Texas Tech football: Important position battles to watch this spring

STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 22: Wide receiver KeSean Carter #82 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders celebrates a touchdown against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the second quarter on September 22, 2018 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 22: Wide receiver KeSean Carter #82 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders celebrates a touchdown against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the second quarter on September 22, 2018 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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Red Raiders looking for two new starting safeties

The biggest question Patterson and his defensive coaches must answer comes at the back to the defense where Tech must find two new starting safeties.  Last year, Jah’Shawn Johnson and Vaughnte Dorsey combined for 110 takes and five interceptions but both have exhausted their eligibility.

Unfortunately, there are no obvious answers at safety because no one on the current roster has played significant snaps at that position as a Red Raider.  However, there are some players with quite a bit of potential.

One name to become familiar with is Adam Beck.  The redshirt sophomore sat out last year after transferring from Minnesota.  In high school, he was the No. 7 safety in Texas and the No. 69 safety in the nation and he held offers from the likes of Colorado, Boise St, Mississippi State and Iowa State among others.

Another option could be sophomore Thomas Leggett (no relation to Caden Leggett), who made an impression last spring with his hard-hitting style that resulted in a forced fumble in the spring game in Lubbock.  But he was mainly a special team’s player last year as Tech had three senior safeties (after the addition of Texas transfer John Bonney).  Weighing the same as Beck (185-pounds), Leggett could be competing with him for the strong safety role or or they could pair to form the starting tandem should Beck display the ability to be a quality coverage man.

One familiar name that might be an answer is Justus Parker.  The senior has spent the last two seasons at corner where he played primarily in the slot.  But his knack for forcing turnovers (he’s had a hand in ten during is time as a Red Raider) might make him an enticing option at safety.