It has been four seasons since the Texas Tech football program has had a starting quarterback that would be considered elite. That’s 47 games since Pat Mahomes played his final snap as a Red Raider. And in that time, Tech has had six different QBs take a shot at starting a game with none ever developing into the type of difference-making player that is required at that position for a team to have success.
But one college football website believes that Tech may have a potential star in the making this fall at the game’s most important position. College Football News has released its list of the top ten 2022 NFL Draft prospects at quarterback and new Texas Tech QB Tyler Shough checks in at No. 5.
That makes Shough one of three Big 12 QBs on the list along with Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler (No. 2) and Iowa State’s Brock Purdy (No. 10). And should Shough live up to that billing, it will be a godsend for the Red Raiders.
This is a program that is desperate for stability at the position. That’s because, in every season since Mahomes’ final year on the South Plains, the Red Raiders have had to start at least two different QBs. What’s more, in both 2018 and 2019, Tech had three different passers start a game. That’s no way to thrive as a program.
But Shough could finally bring some stability to the position this year and if he does, this season could finally be the one that sees Tech take a step forward after a decade of stumbling around in the darkness.
A career 64.8% passer, the 6-foot-5 Arizona native started every game last year for Oregon. He threw for 1,559 yards, 13 TDs, and 6 INTs in the PAC-12’s abbreviated season that saw the Ducks play just seven games. However, he did have to split time with his backup and that, when combined with the fact that the Ducks signed a 5-star high school QB in the most recent recruiting class, made Shough look for a new opportunity.
Now, could he finally be the answer that this program has so desperately been searching for? Absolutely.
More from Wreck'Em Red
- Texas Tech basketball: Landing Bryson Williams a huge splash for Red Raiders
- Texas Tech basketball: Red Raiders in the mix for 4-star guard
- Texas Tech baseball: Red Raiders demolished by Stanford in game one
- Texas Tech baseball: 3 Red Raiders that have to step up in Super Regional
- Texas Tech basketball: Red Raiders host dynamic transfer forward for official visit
But if he has a stellar season, he could also be a one-year Red Raider should he decide to head into next year’s NFL Draft. That would be a bittersweet development for this program; to finally find a solution at QB only to see him depart after one season.
However, Matt Wells would sign up for that scenario in an instant. That’s because his job is likely tied to Shough and the QB position.
Entering the 2021 season, Tech appears to have put together a rather solid roster at most positions, especially on defense…yes…I said defense. Also, if the reworked offensive line proves to be adequate (or hopefully better), the offense will have the potential to be a solid unit (provided that WR Erik Ezukanma returns from his broken arm and RB Sarodorick Thompson returns from shoulder surgery) with the only question being the QB spot.
That’s where Shough, who leaves spring as the clear-cut favorite to win the starting job, can come in and make a massive difference. If he proves to be a top-5 QB in the nation next year, he will likely propel this team to a winning season and that would help his head coach wiggle off of the hot seat like a fish wiggling off of a hook just before being pulled into the boat.
There’s no question that Shough is the key to the entire 2021 season. He’s been brought to town to provide some stability at a position that has suddenly become a problem for the Texas Tech football program. And if he proves to be the type of QB that College Football News believes he will be, Tech could be one of the surprise teams in the Big 12 this season.