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December 13, 2013

Kingsbury addresses QB situation

Texas Tech was supposed to have a quiet December, board a plane for San Diego later this month and play in the National University Holiday Bowl.

Instead, head coach Kliff Kingsbury spent time earlier in the week with Baker Mayfield in an attempt to talk to his most experienced quarterback and the program's leader might be searching for a new coach in the near future.

There's a rumor Tech co-offensive coordinator and outside receivers coach Sonny Cumbie is pursuing a job elsewhere. Possibly TCU.

"You'll have to ask him," Kingsbury said. "I haven't had a sit down conversation with him yet."

Cumbie was not at the football training facility for Friday's practice.

Kingsbury said Cumbie was on the road recruiting for Tech.

Is the head coach surprised other schools might have taken interest in Cumbie?

"No," Kingsbury said. "I think it's a credit to what he's done here. I think if he does take that job people should be proud he's coveted in that manner that they'd reach out to him. So yeah, I think that's the way this profession goes. When you have the success he's had, you're going to try to progress and move forward with your career."

Kingsbury added no school has contacted him to ask for permission to interview Cumbie. Entities have asked to talk to other Tech coaches, but the head coach declined to name a school or the coaches they asked for.

Cumbie is Tech's longest-tenured coach on the staff. He was a graduate assistant during Mike Leach's final year at Tech, Tommy Tuberville promoted him to inside receivers coach and then Kingsbury retained and promoted Cumbie to co-offensive coordinator and reassigned him to work with the outside receivers.

Kingsbury was more open to discuss the Mayfield situation since the two parties have agreed the true freshman quarterback will pursue other football opportunities.

The head coach said he became aware of the rumors Mayfield was transferring on Wednesday.

Transfer speculation began Tuesday evening and Mayfield went public with the news he would leave the program shortly after a meeting with Kingsbury on Wednesday.

"I didn't get many specifics for why he was leaving," Kingsbury said. "I just knew that he wanted to leave. We wanted him here. He knows that and he knows how I feel about him. But if he feels that's the best thing for him, that's what he needed to do."

Mayfield told Austin-based reporters he was leaving because of a "miscommunication" with the staff.

"That was news to me," Kingsbury said.

Fourth-string quarterback Clayton Nicholas also has left Lubbock in search of more playing time and won't be available for the bowl game. That leaves true freshman Davis Webb and sophomore Michael Brewer as the top two options for the Holiday Bowl.

Kingsbury said he'll pick a starter between the two at a later date and will keep the decision a secret from the public until game time on Dec. 30.

"There has not been a starter named," he said. "There never was."

Kingsbury also said Brewer did not take over the No. 2 spot in the final two games of the season despite following Mayfield for mop up duty. The staff just wanted to see how Brewer was progressing from his back injury.

On the off chance Tech loses both Webb and Brewer before or during the bowl game to injury, Kingsbury is leaning toward an emergency quarterback with position players who served as their high school teams' signal caller.

Linebacker Pete Robertson, safety Keenon Ward and receiver Reginald Davis are three players that potentially fit the emergency role.

Everything else is normal within the program.

Mayfield and Nicholas are the only two players Kingsbury believes are transferring while tight end Jace Amaro still is deliberating returning for his senior year or going to the NFL Draft.

The team will continue practicing with regularity through December. They'll head to San Diego on Christmas Day and perform their final workouts of the 2013 season in California.

"We're going to fly out Christmas Day and we'll practice straight through," Kingsbury said.


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