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Red Raider Football: Quarterback Breakdown

One more day till Texas Tech kicks off the 2013 season against SMU. Stay tuned to this blog for live updates and conversations all weekend long.

No question is more asked in the offseason of any coach than, “who will your quarterback be?” Tech fans thought they had that question answered until a few weeks ago. Oh sure, coach Kingsbury kept saying there was a competition between redshirt sophomore Michael Brewer and true freshman Davis Webb, but no one really took those statements seriously.

Nearly three weeks ago, Texas Tech football went on full media blackout. During a routine after-practice interview, sophomore receiver Jakeem Grant offered a little too much information about Tech’s quarterback situation, prompting (presumably) coach Kingsbury to cancel all media availability for the week. It came out soon after that sophomore quarterback Michael Brewer had not fully practiced in a week due to a re-aggrivated back injury. Kingsbury also mentioned that the majority of the first-team QB snaps were then split between two individuals: true freshman Davis Webb and true freshman walk-on Baker Mayfield.

Webb was a four-star recruit with offers from Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky and TCU before committing to Texas Tech. An alumnus of the Elite 11 competition, Webb was the subject of multiple accolades, including a comparison to Tom Brady from Dilfer himself. Webb is a smart kid; so smart in fact he graduated high school early and enrolled at Tech in the Spring so he could go through camp and get a jump in the quarterback battle. Jump he has. Since the spring, players and coaches alike can’t say enough about Webb’s intelligence, athletic ability and leadership. I’ve been a big fan of Webb ever since I heard him interview on the radio earlier this year. The kid has a lot going on above the shoulders, and I certainly look forward to seeing him play at some point.

Mayfield, former three-star prospect out of Lake Travis, only had offers from Washington State, Rice, New Mexico and Florida Atlantic, but coach Kingsbury praises his athleticism and ability to handle the offense (a point of emphasis for Kingsbury). Every time I’ve seen coach talk about Mayfield he has a look in his eyes as if to say, ‘man, we really stole this guy.’ Watch Mayfield’s highlights from high school and you’ll see a kid with great feet, decent arm-strength and an ability to extend the play. He’s a gamer, and I think the main reason Mayfield is a candidate for the starting job is because Lake Travis ran a very similar offense to what Kingsbury wants to run this season.

At his previous coaching stops, Kingsbury had the luxury of very, vey talent quarterbacks to work with, but the emphasis for him seems to always be on the system, understanding it and fully digesting the concepts. He will role with which ever guys gets it. In a recent interview, coach also said he’s not against the idea of playing two quarterbacks if they both earn the right to play. Whoever starts tomorrow for the Red Raiders, it’ll be good television.

Baker Mayfield/Davis Webb, true freshmen
Clayton Nicholas, RS freshman
Collin Bowen, true freshman

Whether or not Brewer gets back into the competition once he’s healthy is another question. How much will the time off hurt his confidence and timing with the receivers? Any way you slice this issue, it isn’t good. Kingsbury won’t name the starter till he “trots out there” against SMU; either to keep June Jones guessing, or because Kliff really doesn’t want to decide between two true freshmen.

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Tags: Baker Mayfield Big 12 Davis Webb Michael Brewer Texas Tech Football Texas Tech Red Raiders

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