Wednesday Practice Report

Spring has sprung and the Texas Tech Red Raiders had their first day of practice at the football practice facility. On a blustery West Texas day, the players got to start knocking some of the rust off as they prepare for the 2009 season. Come inside for practice observations, awards, and more after the first day of Spring Practice 2009.

Practice Observations • The players spent the day practicing in shorts and jerseys. Lyle Leong and Chris Perry didn't practice today. Perry had a boot on his left ankle and Leong appeared to be nursing a minor knee injury.

• New do- Sam Fehoko and Jamar Wall are without their trademarked hairstyle. Fehoko went with a high and tight look, as did Wall. Sources confirm that Bront Bird is in no danger of removing his flowing hair.

Aaron Crawford, Harrison Jeffers, and Baron Batch rotated through the running back position. It appears that these three will split reps throughout Spring.

Cody Davis and Franklin Mitchem were the starting safeties and looked good throughout practice. Davis received encouragement from the entire defensive coaching staff, and seemed to be soaking up information like a sponge.

Brandon Carter made true on his statement after the Cotton Bowl as he has moved from right guard to left tackle. Carter is a lean and mean 345 pounds, but looked surprisingly agile at the most important position on the line.

• Specials teams coach Eric Russell has already started bringing his type of coaching to the weakest of Texas Tech's three sides of the ball. A loud and demanding coach, Russell had the players running at all times during his drills. He is a no-nonsense type that should be able to generate tremendous results.

Sandy Riley and McKinner Dixon were the left and right end, respectively. Riley is a bit of a surprise while Dixon was one of the easier starters to pencil in.

Brent Nickerson and Jamar Wall were the two starting corners. Wall looked healthier than he did for most of the 2008 season while Nickerson is sporting a leaner frame and a new number, 12.

Brett Dewhurst is another great story in the making. The walk-on is the number two strong safety and looks almost like a Daniel Charbonnet clone on the field. Jared Flannel was the second team free safety.

Eric Ward had a strong first day practicing with the Red Raiders while Rashad Hawk was easily the most impressive of the younger class of receivers. Hawk is sporting number 23 and seems to have added some weight to his frame.

• Sam Fehoko, in addition to sporting shorter hair, seems to have become Coach McNeil's personal whipping boy. That isn't to say that Fehoko is a bad player, but that McNeil knows how much better Fehoko could be. Sam was a leader on the field today and got after the second team defense after a lapse during a drill.

• In an attempt to work on getting onto and off of the field quickly, the entire defensive unit currently practicing (whether starters, 2nd teamers, or 3rd string) sprinted onto the field and into their positions. They then practiced on watching the ball as opposed to auditory cues from the quarterbacks.

Matt  Williams, the hero from the stands, kicked some today during practice with different holders. Both Austin Zouzalik and Adam James worked as holders.

Taylor Potts, in his first day as the de-facto starter, looked good. Though Potts did throw an interception that would have been returned for a touchdown, he showed great touch on his passes and also fired several balls into tight spaces.

• Worth noting was that Steven Sheffield was the back-up while Seth Doege worked as the number 3. Stefan Loucks and Garrett Riley spent time with the scouts. Loucks and Doege will most-likely rotate as the number 3 quarterback behind Potts and Sheffield.

• Speak of Sheffield, sticks doesn't look quite so "stickish" any more, appearing to have gained weight during the off season.

Ryan Haliburton worked as a defensive tackle during practice today.

Brandon Sharpe was the number two rush-end but was also an imposing presence on punt coverage. Sharpe sprinted down the field and was cheered by both coaches and players for his effort.


Offensive player of the day: Taylor Potts

Catch of the day: Rashad Hawks diving reception during team drills.

Defensive player of the day: Marlon Williams

Defensive play of the day: Marlon Williams with an interception returned for touchdown.

Quote of the day:

"How many interceptions have you had today?" Ruffin McNeil

"None yet." Cody David

"Good Answer."

Inside the Red Raiders Top Stories