The first day of practice in pads was intense, with both the offense and the defense playing with a lot of fire and heart.Despite the attention that is being paid to the superstars of the team, a few of the "underdogs" on the team are making strong cases for themselves to get playing time.
Offensively, redshirt freshman Adam James is one of the pleasant surprises of the fall camp. His hands have always been very reliable, but he is also being more physical than he has during past practices.
James still isn't a burner, but he has the speed to separate from linebackers and to get open. While he did drop a pass that would have been a for-sure touchdown, James is going to become a very important part of the Texas Tech offense.
Linebacker Sam Fehoko is going to be a madman. He is an offensive coach's worst nightmare, and he may get to show this sooner rather than later.
His combination of speed, size, and leadership are making him more and more difficult to keep off of the field. Fehoko had a tremendous, absolutely awesome stop early in practice that sent the entire defense into a frenzy.
Third string defensive tackle David Neill continues his push for increased playing time as he played very well during team drills, to the point that he actually sent the right guard back into to backfield almost 7 yards.
With so much talent on the field, many positions are going to be a dogfight for who wins the starting spot. And while Adam James, Sam Fehoko and David Neill may some of the lesser-known players on the Red Raiders' roster, each of them is showing just how much depth and skill the Texas Tech football team has this year.
News & Notes
• Edward Britton had another strong day of practice, and looked very explosive both off of the line and running down the field. His hands seem to have improved since Spring practice, and his confidence seems to be better than it has been in the past.
• Marlon Williams finally made good after his two dropped interceptions yesterday by picking the ball off. Williams is by far the best coverage linebacker on the roster, and he is one of the most vocal leaders on defense.
• L.A. Reed didn't wear pads today, most likely in an attempt to prevent him from hurting himself or his teammates with the cast that he is sporting on his right hand. Reed continues to run with the first team defense, and looks better every snap.
• Harrison Jeffers is going to be a tremendous running back. While working with the scout team offense against the first team defense, he broke free and ran past everyone into the end zone. Already sporting the needed weight, Jeffers' hands aren't quite up to par, though a few thousand tennis balls should help to rectify that.
• Brandon Sesay did not disappoint during his first practice in pads. While not as fast as one would expect, Sesay reaches top speed incredibly fast and is one of the fabled "high motor" players. Definitely a strength rusher, Sesay would have had a sack against Taylor Potts during team drills.
• Speaking of Taylor Potts, he had an off day of practice. During pass skeleton, it took him almost 8 seconds to throw a pass. In a drill that is supposed to favor the offense, Potts looked continuously slow and his reads weren't anywhere near fast enough.
• Deveric Gallington earns the hustle award of the day. Gallington is running everywhere he goes, even when he doesn't have to. Gallington also seems to always be wearing a smile, even when pounding the scout team defensive line.
• Teddy Karcasinas, a transfer from Santa Monica Community College, is listed on the roster as a place kicker but he can also punt. However, Karcasinas may have endeared himself to the coaching staff because of his booming right leg and ability to kickoff.
• Freshman Brandon Reid, who is currently working at running back, made a crucial error and fumbled during team drills. While Reid has the speed to play running back, it still seems more likely that he will find his job on defense as opposed to offense.
• Brandon Williams suffered a minor injury during the early parts of practice, though it ended up being nothing serious. • McKinner Dixon didn't practice today, though it doesn't appear to be anything serious while Todd Walker was absent for the 3rd day in a row.
Offensive player of the day: Edward Britton
Catch of the day: Adam James
Defensive player of the day: Sam Fehoko
Defensive play of the day: David Neill driving his opponent deep into the backfield.
Quote of the day: "There are guys who look like Tarzan and play like Jane. He's the opposite." Inside receivers coach Lincoln Riley when referring to H receiver Eric Morris.