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Texas Tech suspends four arrested Red Raiders

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Not surprisingly, there are some football-related repercussions for a quartet of Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Over the weekend, four Red Raider football players, quarterback Jett Duffey, wide receiver Quan Shorts, defensive back Desmond Smith and linebacker Christian Taylor, were arrested following an incident outside of a Lubbock nightclub.  Duffey and Taylor were charged with criminal mischief, while Shorts and Smith are facing one count each of disorderly conduct.

Tuesday, head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced that all four of those players have been indefinitely suspended from the football team.

Duffey is expected to compete with McLane Carter for the starting quarterback job.

Shorts has 14 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns in 18 career games. Smith started at cornerback for the Red Raiders last season and was credited with 46 tackles and one interception. Taylor appeared in all 13 games in 2017, registering five tackles.

Four Texas Tech players arrested early Sunday morning

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Four Texas Tech players were arrested and booked into the Lubbock County jail on Sunday morning, according to mug shots and records posted by Inside the Red Raiders publisher Jarret Johnson.

The four players are quarterback Jett Duffey, wide receiver Quan Shorts, defensive back Desmond Smith and linebacker Christian Taylor. Duffey was booked at 4:15 a.m. on criminal mischief charges, Taylor at 4:48 a.m. on criminal mischief charges, Shorts at 5:08 a.m. on disorderly conduct charges, and Smith at 8:07 a.m. on disorderly conduct charges. All remain on the Lubbock County jail’s active roster as of press time.

Below is a summary from the Lubbock Police Department, via Myhighplains.com:

Officers were dispatched to Bash Riprocks Nightclub (2419 Main Street) at 1:54 a.m., following reports of a disturbance where a suspect was possibly armed. 

Upon arrival to the scene, officers located a large group of people in front of the nightclub who were impeding traffic.

After attempting to locate [the] armed suspect, an officer observed an individual intentionally cause damage to a vehicle by smashing the windshield. When officers tried to arrest the suspect, the crowd became aggressive toward the responding officers.

In all, 10 suspects were arrested, eight for disorderly conduct, and two for Criminal Mischief. One of the arrestees (20-year-old) Desmon Smith Williams was taken to UMC for a dog bite from one of the responding K-9 units. He was treated, released, and later booked into the Lubbock County Detention Center. No officers were injured in the incident.

Taylor smashed a car windshield in front of one of the responding officers and Jett Duffey damaged property at ULOFTS in front of officers while we were trying to disperse the crowd.

Duffey, a sophomore from Mansfield, Texas, appeared in one game as a redshirt freshman in 2017, but is expected to compete with junior McLane Carter for the starting role this fall. This has not been Duffey’s first disciplinary issue in Lubbock, however. He was suspended by the university for the spring and summer sessions of 2017 after the Texas Tech Title IX panel determined he had “nonconsensual intercourse” with a woman in April 2016. Duffey was named the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Mr. Texas Football Award winner during his senior year of 2015 before enrolling for the spring term of 2016.

Shorts is a junior from Humble, Texas, in the Houston area. He has 14 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns in 18 career appearances. Smith, a junior from Odessa, Texas, started at cornerback for the Red Raiders last fall, collecting 46 tackles and one interception. Taylor, a junior from Houston, appeared in all 13 games in 2017, registering five tackles.

Not that there’s ever a good time for four players to be arrested, but Sunday’s arrests are an especially bad one. The Red Raiders’ men’s basketball program meets No. 1 seed Villanova for a spot in the program’s first Final Four at 2:20 p.m. ET today in Boston.

Texas Tech did not respond to a CFT inquiry seeking comment, but one is presumably coming at some point today.

Texas Tech taps Western Michigan’s Kevin Johns as new OC

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A little piece of MACtion has found its way to Lubbock.

Tuesday morning, Texas Tech announced the hiring of Kevin Johns as Kliff Kingsbury‘s new offensive coordinator. In addition to coordinating duties, Johns will also serve as the Red Raiders’ inside wide receivers coach.

Johns replaces Eric Morris, who left Tech to take over as the head coach at Incarnate Word.

