Spring Practice Report 3/24

More than three months after the conclusion of the 2003 season, the Texas tech Red Raiders are back on the practice fields preparing for their 2004 campaign. While most of the players practicing are returning players, there are some notable newcomers in Lubbock for the spring session.

The most notable newcomer is quarterback Robert Johnson, who should be one of the players in the running for the starting quarterback role, but right now it's too early to know who the leader is. "We're just going to have to continue to watch," said Texas Tech Head Coach Mike Leach. Early on all of the competitors have looked good. "I thought all three really looked pretty sharp," said Coach Leach. The three quarterbacks Coach Leach was referring to are Sonny Cumbie, Cody Hodges, and Robert Johnson. All three of those quarterbacks played with the first team in today's practice, while Phillip Daugherty spent time with the second team. While Daugherty isn't out of the running yet, things don't look too promising at the moment for the redshirt freshman.

Johnson had a nice first day of practice. "I think he had a pretty good practice for the first time," said Coach Leach. It certainly helps that Johnson played in a similar offense earlier in his career. "He's got a certain amount of experience in this type of offense. In high school he actually ran some of the same plays," said Coach Leach. That experience combined with two years as a starting quarterback should get Johnson off to a quick start as a Red Raider.

On the field players practiced without pads for the first day of practice. "Good starting point. I thought it was a good effort," said Coach Leach. Taurean Henderson looks poised to follow his first two seasons with another strong season in 2004. Henderson looks to have added some muscle in the off-season, but remains as quick as ever. Henderson was easily the most impressive player in today's workout. There are some notable changes on the defensive side of the ball. In the secondary it is currently Vincent Meeks and Chad Johnson at the safety position. Johnson seemed to step into the safety role with no problems, making several nice plays in the practice. It's still too early to tell who will end up where in the secondary though. Coaches have said that the four best players will start in the secondary, regardless of position. It's possible that Meeks could end up as a cornerback, though he played exclusively at safety today. On the special teams front the Red Raiders used Meeks, Mack and Rawls on kick returns, while Glover and Chris Parker fielded punts. Overall it was a solid first day of practice. Look for things to become more clear as spring drills progress.

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