Texas Tech football kicked off spring practice Wednesday afternoon looking to build off the foundation laid by coach Kliff Kingsbury in his first year as head coach.
The Red Raiders finished the 2013 season with an 8-5 record, and emerged as a flashy young threat in the Big 12, competing with conference powerhouses like Oklahoma. Throughout the season, true freshman quarterback Davis Webb stepped into the spotlight and eventually capped off Kingsbury’s first season in style. Led by Webb’s four touchdowns, Tech defeated No.16 Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl on a national stage.
The energy from the bowl victory seemed to carry over as Kingsbury began spring practice with typical upbeat fashion, blaring music as players warmed up, creating a competitive work environment.
Entering his second spring season as head coach, Kliff Kingsbury returns five starters on defense, and eight on the offensive side of the ball. With the departure of star receiver Eric Ward and tight end Jace Amaro, a main focus of Kingsbury’s spring training is replacing their productivity.
To fill the hole, the Red Raiders will rely on the athletic talents and experience of senior running back Kenny Williams and senior wide receiver Bradley Marquez. Davis Webb will also be expected to take his play and leadership to the next level, and he seems to be prepared.
Webb took the practice field Wednesday in an unfamiliar role, the undisputed starting quarterback for Tech. Last year, Webb was beat out over the summer by Baker Mayfield for the starting QB position, and spent the rest of the season fighting to regain that spot.
This spring, Webb will be the lone quarterback on the roster with experience, joined only by walk-ons Tanner Tausch and Mike Richardson. He will take all the first team snaps. With his starting job finally official, a year of Big 12 experience, and a bowl game victory under his belt, Webb’s expectations are high.
“I don’t want that to be the highlight of my Texas Tech career. The Holiday Bowl championship is awesome, being the MVP, but I want more than that.” Webb stated.
To go along with his new job title, Webb has also made physical changes. In the off-season, Webb added bulk to his 6-foot-4 build. He took the field Wednesday weighing 210 pounds, sporting confidence and eagerness to succeed.
Throughout the duration of spring workouts Tech will need Webb to perform in order to pick up where they left off with hopes of competing for a shot at the Big 12 title next year.
The remainder of the Red Raiders spring schedule consists of a road trip to Midland for the Permian Basin game, an open scrimmage in which fans Raider are encouraged to attend. The event will take place in the Grande Communications stadium March 29th. The Raiders then return to Lubbock to wrap up the entire spring season with the annual spring game April 12th in Jones At&t stadium.