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Texas Tech Spring Football: Three Burning Questions

Texas Tech enters the third year under Joey McGuire as Spring football kicked off in Lubbock on Tuesday. Year two under McGuire had mixed results, but Spring is full of hope for the fall season. Never short on enthusiasm or one to shy away from high expectations, McGuire will ensure intensity is high every day. But there are some major questions the Red Raiders need answers to if they are to continue to climb in the new-look Big 12. So which of the questions are most pressing as Texas Tech Spring football begins?

Texas Tech Spring Football Burning Questions

3) Who’s going to replace defensive tackle production?

With the departure of defensive tackles Tony Bradford and Jaylon Hutchings, Texas Tech loses 95 career starts along the defensive front. In addition, Bradford and Hutchings had incredible game stamina, rarely leaving the field during the game. “According to Pro Football Focus, Bradford led Big 12 interior defenders in snaps played last season while Hutchings was seventh. In addition to on-field production, both Bradford and Hutchings were key leaders in the locker room.

Defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter will seek to fill those production gaps with Quincy Ledet, E’maurion “Dooda” Banks, and Trevon McAlpine who all saw action last season. The staff also looked to help fill this need through the transfer portal. Texas Tech added transfers De’Braylon Carroll (Rice) and James Hansen (Nevada). If the Red Raiders are looking for one player to fill a similar on-field production as Bradford, Carroll might be the best bet. He played even more snaps than Bradford last season at Rice.

2) How long will it take an offensive line to jell?

The one major addition to the coaching staff this offseason was Clay McGuire. He comes in looking to solve a long-standing problem that has ailed the Red Raiders well before Joey took over. A total of 51 combined starts between five offensive linemen are gone. The only returning starter on the offensive line is Caleb Rogers. He has 42 consecutive starts at tackle, but the coaches are moving him inside. The most likely position is the center.

The Tech coaches were aggressive in the transfer portal and came away with guards Vinny Sciury (Toledo), Davion Carter (Memphis), and tackle Sterling Porcher (Middle Tennessee State). All three were multi-year starters and enrolled in January. Players on the roster last year who have a chance to challenge for a starting position include center Sheridan Wilson, tackle Ty Buchanan, and guard Kaden Carr.

1) How does an overhauled receiving corps come together?

Texas Tech lost five contributing receivers off of last year’s team with Xavier White finishing his eligibility and four others transferring. The mass exodus from the receiver room seemed calculated and the coaching staff immediately grabbed high production in the portal. Most notably they were able to secure Josh Kelly, who had 61 catches for 923 yards and eight touchdowns last year playing for Washington State. Also coming aboard is Caleb Douglas, who played in 13 games for Florida in the last two seasons, including five starts last year before a season-ending injury.

While five-star recruit Micah Hudson is poised to be a day-one starter, he will miss the Spring season while he rehabs from knee surgery. That is going to give opportunities to guys like Brady Boyd, Coy Eakin, Drae McCray, and Jordan Brown to stake their claims to starting spots as they all have played in the Zach Kittley system.

Photo Credit: Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

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