Spring Football Kicks Off

<p>Two days into Spring Ball, Techsan gridiron players and coaches are beginning to answer questions about the Red Raiders' upcoming season.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders held the first of 15 scheduled spring practices Wednesday afternoon as the program officially began preparations for the 2005 season. The Red Raiders are coming off of a successful 8-4 season, which ended with a 45-31 win over fourth-ranked California in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl.

The Red Raiders will workout each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 3 p.m., while Saturday workout times will vary. The team worked out in shorts and helmets Wednesday and won't put the pads on until Saturday.

Among the 47 returning letterwinners from a season ago are 22 players who logged starts. Of the 10 starters returning on offense, six started in at least nine games. Defensively, 11 starters return, eight of which started in eight or more games.

Tech's quarterback slot has opened up once again and three Red Raiders will compete for the position. Fifth-year senior Cody Hodges, sophomore Phillip Daugherty and redshirt freshman Graham Harrell, began their quest for the coveted position Wednesday. Tech head coach Mike Leach said he will not make a decision on the position until the first week of fall practice.

The biggest gap offensively is on the left side of the offensive line. The Red Raiders lost three players to graduation at the tackle, guard and center positions. Junior Glenn January earned his first-career start late in the season at tackle and is penciled in as the starter during the spring. He will receive competition from senior Daniel Christian for the start nod. Senior Bryan Kegans is listed at the top of the depth at left guard, while junior Brandon Jones and redshirt freshman Josh Aleman will compete at center. Jones is listed first on the depth.

Leading the returning players on offense is all-conference receiver Jarrett Hicks. The junior wide receiver set a single-season school record last season with 13 touchdown receptions and is the third-leading returning touchdown receiver in the country. Additionally, senior Cody Fuller, sophomore Danny Amendola, junior Joel Filani and senior Bristol Olomua make up the returning starting receivers.

Three positions were vacated on defense due to graduation last season - defensive end, linebacker and safety. After leading the team in sacks and tackles for loss last season, junior end Keyunta Dawson is the likely candidate to fill Adell Duckett's end position. Junior linebacker Fletcher Session is listed first to replace Mike Smith at WILL linebacker, while senior Dwayne Slay is in the top slot at safety.

Punter Alex Reyes, placekicker Alex Trlica and kicker Keith Toogood all return after leading the Red Raider special teams last season. Additionally, Danny Amendola is back after shining as one of the Big 12 Conference's leading punt returners during his true freshman season a year ago.

SPRING SCHEDULE

March 25, 3:15 p.m.

March 26, 10:30 a.m.

March 28, 3:15 p.m.

March 30, 3:15 p.m.

April 1, 3:15 p.m.

April 2, 1:30 p.m.

April 4, 3:15 p.m.

April 6, 3:15 p.m.

April 8, 3:15 p.m.

April 9, 10 a.m.

April 11, 3:15 p.m.

April 13, 3:15 p.m.

April 16, 1 p.m. (Spring Game)

April 18, 3:15 p.m.


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