Texas Tech handed out its 105-man fall camp roster and the following caught my attention:
- Kinsgbury confirmed Conner Dyer, who was not listed on the roster, is injured. He added it's a knee injury, but not the one he injured last season. Doesn't sound good, but I'm hopeful.
- As Zach first reported would happen a couple weeks ago Willie Sykes, an Arkansas transfer, made it to campus and is on the official roster. My surprise? He's walking on.
- Kaleb Hill, DE Kolin Hill's twin brother, is also on the roster after transferring from Boise State. He'll have to sit, but then will have two seasons to play. He's also walking on with an "opportunity to earn a scholarship."
- Damarcus Fields is not on the roster. I was told it's a transcript foul up and he should be good to go this fall. Don't panic yet. Wait and see if he's here when classes start Aug. 29.
It's the first day of camp which means a lot of new faces so we asked a lot of questions about how the new guys are doing.
"They (freshmen) did really well. I think the D-linemen did really good, the linebackers didn't panic which is awesome. Coach Spav and coach Gibbs don't want us out there panicking. I think they did a really good job of not panicking out there so it's a good look."--Malik Jenkins
Jenkins added freshman Jordyn Brooks did a good job of running to the ball, even if he messed up. Jenkins also mentioned freshman LB Brayden Stringer as a guy who did a good job.
"They're bigger kids (this freshman class of defenders) coming out of high school. My class, we weren't too big and we really had to work at it. They have natural size and they have great work ethic out there. It's just good seeing younger guys out there wanting to push themselves instead of us just having to get on them all the time, so it's a good look."--Jenkins
"The younger guys were a little rusty, they got thrown into the fire today. They're just going to get better as practice goes along. They dd good, we did good, I'm proud of what we did today."--Safety Keenon Ward
Ward added that every veteran DB has a younger guy they are mentoring so I asked who he was mentoring today.
"I was working with (freshman) Des Smith today, Jah'Shawn was with Tevin who's new to safety. We're just all rotating, getting to know each other a little better, communicating with everybody on the defense."
Ward was asked what he thought of some of the younger guys on defense.
"They've got a lot of talent. They're freshmen so they're a little bit rusty, but I'm proud of how far they've come so far. It's Day 1, you can't ask for much, but they're on the right track for sure."
DL coach Kevin Patrick told RP during media day that batting down passes will be an extra emphasis because Big 12 teams get the ball out so fast rather than drop back. Jenkins said the defense batted down five passes Monday.
Mahomes was quick to point out that none of the first-team guys tipped one of his passes, but that freshman DE Houston Miller did. Twice.
I noticed Mahomes working with a QB I didn't recognize earlier during practice and asked about him. The kid's name is Colt Garrett, a freshman walk-on from nearby Lubbock Roosevelt High.
"He has a really good arm. It was something where you could tell he has the arm talent he's just going to have to work on his technique, his footwork and stuff like that. He's really tried to soak up as much knowledge as he can. He'll go out there with me and Nic Shimonek and just sit there and watch and snap the ball to us. He's someone who is trying to get reps, trying to get as much work as he can get in and it's something you're excited to see."
When asked if Houston Miller really slept on a mattress in front of his locker as he suggested in a tweet earlier Monday, Kingsbury hadn't heard of it. When it was explained what he tweeted, Kinsgbury smirked, lowered his head and said, "He probably did. That's who he is. He's 180% all the time so I wouldn't doubt it. I didn't know he did that."
When asked if it's OK that he did that Kingsbury said, "I guess? Nobody told me about it."
Wheeler Gets First Shot at Left Guard
"Cody Wheeler was there (at left guard) today and I trust him next to me. He's really developed in the spring and summer. He knows his stuff. I trust whoever ends up next to me, we all know the offense, so whoever ends up there we'll be fine. He works hard, he wants to be good, he studies film every day. He wants to be that starter and that's what really shows out on the field."--Brown
"The offensive line in general is competing hard, Cody Wheeler especially. He has a lot of confidence, he's trying to go out there and win a starting spot and he's just really competing. There's a couple guys mixing in there in the first team and they're all really getting after it. I'm excited to see how they progress this fall camp."--Mahomes
Kingsbury broke down how they'll give out the reps for the starting LG spot:
"It's more reps each day. Cody Wheeler, I think, went first today, but he'll be playing some center, he's prbably our No. 2 center right now, so we'll rotate Madison (Akamnonu), we'll rotate Jack (Reichel), we'll rotate Paul (Stawarz), but it's more not day-to-day as it is just series to series.
I asked Kingsbury if he has a timeline for when he wants to decide on a starter at left guard.
"Yeah, I'd like to do it, we'll have this first scrimmage (Saturday), probably won't do it by then, maybe mid next week have a pretty good idea to start pushing the reps to that guy and have that unit start gelling."
Guess Who's Back?
Mahomes said Lauderdale made a great catch on a 10-yard out that was thrown behind him despite the CB being right on him with good coverage. Mahomes elaborated on how Lauderdale has looked since he's been back.
"It's been really impressive. Coming off a full spring of not really being with the team and not having that kind of brotherhood, just kind of filling in when he gets here and not taking a step back at all and really pushing himself to get better every single day has been impressive."--Mahomes
The Delay of Practice and Obvious Need for the IPF
"Yeah, you'd think we'd have one (an IPF) in Lubbock by now. I won't ever see it, but it'll be nice when my teammates get it next year."--LT Baylen Brown
"I don't know if we're the only team without an indoor field, but that's kind of a big help working outside all the time in the heat. We're going to be ready."-- LB Malik Jenkins
"Yeah, yeah, I'm looking forward to that indoor, that's for sure. That's about three times this summer we've been affected, but it's part of it. I thought our kids handled it well."-Kingsbury
Keenon Ward made a point to let us know he picked off QB Patrick Mahomes in practice. He told us to ask Mahomes about it, but after very little prodding he broke it down some.
"I was just doing my job in the post, I look up and the ball's coming my way. I caught it."--Ward
As Ward left the meeting room where we were interviewing the players, he told Mahomes to tell us about the interception. Mahomes was not happy.
"The defense did have a good day, but I don't think they want to talk about the other ones when we went over the top of them. (after we stopped laughing) But they did come out with a lot of energy today, I was impressed and they had a lot of batted balls and caught a couple interceptions."--Mahomes
"It's a very competitive bunch. They've grown up together for 3-4 years now in this program, took their lumps and they're hungry to be on the other end of that. That's what I've seen through the offseason and today was no different."--Kingsbury
How About Some gifs?