Great leaders always leave a legacy behind by empowering others to rise up after them. It only makes sense then that Texas Tech quarterback Sonny Cumbie named Kliff Kingsbury as his greatest encourager.
"Kliff has always been there for me. He has overcome a lot, and I really think a lot of him," said Cumbie of the former Red Raider quarterback.
It is only fitting that Cumbie describes his leadership style as fairly similar.
"I'm more of an encourager. I stay positive. I let those guys feed off of my confidence and lead them by going down and scoring touchdowns," said Cumbie. "I've learned that I do my best when I'm calm and controlled."
Cumbie has been an overcomer in his own right. The fifth year senior will take his first snap as starting quarterback this Saturday.
"I always kept in mind the light at the end of the tunnel. That's what kept pushing me and motivating me to work as hard as I have. I knew this day would be here. I just decided to make the most of it and have a great season by winning a lot of football games," he said.
When Cumbie leads his team out of the tunnel this Saturday night, he will be facing an SMU team gunning to avenge a season spent at the bottom of the barrel.
"I don't really think they've changed much. They've had a few personnel changes and have gotten a year better," Cumbie added.
Cumbie claims his level headed teammates won't be overly confident despite winning the last two matchups with a comfortable margin.
"Excited- everyone's ready to go," he said while describing the pulse of the team.
"I think Joel Filani is going to surprise a lot of people- and our defense. We know how good they are because we've gotten to see them improve. [The defense] is fired up," said Cumbie.
When told of teammate Cody Fuller's ritual of checking the mirror before heading onto the field, Cumbie admitted he does the same. He also has a particular pregame regimen.
"I listen to my MP3 player, a lot of Pat Green- that's my style. I like to be focused, laid back and relaxed. I have a certain way I get dressed. That is my superstition," he said, not wanting to explain further.
When the Red Raiders pull out their first win on Saturday, Cumbie claims the celebration will be small. Hanging out with the team on the flight home will be enough.
"Take off and landing gets a little rowdy. It gets pretty loud," he added.
The Snyder native will have plenty of fanfare from his hometown at games both home and away this season.
"Too many. The games in Lubbock will be a lot- anywhere from 500 to 1,000 people," he said.
Not bad for a guy from a town of only 10,000 people. Last one out of town, don't forget to turn out the lights.
Cumbie Ready for First Snap
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