Texas Tech football: Red Raiders add Utah State backup QB

Monday, it was announced that the Texas Tech football program has added to the roster Henry Colombi, a backup QB from Utah State.

When you’ve had the type of misfortune at the QB spot that the Texas Tech football program has had over the last two seasons, it never hurts to have as many options on the roster as possible.  Perhaps that’s why Matt Wells has brought former Utah State backup QB Henry Colombi to Lubbock.

Making 13 appearances for Utah State in his career, he amassed 460 yards and two touchdowns passing, while also rushing for a pair of scores and 139 yards.  Of course, he was playing behind 2020 first-round draft pick, Jordan Love.

But this year, Colombi expected to get his shot at starting in Logan.  However, this offseason, the Aggies added Utah transfer, Jason Shelley, thus prompting Colombi to enter the transfer portal.

He likely won’t get the chance to start in Lubbock either with both sophomore Alan Bowman and redshirt freshman Maverick McIvor certain to sit ahead of him on the depth chart.  What’s more, he’s just a junior meaning that he will need a waiver to play this fall (and he is expected to file for immediate eligibility with the NCAA).  But that doesn’t mean he won’t see the field in a meaningful role should that waiver be granted.

In each of the past three seasons, the Red Raiders have had at least two players start a game at QB.  What’s more, in each of the last two, Tech has had three different players start a game in the shotgun.

Making Colombi’s presence all the more important is the fact that both Bowman and McIvor have to be considered injury risks.  After all, each has yet to play a full season of football since 2017.

Boman missed four full games and the second half of two more in 2018 with a collapsed lung.  He then missed the final nine games of 2019 with a separated shoulder.

Meanwhile, McIvor, a 2019 signee from San Angelo, missed all but a game-and-a-half of his senior year of high school with a blown-out knee.  Then, he did not see the field at all as a true freshman thanks to a broken foot sustained in the final intrasquad scrimmage of fall camp.

For years, Texas Tech football fans were able to take the health of Red Raider QBs for granted.  We even saw B.J. Symons play half of the 2003 season on his own torn knee ligament.

But since 2013, Tech has had multiple players start a game at QB in every season but 2015 and 2016 (the two years that Pat Mahomes made every start).  On the other hand, Tech has seen Davis Webb, Baker Mayfield, Michael Brewer, McLane Carter, Jett Duffey, Bowman, and McIvor all miss time with an injury.

That’s why QB depth was especially concerning in 2020 given that the Red Raiders did not have an experienced third-string QB.  Aside from Bowman and McIvor, the only other scholarship QB on the roster this fall was set to be true freshman Donovan Smith from Frienship H.S.  The son of current Red Raider RB coach DeAnthony Smith, he was only a one-year starter at QB in his high school career meaning that he likely isn’t ready for meaningful snaps this fall.

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Therefore, Colombi’s addition is important even though he may never see the field.  In fact, Texas Tech fans hope that the only time we see this new signal-caller is in mop-up duty.  But should he be called upon, he is a nice option to have on the roster.

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