In the days prior to the start of spring practice, the Texas Tech football team has seen a number of noteworthy roster changes including tow key departures.
Though college basketball has cornered the market on madness in the third month of the calendar year, football also resurfaces in March thanks to spring ball. And over the years, there has been plenty of chaos and intrigue during this portion of the year for the Texas Tech football program.
Of course, this is a time when teams reconvene for on-field practices for the first time since the end of the season and because that typically leads to a shuffling of the depth chart, we are not shocked when players decide to leave the program during or after the spring.
For instance, in 2017, Tech saw inside receiver Jonathan Giles leave the program not long after the completion of spring practice despite finishing as the team’s leading receiver in 2016. The reason he was unhappy was that during spring practice, he was passed up on the depth chart by Keke Coutee, who would eventually be Tech’s leading pass-catcher in 2017.
A year ago, senior QB McLane Carter also entered the transfer portal in April. Seeing the writing on the wall as he was passed up by both Alan Bowman and Jett Duffey despite being the 2018 week-one starter, the former JUCO transfer eventually landed at Rutgers.
Unfortunately, spring is also notorious for bringing about off-field controversies and suspensions. For instance, last March, Matt Wells suspended four of his players right in the middle of spring practices. Running back DaLeon Ward, DL Joseph Wallace, DB DeMarcus Fields, and WR Corey Fulcher were all disciplined and only Fields would return.
The previous spring saw a single off-field incident, involving four players, take the attention away from what was happening on the practice field. In March, QB Jett Duffey, DB Desmond Smith, S Christian Taylor, and WR Quan Shorts were all arrested for disturbing the peace outside a Lubbock bar across the street from campus. Of that group, only Duffey and Smith would return to the team.
With all the turmoil that seems to arrive each spring, you have to think that coaches sleep with one eye open this time of the year just waiting for their phone to ring in the middle of the night. There’s no telling what maddening and bone-headed misstep is waiting around the corner and the roster turmoil that defines every offseason often makes as much of an impact on what happens in the fall as the development of the players that actually keep their noses clean and are full participants in spring ball.
Once again, 2020 is already proving to be an active spring in Lubbock as a number of roster changes and player departures are starting to shape what we think of the current team. Here are some potentially impactful developments that have taken place in the last week.