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Sunday, August 22, 2010
Decision rendered: Potts named Tech stater

By Jeff Caplan

Ding, ding, ding...We have winner:

Taylor Potts has emerged from a dual between seniors, announced Sunday as the starting quarterback for the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Taylor Potts
Taylor Potts started 10 games last year and threw for 3,440 yards and 22 touchdowns.
The 6-foot-5, 222-pound Potts outperformed Steven Sheffieldduring fall camp, including two intrasquad scrimmages. Potts, a preseason candidate for the 2010 Davey O'Brien Award, will make his 11th career start when the Red Raiders open the season at home on Sept. 5 against SMU.

Initially, a decision was not expected until Monday or Tuesday. Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville will not discuss his tabbing Potts until after Monday's practice, but he did provide a statement Sunday through the Tech media relations department.

"We have a very talented group of quarterbacks and are excited about every one of them," Tuberville said. "The competition during camp between Taylor and Steven has been outstanding, but at the end of the day we can only have one starter. Taylor has done a tremendous job and we feel like he has gotten better each and every day. There is no doubt that Steven has also improved during camp and will still be fighting to take over that starting job every day at practice. That kind of competition will only make us stronger as the season goes along."

Potts, a fifth-year senior from Abilene, made 10 starts in 2009 and threw for 3,440 yards along with 22 touchdowns. He wrapped up the 2009 season with an Alamo Bowl record 372 yards and two touchdowns on 29-of-43 passing against Michigan State. Yet, it was Sheffield who came in and rallied Tech to the victory in the fourth quarter.

After Saturday's second scrimmage, Potts told reporters: "I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress on mechanics and just the way I play — throwing the ball and everything. I’m really glad that we got coach [offensive coordinator Neal] Brown and we’re able to work on these details because I feel like I’ve developed more as a quarterback and as a person being under these new coaches.”

Earlier this summer, Potts won the annual "Air It Out" competition at the prestigious Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux, La. Last season, both quaterbacks suffered setbacks due to injury and neither gained the upper hand during spring practices because injuries required surgery for both.

Tuberville has made it clear that he is no fan of rotating quarterbacks. The starting QB job from here on out then, it would appear, is Potts' to lose.

At last month's Big 12 football media days in Irving, Sheffield said that it would hurt to lose the competition heading into his final year of eligibility, but when asked what he would tell the eventual backup, Sheffield seemed to have a good grasp of the reality of the position.

"The No. 1 thing would just be, be ready. I’ve heard that so many times, especially last year. Anything can happen at any time and it really did twice, or three times," Sheffield said. "We went through three starters last year, technically. And I think last season really was the best, and even this spring, was the best scenario of be ready for anything because anything can happen.

"I would just tell him to remain positive," Sheffield continued. "I don’t know how the transfer rules work, but I mean if he didn’t want to remain positive than he’d need to find another place to play."