Duffey will redshirt next season.
Also in the mix is redshirt sophomore Payne Sullins. Like both Mahomes and Shimonek, the walk-on is entering his third season in the offense after a prolific prep career at Waco Reicher where he amassed over 4,500 total yards in his final two seasons. Sullins at least saw the field briefly last year so if he's called upon in a pinch at least it won't be his first snap.