March 30th Practice Report

It was a day defined by wailing sirens and whistling wind as the Texas Tech Red Raiders had their 3rd practice of Spring 2009. While the sirens had nothing to do with practice, they did put an eerie chill on an already cool day on the South Plains. Come inside for the RaiderPower practice report including injury updates, number changes, and positions switches that boggle the mind.

Practice Observations • Mike Leach called his entire team together after early warm-ups to correct some of the issues that he saw during practice on Friday. Leach had a two by four lying on the ground and asked several players to walk across it. He then stated how every player there could easily "walk the plank" if there were no distractions on the ground.

He then asked who could walk the plank 10 stories in the air. Leachs entire rant was focusing on getting his players to cut out the distractions and get back to the importance that is practice.

• In injury news, Chris Perry was no longer in a boot while Jamar Wall had a booted left leg, almost all the way to the knee.

Harrison Jeffers is fast. Not fast like a 5 minute car wash but fast like a lightning bolt going from a cloud to the ground. Jeffers almost never goes down on first contact and runs through arm tackles like they were crepe-paper streamers.

Baron Batch would be very frustrating to tackle. Batch always has a smile on his face, but also has absolutely no issue running over anyone in his way.

• In the weird position switch category, linebacker Julius Howard has moved to safety while Victor "Little Ball of Hate" Hunter is now a defensive tackle. Hunter also changed his number from 52 to 4. Hunter looked surprisingly good playing defensive tackle and was smiling from ear to ear while doing so.

Colby Whitlock, who continued the tradition of a player wearing number 93 on the defensive line that Chris Hudler started in 2003, has changed his number from 93 to 6. Whitlock was wearing a 93 jersey in practice today while waiting for the arrival of a 3xl jersey from Under Armor.

Brandon Sharpe and McKinner Dixon were the starting defensive ends during practice today. Sharpe seems to be maturing into a physical force and should be able to help fill the void left by Brandon Williams' early departure.

• With Jamar Wall being out, LaRon Moore and Brent Nickerson saw the majority of reps at the two corner positions while Nathan "Big Nasty" Stone also had a strong day.

Brett Dewhurst will likely see the field this year, whether it is on special teams or on the defensive side of the ball remains to be seen. Dewhurst had several strong plays today during practice but also suffered what appeared to be a minor injury to his left shoulder.

• It appears that the starting receivers are set, at least for the time being. Jacoby Franks and Detron Lewis man the right side of the offense while Tramain Swindall and Rashad Hawk are starting on the left. Hawk was particularly impressive during practice today, though he needs to continue his physicality at the point of attack.

• Eric Ward and Harrison Jeffers are both strong punt return candidates, but Ward and Jeffers both muffed punts during practice today. Cornelius Douglas was also returning punts. It appears that a new mantra is taking over as far as returns are considered for Texas Tech, and speed will be a premium.

• Sam Fehoko seems to be growing quickly and his progress seems to be the reason that Victor Hunter was moved to defensive line from middle linebacker.

Cody Davis is getting better with each snap, but he is still struggling at times in coverage. Working in his favor are his great size and better than expected speed.

• Jonathon Lacour and Donnie Carona both punted today and both looked equally abysmal. While the wind can be partly to blame, it is unacceptable for two scholarship kickers to struggle the way these two did today.

Taylor Potts and Stephen Sheffield were both sharp during practice today while Stefan Loucks earned the ire of Mike Leach for forgetting what one of the signals he was given meant.

Taylor Charbonnet was absent from practice today while Brandon Carter was late arriving. Carter seems to have a class that runs into the beginning of practice.

• While Carter was off the field, the starting line (from left to right) was Terry McDaniel, Chris Olson, Shawn Byrnes, Mickey Okafor, and Marlon Winn. McDaniel is going to be a tremendous offensive tackle. Olson and Okafor might be playing guard now, but both are capable of sliding outside to tackle as well.

• Rashad Hawk, already mentioned as the starter at X, is also one of the fastest receivers on the field. Hawk was almost able to outrun the entire defense during the pass skeleton drills, flashing both good hands and amazing speed.

• 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: Baron Batch

Catch of the day: Rashad Hawk in the corner of the end zone doing the toe-touch drill.

Defensive player of the day: Brian Duncan

Defensive play of the day: The entire defensive line gang tackling Harrison Jeffers in the backfield.

Quote of the day:

"It's classified." – Converted linebacker Victor Hunter when asked how much he weighed now, though he did admit that he is allowed to eat as much as he wants.

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