Notebook: Trying out new unis

Red Raiders practice in new jerseys •
is all about maintaining focus
In order to get used to their new, tight-fitting Under Armour uniforms, the
Red Raiders took to the practice fields on Tuesday wearing their new jerseys.
The reaction was universally positive.
Click Here to view this Link."I like them, they're just kind of a little tight," receiver Eric WardClick Here to view this Link.
said. "I like them. They look nice. If you look nice, you play nice."
"I'm loving it," safety D.J. Johnson said. "They fit tight, a little
hard getting on. It feels like when you're a little kid and you couldn't get in
a shirt or something and you start crying or something because you're stuck and
you feel like you can't get out. It feels like that trying to put it on, but
once you put it on it's pretty comfortable. It feels good."
Cornerback Tre' Porter feels less encumbered by the new jerseys.
"They're comfortable," he said. "They move with you. They don't hold you back.
As a corner you've got to be more agile, so it's more comfortable for you to
come out of your breaks and stuff."
Porter, along with several other players, was testing out one of several pairs
of prototype cleats for Under Armour today. Porter was wearing a pair that had
built in ankle braces, and they looked a bit like old boxers shoes. He liked the
feel of the cleats.
"I was like 'Am I about to box?' he said. "But once I played in them, they're
more fit for a corner because it's more tight when you come out of the breaks,
so they're better. I like them, and they're lighter too."
Tech was thin at the center position on Tuesday as returning starter
Justin Keown (sore back) and freshman Tony Morales (shoulder) missed
"Tony Morales had a shoulder problem yesterday in practice," head coach
Tommy Tuberville said.
"They're evaluating him to see what they want to do with it. So, could be good,
could not be good. It just depends on what the doctors think, so we'll just wait
and see what they say."
Tre' Porter spent his first nine months on campus bouncing around from cornerback
to nickel back to safety, but may have finally found a permanent home at corner.
The former four-star prospect admitted that the transition was a little
difficult in the spring, but said Tuesday that he now feels a lot more
comfortable at the position.
"It was kind of foreign to me at first, but I'm coming along," he said. "It's
time that I've got to play more of that leadership role, because last year I
just played that freshman role. This year I've got to play more of a leadership
role. Kind of be like the leader for the corners. Not really the defense, just
for the corners."
After an intense offseason, many players on the Texas Tech roster are looking
lean, mean, and ready to play. Safet D.J. Johnson was one of the
biggest benefactors of the offseason, putting on a considerable amount of weight
and almost looking like a completely different player.
"I put on about 15 pounds," he said. "It was a really good offseason. We worked
out hard, came in and did a little bit of extra stuff, did footwork things, hit
the weights extra. We really built a team more. A team mentality. As far as the
defense, the defense we just came together, everybody. We started to meet a lot
more together, watch a lot more film. Everybody's getting involved."
Johnson is also enjoying the transition from corner to safety.
"I enjoy safety," he said. "Basically, you're just free. You've got to do a lot
more communicating, so that's the harder part. A lot more thinking, a lot more
communicating, but at the same time once you get everything down it just flows
smoothly. When you're able to play freely you're able to do a lot more on the
field and be a lot bigger of an impact than just playing corner."
Tuberville lamented the offense's lapses in concentration today during Tech's
team period; these lapses mostly resulted in dropped passes.
"Offensively we're still making a lot of mistakes," he said. "Younger guys
playing, you know, everybody is practicing. We're not even close to getting
ready to start putting the first and second group together. We're giving
everybody the opportunity this first week, week-and-a-half, two weeks to try and
make the top 60 players. So, we're going to make mistakes in execution, timing,
and some of those things.
"We need to pick it up when we're out here. We need to have a lot more