With a quarterback who led the nation in total offense returning, Texas Tech feels secure in knowing — barring injuries — that position is in good hands for the next two seasons.
And Kliff Kingsbury is hopeful Pat Mahomes’ successor is a guy from Mansfield who just signed with Tech on National Signing Day on Wednesday.
Jett Duffey, a four-star recruit from Mansfield Lake Ridge, is the heir to one of college football’s most prolific offense, which somewhat unbelievably scored more points in 2015 than it ever has.
Duffey was one of 24 recruits in Kingsbury’s fourth class at Texas Tech. They include three from Dallas Skyline and two big, tall and athletic receivers, who expected to provide a missing dynamic from Tech’s offense.
In a perfect world, Duffey won’t see the field at all in 2016.
“We hope to redshirt,” Kingsbury said Thursday at the Hilton Anatole for the school’s annual recruiting update for the Red Raider Club. “You look around the country, you better have three ready to go, but we hope we can sit him his first year, and watch Pat play, learn from Pat, pick those things up, slide him in there and keep it rolling.”
When I first met Jett he was 5-[foot]-9, a sophomore. We thought ‘well, he can really spin it, but I don’t know if he’s going to be big enough. But he grew [6-foot, 180 pounds], and we’re thrilled to death.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury on Jeff Duffey
Duffey, who enrolled at Tech for the spring semester, was one of Dallas-Fort Worth’s top playmakers while leading Lake Ridge to the Class 5A Division I state final in December.
He completed 59 percent of his passes for more than 2,900 yards and 29 touchdowns against only seven interceptions.
Like Mahomes, he’s also mobile. Duffey had more than 1,600 yards on the ground and 19 touchdowns.
“When I first met Jett he was 5-[foot]-9, a sophomore,” Kingsbury said. “We thought ‘well, he can really spin it, but I don’t know if he’s going to be big enough. But he grew [6-foot, 180 pounds], and we’re thrilled to death … and to get him here early in our offense and in our training.”
The Red Raiders’ Class of 2016 was ranked as high as No. 30 in the nation by Scout.com and were 45th in the 247 team composite rankings..
We expect him to play early because of his physical stature, and how developed he is. He’s big, athletic, a kid who will run through a wall, works out like crazy.
Kliff Kingsbury on Keller defensive end Houston Miller
It also includes 14 defenders Kingsbury hopes can help address a glaring need and includes another local player that the coach hopes can contribute immediately.
Keller defensive end Houston Miller, a 6-3, 240-pounder, will be on the field in 2016.
“We expect him to play early because of his physical stature, and how developed he is,” Kingsbury said. “He’s big, athletic, a kid who will run through a wall, works out like crazy.
“And he loves Texas Tech.”
Two of three recruits from Dallas Skyline — Clarence Henderson (6-2, 230 pounds) and Joe Wallace (6-1, 320) — will be counted on to play on the defensive line as true freshmen and improve one of the worst defenses in the nation.
The bling in this class, however, likely will be T.J. Vasher (6-5, 198) of Wichita Falls Rider and Derrick Willies (6-3, 205) of Trinity Valley Community College. Both add something never seen in Tech’s offense: big, tall and athletic receivers who can go downfield and get up for balls.
Tech has relied mostly on smaller receivers.
It’s a dimension that excites the coach and his star quarterback, who apparently is also quite the recruiter.
“Those guys [receivers] want to play with [Mahomes]. They know if you’re playing with him, you’re going to get the ball,” Kingsbury said.