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August 14, 1998

LUBBOCK, Texas - Despite having no practice today, the Texas Tech football team had a full slate of activities to prepare for the 1998 season. The day began with a series of meetings covering academics, dealing with the media and new NCAA football rules for 1998. The day concluded with physicals and a cardiovascular field test for the varsity players and a full team meeting .

Tomorrow, all of the Red Raiders will take to the Jones Stadium field for the first full practices of the season at 7:55 a.m. and 1:35 p.m. The day will conclude with position meetings.

As this new season is a time of transition for some players, it will also be a time of change for members of the coaching staff. Jason Clemmons, a graduate assistant football coach, is one that has been asked to accept this challenge of change. After working with outside linebackers in 1997, Clemmons will oversee the Red Raider defensive tackles this season. He has large shoes to fill after taking over for coach Dean Slayton who retired this past season after coaching at Texas Tech for 17 years.

"Coach Slayton did a great job preparing me for the position," Clemmons said. "He stayed through February after last season and spent a lot of time teaching and showing me how to coach the position. It was good to have spring ball and the summer to help prepare for the season. The coaching staff has been very supportive with everything. They treat me as an equal coach, not just a graduate assistant."

Clemmons may be a familiar name for many of the Texas Tech faithful. He played quarterback for Tech from 1991-93 and holds single game records in pass attempts and completions.

"Its very exciting for me to come back and coach at Texas Tech," Clemmons said. "Texas Tech is my school; it is where I belong and it means a lot to me. Just to have the opportunity to come back and work with this professional staff has been great."

Now, Clemmons inherits a group of defensive tackles that many have high expectations for this season. "We have some young guys on the line that have some talent. We are going to play sound, fundament and hard football. We lose both starters Cody McGuire and Stoney Garland, but have Kris Kocurek and Cody Patton stepping into starting roles along with Terry Patton and Jason Jones looking for playing time."

NOTEWORTHY

* Jonathan Gray weighed-in as the heaviest player on the team at 6-5, 357. That is down five pounds from last year's weight, which made him the largest player in the Big 12 in 1997.

* Nick Lee was the tallest player on the squad at 6-7. He came in at 309 pounds.

* A couple of surprises: Montae Reagor measured 6-3, 270, up 16-pounds from last season; Tim Baker eclipsed the 200-pound mark, weighing-in at 6-5, 202; Eleven Red Raiders weighed-in at over 300-pounds. They are Jason Jones, 337; Erik Carruth, 311; Justin Collingsworth, 316; Jonathan Gray, 357; Matt Heider, 306; Nick Lee, 309; Curtis Lowrey, 327; Dan Martin, 318; Shane Roberts, 302; Kyle Sanders, 305; and Lance Williams, 316.

* The lightest player on the team is quarterback David Kelley at 153-pounds. Walk-on Roland Ramirez was the shortest at 5-7 1/2. Sophomore tailback Ricky Williams came to two-a-day drills at 5-8 1/2, 190-pounds.

 

 

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