“We’re excited to have Coach Johns join our staff,” Kingsbury said in a statement. “He has a tremendous record as one of the top offensive minds in college football, and I know he will be a great resource for our staff and players. We’d like to welcome him, his wife Krista and his three sons to Lubbock.”

Johns comes to Tech after spending one season as the coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Western Michigan.  Prior to that, he was on Kevin Wilson’s Indiana coaching staff for six seasons — co-coordinator from 2011-13, solo coordinator from 2014-16.  he also coached quarterbacks and receivers during his time with the Hoosiers.

From 2004-10 Johns was an assistant at Northwestern.

“It’s a privilege to join the staff Coach Kingsbury has assembled,” Johns said. “Texas Tech has long been known as one of the top offenses in the country, and it’s an honor to work alongside Coach Kingsbury in continuing that tradition. I’m fortunate for the opportunity and can’t wait to get started.”

Record number of players on NFL’s official early-entry list for 2018 draft

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If it seemed to you like there were an inordinate number of early cannonballers jumping into the draft pool, you were correct.

Four days after the Jan. 15 deadline, the NFL Friday announced that 106 players have been granted special eligibility for the April draft.  That sets a new record for early entrants, breaking the mark of 98 set in 2014.  The past two seasons, there were 95 and 96 in 2017 and 2016, respectively.  In 2015, there were just 74.

The SEC was hit hardest by attrition with 26 players leaving early, although the ACC wasn’t far behind at 24.  The Pac-12 was next among the Power Five conferences with 17, followed by the Big 12’s 13 and the Big Ten’s 11.

Among Group of Five leagues, Conference USA lost the most with four.  The Mountain West saw three go early, with the AAC (two), MAC (one) and Sun Belt (one) coming next in line.  There were also two non-FBS players who left early, as well as two from Notre Dame.

As far as individual schools go, there were three that lost six apiece — Florida State, LSU and Texas.  Alabama lost five, while Auburn, Miami, Oklahoma, UCLA, and USC all lost four apiece.  Clemson, Florida, Louisville, Stanford and Tennessee were on the losing end of three players each.

In addition to the 106 granted special eligibility — they’ll be listed at the end — the NFL also granted eligibility to 13 players who the league writes “have in timely fashion under NFL rules officially notified the league office that they have fulfilled their degree requirements.” Those players are listed below:

» Jordan Akins, TE, UCF
» Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
» Kyle Allen, QB, Houston
» Will Clapp, C, LSU
» Terrell Edmunds, DB, Virginia Tech
» Taylor Hearn, G, Clemson
» Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
» Sam Jones, G, Arizona State
» Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
» Brian O’Neill, T, Pittsburgh
» Christian Sam, LB, Arizona State
» Tre'Quan Smith, WR, UCF
» Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Courtesy of the NFL, below is the complete list of 106 players who have been granted special eligibility for the 2018 NFL Draft:

» Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame
» Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, DE, Toledo
» Jaire Alexander, DB, Louisville
» Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
» Dorance Armstrong, DE, Kansas
» Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State
» Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
» Jessie Bates, DB, Wake Forest
» Orlando Brown, T, Oklahoma
» Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
» Deontay Burnett, WR, USC
» Deon Cain, WR, Clemson
» Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida
» Geron Christian, T, Louisville
» Simmie Cobbs, WR, Indiana
» Keke Coutee, WR, Texas Tech
» Vosean Crumbie, DB, Nevada
» J.J. Dallas, DB, Louisiana-Monroe
» James Daniels, C, Iowa
» Sam Darnold, QB, USC
» Carlton Davis, DB, Auburn
» Michael Dickson, P, Texas
» Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
» DeShon Elliott, DB, Texas
» Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
» Matt Fleming, WR, Benedictine
» Nick Gates, T, Nebraska
» Rashaan Gaulden, DB, Tennessee
» Frank Ginda, LB, San Jose State
» Rasheem Green, DT, USC
» Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
» Ronnie Harrison, DB, Alabama
» Quadree Henderson, WR, Pittsburgh
» Holton Hill, DB, Texas
» Nyheim Hines, RB, NC State
» Jeff Holland, LB, Auburn
» Mike Hughes, DB UCF
» Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
» Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB, Western Kentucky
» Ryan Izzo, TE, FSU
» Donte Jackson, DB, LSU
» J.C. Jackson, DB, Maryland
» Josh Jackson, DB, Iowa
» Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
» Derwin James, DB, FSU
» Richie James, WR, Middle Tennessee
» Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
» Courtel Jenkins, DT, Miami
» Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn
» Ronald Jones, RB, USC
» John Kelly, RB, Tennessee
» Arden Key, LB, LSU
» Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
» Du’Vonta Lampkin, DT, Oklahoma
» Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA
» Chase Litton, QB, Marshall
» Tavares Martin, WR, Washington State
» Hercules Mata’afa, DE, Washington State
» Ray-Ray McCloud, WR, Clemson
» Tarvarus McFadden, DB, Florida State
» R.J. McIntosh, DT, Miami
» Reginald McKenzie, DT, Tennessee
» Quenton Meeks, DB, Stanford
» Kolton Miller, T, UCLA
» D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
» Ryan Nall, RB, Oregon State
» Nick Nelson, DB, Wisconsin
» Kendrick Norton, DT, Miami
» Isaiah Oliver, DB, Colorado
» Dwayne Orso-Bacchus, T, Oklahoma
» Da’Ron Payne, NT, Alabama
» Kamryn Pettway, RB, Auburn
» Eddy Pineiro, K, Florida
» Trey Quinn, WR, SMU
» D.J. Reed, DB, Kansas State
» Justin Reid, DB, Stanford
» Will Richardson, T, NC State
» Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
» Austin Roberts, TE, UCLA
» Korey Robertson, WR, Southern Miss
» Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
» Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama
» Dalton Schultz, TE, Stanford
» Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech
» Andre Smith, LB, UNC
» Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
» Van Smith, DB, Clemson
» Breeland Speaks, DE, Ole Miss
» Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
» Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State
» Auden Tate, WR, Florida State
» Maea Teuhema, T, Southeastern Louisiana
» Trenton Thompson, DT, Georgia
» Kevin Toliver, DB, LSU
» Travonte Valentine, NT, LSU
» Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
» Vita Vea, NT, Washington
» Mark Walton, RB, Miami
» Denzel Ward, DB, Ohio State
» Chris Warren, RB, Texas
» Toby Weathersby, T, LSU
» Jordan Whitehead, DB, Pittsburgh
» JoJo Wicker, DT, Arizona State
» Jalen Wilkerson, DE, Florida State
» Connor Williams, T, Texas
» Eddy Wilson, DT, Purdue

Texas Tech WR Keke Coutee declares for NFL Draft

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Texas Tech’s defense got good news earlier today, but the Red Raiders weren’t so lucky on the other side of the ball. Junior wide receiver Keke Coutee has announced he will declare for the 2018 NFL Draft.

Coutee made the announcement on his Instagram account.

Red Raider Nation, (w)ith so much thought and prayer through this difficult process, I have decided to enter the 2018 NFL Draft,” he wrote. “This was such a difficult decision I had to make for me and my family. Thank you all for an amazing 3 years at the best University there is. Lubbock will always have a special place in my heart and I will always call Lubbock home. #GUNSUPFOREVER!!”

Listed at just 5-foot-11, the Lufkin, Texas, native led the Big 12 in receiving yards, ranked second in catches and placed fourth in touchdown catches with 93 grabs for 1,429 yards and 10 scores. Beyond the Big 12, his 93 grabs were fifth nationally, his 1,429 yards place second in FBS — with a number of players yet to play their bowl games — and he is one of just 21 players with double-digit touchdown grabs. Only two players with more than 75 receptions bested Coutee’s 15.37 yards per reception average.

Coutee posted four games of double-digit catches for 100-plus yards and at least one touchdown this season, starting with a 12-catch, 186-yard, 1-touchdown effort in a 52-45 win over Arizona State on Sept. 16. He followed that up with 11 catches for 161 yards and a score in a 27-24 win at Houston a week later.

Coutee posted 12 receptions for 189 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-35 loss to Kansas State on Nov. 4, and closed his collegiate career with 11 grabs for 187 yards and a touchdown in Saturday’s 38-34 loss to South Florida in the Birmingham Bowl.

He also led the club with a 31.5-yard average on 10 kickoff returns, including one touchdown.