What Texas Tech head coach Joey McGuire had to say at Big 12 Media Days

Tuesday, at Big 12 Media Days, Joey McGuire took to the stage to talk about the state of his football program ahead of the 2024 season.
2024 Big 12 Football Media Days
2024 Big 12 Football Media Days / Louis Grasse/GettyImages

Tuesday, Joey McGuire had his time to shine at Big 12 Media Days. The annual rite of passage is a signal that college football is nearing and as you might expect, McGuire was rather excited for the start of another season.

“It’s great to see everybody when we’re here," McGuire said. "It just means we’re that much closer to college football. Man, I can't wait. I’d like to welcome Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and my good friend, Deion Sanders to the Big 12 with the Colorado Buffaloes.

"I’ve known Deion for a long time, excited that he’s in the conference. It’s an exciting time to be in the Big 12, I think this conference is as good as anywhere in the country. From top to bottom, I think every single week you’re gonna have to play well.

"You’re gonna have to have your team ready to go. It’s an exciting time to be a Red Raider, fixing to finish up a 250 million dollar facility build. I think you guys that have come to Texas Tech before who’ve been in our stadium are going to be blown away with the South Endzone. Then with the adidas partnership, with adidas and Patrick Mahomes, it is a really good time to be a Red Raider. Excited about this football team. I’m proud of our guys in the offseason in the summer and what they’ve done, so far.”

McGuire was asked about melding the cultuer of his program with the players of previous eras. He said that one of the newest Ring of Honor inductees recently came and spoke to the team.

“The alumni has been absolutely incredible," he said. "Wes Welker came out and spoke to our team this year and spoke at our coaches' clinic. Zach Thomas came out and spoke to the team. So the alumni, the past players, they know that the door’s always open.

The one thing, you asked about the roster, the one thing going into year three, this is the deepest that we’ve been. We have 142 college starts in the offensive line. My very first year we had three defensive tackles. I had two defensive tackles that played more snaps than anybody else in the country. We feel like we have seven defensive tackles that can play in the game. I think the one thing, the roster has really changed, we have more talent, we have more depth. The style of play and what we believe in, we’ve embraced Texas Tech and West Texas and I think the alumni really appreciate that.”

Next, McGuire was asked about is program's trend of starting the season slow but finishing strong and what he was trying to do to get off to a better start.

“That’s the question that we’ve been searching throughout this offseason because we’ve played well at home and we’ve played well late," he said. "We’re 8-2 in November and December games, we’ve got to continue that because we got some really tough road games late this season.

"I think the biggest thing you can attribute it to being able to play and keep playing throughout the season is our culture. Now we have a really healthy locker room, our guys love each other and care for each other, will really step up and keep playing for each other.

"I think that’s the big part of it. To get to a fast start, the great thing is we’ve got five of our first seven games are in Lubbock, Texas, and everybody knows it is a really tough place to play in Jones AT&T Stadium. We’ve got a great opportunity to get started on a fast note. We need to do that this year to get going in the right direction.”

With Texas Tech's new relationship with Adidas, the topic of Patrick Mahomes is never far away. McGuire was asked about the program's relationship with the NFL superstar and Red Raider alum.

“I don’t think anybody in here can come up with a guy at the level that he’s playing at," McGuire said, "the best quarterback in the world, and doing what he’s doing whenever it comes to the university and he’s going to continue to do that.

"I always tell everybody, we were playing in Lawrence, Kansas last year, probably the majority of the NFL on their bye week are going somewhere to take a break and he’s on the sideline in Lawrence, Kansas watching us play the Jayhawks. The guy just absolutely loves Texas Tech.

"What’s cool is being able to join Adidas and Patrick Mahomes is he gets to wear that Double T every single day without any tape over any other logo. I just really credit him for what he’s done and he’s one of the guys, literally texted me because his number changed, texted me ‘Coach, what do you need?’ He’s just one of those guys, he’s always there for us.”

After a few more questions, including one from starting right guard Caleb Rogers, McGuire concluded his media session by talking a out his star running back, Tahj Brooks. And McGuire was not shy about saying that he intended to help Brooks break Texas Tech's career rushing yardage record.

“No doubt, I’m on the side that he’s the best running back in the country," McGuire said. "I’ll argue that. Tahj Brooks, somebody asked me earlier, it’s gonna sound kinda funny but he’s kind of the security blanket. Whenever chaos is going on in the game and we’ve been through some injuries at quarterback, he’s the guy that is there and is steady.

He’s the same guy every day, he’s an absolutely incredible teammate. We’re 1,167 yards away from tying (Byron) Hanspard’s record, but we’re 1,168 away from breaking it. Our plan is to break it. I love Hanspard, he’s one of my favorite guys, I actually recruited and coached his son when we were in Waco, I love that family but we wanna break his record. It’s important.

"Tahj brings a lot to the table, he’s an every down back, he’s got great hands, one of the most physical kids I’ve ever been around when it comes to pass protection. He’s a complete back, I’m just happy, when he came into my office and told me he was coming back, there wasn’t anybody more happy than I was to have Tahj back. If you wanna check out anything TahjTime.com, we’re promoting him and he deserves it. He’s not only one of the best running backs in the country, but he’s one of the best players in the country and you’re gonna see that week in and week out.”