One-on-one with former Texas Tech receiver Mickey Peters


Building a championship-level football program takes time under a new head coach.

Former Texas Tech receiver Mickey Peters and his teammates learned that when Mike Leach took over after Spike Dykes retired in 1999.

Peters was one of Kliff Kingsbury’s go-to receivers in Leach’s Air Raid offense from 2001-03. He finished his Red Raider career with 196 receptions for 2,318 yards and 22 touchdowns.

After brief stints in the NFL and Arena Football League, Peters returned to Texas and currently lives in the Dallas suburb of Rockwall with his wife, Brandi, and their two children.

I caught up with Peters, who is confident Kingsbury will have Texas Tech competing for championships again in the future.

What have you done since your days at Texas Tech?

Right after Texas Tech, I got picked up by the [Tennessee] Titans. I went through training camp and then got cut.

After that, I played arena football for three years with the Tampa Bay Storm. I realized around 2006 that I wasn’t making any money doing that.

I got into the oil and gas business and been a petroleum landman ever since.

You were recruited as a quarterback to Texas Tech, but ended up playing receiver. What was the competition for the starting job like between you, Kliff Kingsbury and BJ Symons?

Kliff was a year older than me. I was part of the last recruiting class of Spike Dykes in 1999 that included [quarterbacks] BJ Symons and Nathan Chandler.

I think they saw me as more of an athlete. I stayed at quarterback throughout my freshman year, but when coach [Mike] Leach came in, I saw the writing on the wall that Kliff and BJ were there to stay.

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Coach Leach came up to me and said that I have an opportunity to play another position. I was more of a running-type quarterback than what Leach does with his offense. I think receiver or defensive back were my choices. I chose to be receiver and I think it worked out for the best, especially in an offense with coach Leach. If Spike [Dykes] would have stayed, then I might have tried to move to safety.

At first I was disappointed I didn’t get to play quarterback, but I was really raw at the time coming from a smaller school. Knowing where I was at that time, I probably needed another year to understand the offense and what they were wanting. Later on throughout my career, I thought I could have played [quarterback]. But I wasn’t as accurate at those other guys were.

Spike Dykes and Mike Leach have different philosophies and personalities. What were you and your teammates’ first impressions of Leach? Did you ever believe his offense would become as prolific as it was when he took over?

We knew Leach had success in the past. I’ll never forget how excited Kliff was when Leach was hired for him getting a chance to really throw the football.

I really didn’t put to grasp what the offense could become.  But as the weeks passed, I realized that it could really become a great thing for us.

When I was a freshman and Kliff was a sophomore, it was tough with the things Leach would put us through. At first, we didn’t see where he was going with it. As the years went on, we grew to love the guy.

We put more emphasis on parts of the game than we did with Spike. Things changed a lot when Leach was hired.

What kind of a player and teammate was Kliff Kingsbury?

He’s always been a hard worker. I’ve never been around a guy who works as hard as he does. He would be out there on the practice field throwing the ball constantly.  I would tell him “Kliff, you’ve got to slow down and take some rest.”

I think that’s a lot of his same philosophy in coaching. He’s up early in the morning and leaves late at night. I think that’s going to pan out to his advantage later on.

It was tough on all of us at first with coach Leach, but after a while we realized that it would be a good deal. I think that’s the same thing Tech has right now. Everybody’s growing and learning right now and learning how to win.

Will Kliff Kingsbury have Texas Tech competing for a championship again?

It’s going to take time. You can’t just come in overnight and start winning. We didn’t win that much with the last coach that we had [Tommy Tuberville].

I understand Texas Tech fans want to win now, but it’s going to take time because the coaches and players are young and learning. People need to be patient with Kliff and realize that he needs to get some guys in there that can make plays.

We can’t be negative. We all have to be positive. Everything’s going to be all right.

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