Donta Thompson and Travis Koontz Are Ready to Bring the TE to Tech
The Tight End position doesn't have a glorious history for Texas Tech in the Big 12 era.
There are very few names that elicit a response, and even Jace Amaro was on the forefront of the movement where teams would just take a tight end body and make him an inside receiver. Even the Mackey Award didn't think Amaro was a tight end, though that was really Tommy Tuberville's fault.
Heading into 2019, Texas Tech football has two veteran tight end prospects and a true freshman that will compete for real snaps in Coach Yost's offense. I say real snaps, because unlike the tight end position in the previous coaching squad's offense, it will be integrated into the offense and not just a gimmick, like a tackle-over set.
Now, to former head coach Kliff Kingsbury's credit, Donta Thompson actually has experience as an inline tight end, so that will help him moving into the season. It also helps that he's added bulk and is ready to finally shine.
Thompson's experience at Texas Tech and being able to go through the spring has him in the lead position for starters snaps. It's something he's ready for. "I want to be known as a tight end who can create matchup differences," he told The Rob Breaux Show at the university's football media day. "I want to be that good hybrid guy that can do both," he said.
Along with Thompson, newcomer Travis Koontz is expected to be a major contributor after being one of the top-ranked JUCO transfers in the entire country.
We asked him why he chose Texas Tech over offers including Georgia and TCU. "I just liked the coaching staff, I felt like I could really trust them," he said. "I believe what the told me on my visit. Nothing's changed. It was true."
Even though he's new, Koontz wants to do better than last year as a team. Personally, he wants to flourish as a "true diverse tight end," Koontz clarified. "In high school, I was more of a receiver and junior college more of a blocking tight end."
You can start to sense a theme here and envision what Coach Yost wants to do with the position and what he's told these two guys he expects of them.
He also feels more comfortable after having trouble adapting early, and he's not too worried about the breakneck pace of David Yost's offense. "We've been getting in shape for it, so I don't think it will be too bad," he said.