What we'd like to ask the Texas Tech football representatives at Big 12 Media Day

If we could attend Big 12 Media Days this week, here's what we would ask the Texas Tech football representatives who will be on hand.
Houston v Texas Tech
Houston v Texas Tech / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

Big 12 Media Days will take place in Las Vegas on Tuesday and Wednesday. That's another mile maker that must be passed before football season can arrive.

This year, the intrigue will be focused mainly on conference commissioner Brett Yormark. After all, he will have plenty of questions to answer.

Media members will certainly want to know about the validity of reports about his desire to work with private equity firms and the possibility of selling his conference's naming rights. Of course, he'll also be asked about the possibility of further expansion, especially with the ACC on shaky ground.

However, Texas Tech fans will also be interested in hearing from the Red Raiders when they are featured on Tuesday. Here are the questions we would ask the Texas Tech football representatives if we had the chance.

Behren Morton: Are you ready to lead this offense?

Sure, Berhren Morton was the starting QB for all but one of Tech's final nine games of 2023. During that time, he got some meaningful experience as QB1.

However, this is the first season that he's gone through the entire offseason as the program's top QB. That's a step up from being second or third string.

As the unquestioned starter, Morton now has to be a leader. He has to be in the film room more than anyone. He has to set the tone in practice. He has to be an example in the weight room.

This year, everything will revolve around his ability to step into the role of the program's leader. He has been dreaming about this opportunity since he was a child growing up in Lubbock. Now, is he ready to make the most of it?

Caleb Rogers: Will a move inside make you more effective?

With 34 career starts to his name, senior offensive lineman Caleb Rogers is on the move again. A career-long Red Raider, he's been a season-long starter at both left and right tackle but now he's projected to play along the interior of the line for the first time in his career. Will that move make him a more effective player?

The simple truth is that Rogers has been mediocre at best when playing tackle. That's why he hasn't held down one starting position for more than a season at a time. If he had been a standout starter, he wouldn't have bounced and forth across the offensive line but that's exactly what his story has been.

It feels as if this program almost feels obligated to roll with Rogers given his leadership in the locker room. However, on the field, he's yet to even crack one of the postseason All-Big 12 teams.

Some inside the program believe that Rogers could have an NFL future at guard or center. Yet, the program didn't exactly solidify his role after the spring practice period.

The offensive line for the Red Raiders will bring back only one starter from 2023. What's more, that lone returnee, Rogers, is going to be playing a new position.

Can he be an anchor in the middle and open up lanes for running back Tahj Brooks? Perhaps this will be the year that Rogers blossoms and realizes his full potential for the Red Raiders.

Tahj Brooks: How much do you think about history?

It is hard to believe but with a strong season, Tahj Brooks could set the Texas Tech football record for career rushing yards. Does that opportunity to make history motivate him to be a dominate force once again after a breakout 2023 season?

Last year, Brooks ran for over 1,500 yards. That was more than double the most he had previously run for in any season.

Now, the Manor, Texas native is just 1,164 yards from surpassing Byron Hanspard as the all-time leading rusher for the Red Raiders. (Of course, some might put an asterisk next to that record given that Brooks has enjoyed the benefit of a fifth year of eligibility thanks to COVID-19.)

Regardless, it will be interesting to see if OC Zach Kittley tries to make sure Brooks sets the record. Of course, his primary concern is winning football games but he also has to be aware of what Brooks has in front of him.

It seems unlikely that Brooks will get 290 carries in 2024 as he did a season ago. A healthy Morton and an improved wide receiver corps will lighten his load this fall. However, is the pursuit of history something that matters to him? Either way, he will be Tech's leading offensive weapon just as he was last year.

Jacob Rodriguez: Can the linebackers carry an inexperienced defense?

This season, it is expected that Jacob Rodriguez and Ben Roberts will form one of the best interior linebacking duos in the conference. But is that tandem ready to cover for what could be a rather inexperienced defense around them?

Rodriguez is interesting because he's viewed as a standout linebackers despite the fact that he's never been a starter for a full season. Last year was his first opportunity to start but he played only five games due to a foot/ankle injury suffered in the opener vs. Wyoming.

In all, Rodriguez has just 62 career tackles to his name. Thus, it is quite remarkable that he's one of the leaders of the defense.

Roberts will also be someone the defense turns to for leadership despite being just a redshirt sophomore. That's what happens when you post over 100 tackles in a season as he did in 2023.

Playing in front of this linebacking duo will be a rebuilt defensive line after losing all three starters from last season. Playing behind the linebackers will be a secondary welcome in three or four new starters (depending on who you counted as a starter in 2023).

That's why there are plenty of questions about Tech's defense. It is also why Rodriguez and Roberts have to be at their best playing in the middle. Is Rodriguez finally primed for a breakout? Here's hoping so because he is one of the most important pieces for the Red Raiders.

Joey McGuire: Is your program ready to contend for a Big 12 title?

Finally, it would be fair to ask head coach Joey McGuire if this is the year that his program takes a serious step forward. Is Texas Tech, in McGuire's third season, in a place where it can be a conference title contender when the calendar turns to late November?

The Red Raiders have put up two modest winning seasons under McGuire thus far. However, everyone within the program is hungry for much more than wins in mid-tier bowl games.

What's more, this program is fully McGuire's now. After all, he's brought in thirteen of the starters on the depth chart.

What's more, the vast majority of this roster has been developed by McGuire's coaching staff. That's why it is no longer fair to keep pinning this program's flaws and warts on Matt Wells.

McGuire needs to pick up the pace and start winning eight or more regular season games with regularity. What's more, with the Big 12 now wide open, he needs to be the head coach whose program steps into the role of a power broker.

Someone is going to do that and it might as well be McGuire. Year three is when coaches should start to see their systems and culture yield positive results. Is that going to be the case for McGuire this season?