Quarterback Transfers Are Nothing New For Texas Tech


After Vincent Testaverde, Jr.’s departure from Texas Tech this past weekend, speculation about Coach Kliff Kingsbury’s ability to retain a consistent string of quarterbacks has come into question. But in reality, this is nothing new for the Tech football program.

Mike Leach had his fair share of quarterback transfers. Leach had at least one quarterback transfer each year, with the exception of 2005. Tommy Tuberville lost Jacob Karem and Scotty Young after the 2011 season; both were highly recruited out of high school.

Remember the names Phillip Daughtery, Ryan Rowland, Bobby Scott, Dustin Estew, Stefan Loucks, or Brant Costilla? No? Those are just a few of the past Tech quarterback transfers in the last 10 years, but they were not quarterbacks under Kingsbury, so naturally their transfers were not magnified 100 times.

Many young players do not realize the uphill battle it is to become a Division 1 starting quarterback, especially at Tech. Tech has consistently been one of the top offensive teams in the nation for over a decade. In addition, more than a few players expect to start the moment they walk onto campus their freshman season. Then reality hits.

When Kingsbury came to Tech, he was redshirted and only had minimal playing time his redshirt freshman season. After that, he started for three seasons and his backup was B.J. Symons. When Kingsbury left, Symons had big shoes to fill, and boy did he fill them and more. In Symons’ single starting season, he broke the NCAA single-season passing yards at 5,833 yards, set the NCAA 12-Game Passing Record with 5,336 yards, and set a NCAA 12-Game Total Offense Record with 5,476 yards. When Symons graduated, he held the Big 12 record for most touchdown passes in a single season with 48 touchdowns, breaking Kingsbury’s record of 45. It goes to show a quarterback does not have to start for four years to be memorable.

Symons is the ideal team player in my book, and most likely, the reason Kingsbury was so successful in his time at Tech. He kept Kingsbury on his toes. Recently, there have been far too many college athletes who feel a sense of entitlement, and it needs to end… yesterday. In the wise words of former Red Raider Coach Bobby Knight, “The key is not the will to win, everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win, that is important.”

Each of Tech’s quarterback transfers had something in common, they wanted to start, but not the will to fight their way to the top to be the best Red Raider quarterback. Tech needs more players like Symons and I have no doubt Kingsbury will produce players with that kind of will and grit.

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