First-year Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury didn't mind going into fall camp with a quarterback competition.
He went through one a year ago as an offensive coordinator at Texas A&M, and a few months later, QB Johnny Manziel became the first freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy.
“Hopefully, it turns out like it did last year for us,” Kingsbury said, “and makes it a lot of fun.”
The 34-year-old Kingsbury, who played quarterback for Tech from 1998-2002, originally had narrowed his potential quarterback choices this year down to two — sophomore Michael Brewer or true freshman Davis Webb — before a back injury to Brewer added freshman preferred walk-on Baker Mayfield to the mix.
The starter might not end up being the traditional pocket passer that fans have become accustomed to seeing at TTU.
“We definitely want a guy who can move and escape the pocket and keep things — really extend the play down the field,” Kingsbury said.
The new QB will be blessed with plenty of talent around him.
Senior receiver Eric Ward (1,053 receiving yards in 2012), junior tight end Jace Amaro (58.4 receiving yards per game) and sophomore offensive guard La’Raven Clark all earned spots on this year’s preseason all-Big 12 team.
If Tech turns to the running game, it also appears to have a workhorse in Kenny Williams. The 5-foot-9 junior was seventh in the Big 12 with a 5.8-yards-per-carry average in 2012.
“We’re going to play to our strengths,” Kingsbury said. “If we can run the ball every play, we’ll do it.”
Defensively, defensive lineman Kerry Hyder (5.5 sacks in 2012) leads a unit that suffered from a lack of takeaways a year ago. The Red Raiders forced just 11 turnovers, and their three fumbles recovered ranked next-to-last in Div. I.
Kingsbury replaces Tommy Tuberville, who led the Red Raiders to a 20-17 record and two bowl-game appearances in his three seasons. Tuberville accepted the head-coaching position at Cincinnati on Dec. 8.