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August 6, 2011

Notebook: Tech opens camp

After what seemed like an eternity, but was only a little more than four months, football has returned to West Texas. Tommy Tuberville was excited to see his players in action after the summer and he felt that, despite a few little things here or there, day one was a good start.

"I thought it was a good start. You should have a good start on the first day. Everybody's ready to go, energetic, and out here running around trying to make a good impression with the coaches," he said. "It's just good to get back out on the field. We've got a few guys that have got a hamstring problem here or there, but hopefully we can get them back out here. Good start, so we'll see."

The real fun will begin on Monday when the Red Raiders will strap on the pads for the first time. Until then, Tuberville said that the team's younger players will get a heavier workload tomorrow than his veterans.

"Tomorrow we'll have our second one, put our shoulder pads on Monday and we'll start having a little bit of contact. We're going to work our younger guys more tomorrow and try to get them up to speed, let our older guys sit back and watch a little bit. They will practice some, but we're still in baby steps right now. Then, on Monday, when we put our shoulder pads on we'll start to equal out the reps with the first and second groups."

Saturday was also the first time that Tuberville got to see his newest batch of freshmen come into the fold. When asked if he thought that the talent level was greater this year than last, Tuberville said that it would take practice time to draw that conclusion.

"We won't know until we start going into team and running full speed. You can have speed and quickness and all that, but unless you play fast it doesn't make any difference."

He did, however, believe that the team had made a physical transition in the right direction under Joe Walker's guidance this offseason.

"We look like a better football team this year just by walking out here in terms of size and strength. The strength coaches have done a good job. We're in pretty good physical shape. We've got a lot of work to do when we put our pads on and try to get used to this heat."


Seth Doege is the frontrunner for Tech's open starting quarterback position, but he won't be throwing much during the team's first couple of practices.

"We want him to throw more when we get into more team stuff," Tuberville said. "We'll limit him to a certain amount of throws, him and Jacob Karam, and let the younger guys throw quite a bit. He's going to be ready to go. He's worked real hard. All the quarterbacks have. Everybody has this summer. It showed out here today. Not many people even got tired. The heat got to them a little bit, but (as far as) running shape, they're in good shape."


Junior receiver Alex Torres, who was limited for most of last season with a nagging back injury, said Saturday that he feels great. Torres' back was completely healed in time for spring football, so he went through most of those workouts wearing a blue non-contact jersey.

"I'm feeling great right now," he said. "I'm staying on top of that, making sure I stretch out and stick with the plan the trainers set up for me. That's the biggest thing, stay healthy, but I feel great right now."


Freshman running back DeAndre Washington admitted that the fact that he was part of a Big 12 football program really hit home during Friday's team meeting.

"It was like a surreal feeling," he said. "Kind of like a dream come true. Sitting in a room with Tommy Tuberville, one of the greatest coaches in the world, you see him on TV all the time. It was like a surreal feeling. I'm ecstatic, I'm happy, I'm ready to get it going."


Senior Sam Fehoko played a little linebacker and defensive end for the Red Raiders in 2010, and continued to move between the two positions in the spring. Tuberville said on Saturday that Fehoko will eventually find a permanent home, but will continue to move around for the time being.

"Now that we've got more bodies in terms of guys that we think can play certain positions we'll be able to leave him in one place," Tuberville said. "We want to move him around a little bit to see what his best position is going to be."


Tech added two freshmen running backs to the roster over the summer -- Washington and Kenny Williams. Early indications are that the two will battle for one spot; one will play, the other will sit.

"I'm guessing whoever has the best camp, that'll determine who redshirts or not," Washington said. "Like I said, it's a competition every day. I'm looking forward to it and just trying to get better."

Even with the competition, Washington said that he and Williams have a great relationship.

"That's my buddy, I love him. That's my roommate, we kick it with each other day," Washington said. "It's a competition, but at the end of the day we're still cool. If he messes up, I help him out. If I mess up, he helps me out. We know what's at stake, but we're still going to help each other out. At the end of the day, whatever happens, happens."


Seth Doege: 30-of-41 for 317 yards, INT
Jacob Karam: 11-of-22 for 127 yards, INT
Scotty Young: 8-of-13 for 86 yards

UP NEXT: The Red Raiders will return to the practice field on Sunday afternoon.

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