Eight Red Raiders were placed on scholarship Thursday night in the final practice of training camp


LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells closed his first training camp leading the Red Raiders by rewarding eight walk-on student-athletes with scholarships Thursday night in a surprise presentation.

Wells addressed the team at midfield of Jones AT&T Stadium before a video played to indicate sophomore tight end Tyler Carr, junior tight end Connor Killian, redshirt freshman wide receiver Caden Leggett, sophomore linebacker Michael Nelson, sophomore wide receiver Mark Richardson, sophomore wide receiver Dalton Rigdon and junior running back Jax Welch had all been placed on scholarship.

The screen showed the headshots of each of the seven with a Double T takin the place of the eighth and final spot. Wells announced there would be one additional scholarship to give out, this one to senior defensive lineman Malik Essilfie, who he described as being “everything that Texas Tech Football is all about.”

“That’s one of the coolest moments for any coach,” Wells told his team prior to Essilfie’s headshot appearing on the videoboard. “The program can’t give you back as much as you are going to give the program. If you have that attitude, every one of us are going to be overachievers.”

The scholarship presentations came just over a week from when the Red Raiders kick off the 2019 season as it was the final practice of training camp. Wells and his staff will transition the Red Raiders into game-week preparations Saturday in anticipation of their Aug. 31 opener against Montana State.



Matt Dowdy