College basketball is heading down the home stretch, college baseball has started, but let’s not forget (I know many of you aren’t) that spring practice is already getting underway across the country. We will handle spring previews for every Big 12 football team and roll them out based on when their respective spring practices begin. Next up is the Texas Tech Red Raiders who will start up spring practice on Tuesday March 3rd.
MOST EXCITING RETURNEE: QB Alan Bowman
This was obvious. We all know what Bowman is capable of. In his freshman season, he played in eight games tossing 17 touchdowns on 7 picks while completing nearly 70% of his passes before he had the dangerous collapsed lung injury twice in 2018. Then last season happened where he played in just three games before suffering a season ending shoulder injury. I don’t think the question is if he can play. The question and thing to watch is if he can stay healthy, along with how much competition he gets from those behind him on the depth chart, as head coach Matt Wells alluded to in his interview with Heartland College Sports last week.
MOST EXCITING NEWCOMER: ILB Krishon Merriweather (Garden City C.C.)
You want to talk about some big shoes to fill? How about trying to replace All-Big 12 linebacker Jordyn Brooks? That’s what Krishon Merriweather will likely be trying to do this season. Merriweather is the number three ranked JUCO inside linebacker in the country and led the nation in tackles at the JUCO level with 153.
OFFENSIVE STORYLINE TO WATCH: The Offensive Line
I mentioned in my season recaps back in December that Tech’s offensive stats caught my eye last season. Now of course quarterback Jett Duffey is gone but if Alan Bowman can stay healthy, he has some weapons around him. Leading rusher SaRodorick Thompson returns as well as two out of their top three receivers from a year ago in T.J. Vasher and Erik Ezukanma. However, Tech will be losing three starters up front from last year’s squad and I wonder how the Red Raiders will handle that. That group took a big step up from the 2018 season to last year but with some new faces must step into bigger roles, how will they shake out?
DEFENSIVE STORYLINE TO WATCH: Improvement Across the Board
Tech returns nearly all their defensive front outside of Broderick Washington who was their best lineman and they also lose superstar linebacker Jordyn Brooks. Not to mention, Douglas Coleman is gone at safety who was a first team All-Big 12 selection last season. With all that said, Tech does have pieces in place that have plenty of game experience. Perhaps the most concerning thing about the 2019 defense was the rush defense. The Red Raiders finished ninth in the Big 12 in run defense a season ago Of course their pass defense wasn’t much better and all together they gave up the mist yards in the Big 12.
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