Don Williams, who has covered Texas Tech football for the Lubbock Avalanche Journal for more than 20 years, gave me his take on why Graham Harrell is outperforming Tech QBs of the past:
“Part of what’s allowed Graham Harrell to shine this year is he has 36 career starts, so nearly everything – about his own offense, and the Big 12 defenses he sees – is second nature to him. Certainly, he’s benefited the last two years from having Crabtree to throw to and, this year in particular, probably the best offensive line Mike Leach has had at Tech. But Graham deserves plenty of credit, too. Even when protection breaks down, he’s really hard to sack, because he reads defenses well and knows where to go with the ball. His experience makes him different from most of Leach’s quarterbacks considering that B.J. Symons, Sonny Cumbie and Cody Hodges didn’t start until they were fifth-year seniors. I’d say Harrell, outwardly at least, is the most fiery competitor Leach has had at quarterback since B.J. Symons. He might not have a cannon arm, but he showed on the winning touchdown pass against Texas that it’s good enough to make the long, deep throw to the far sideline that you need to be able to make in the NFL. Add in the fact that he’s the son of a successful coach, and he had a good head for the game even before this year.’’
By Jake Trotter
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