According to the Lubbock Avalanche Journal, Texas Tech's leading rusher in 2016, Da'Leon Ward, may not be eligible to participate this season. Kliff Kingsbury noted that the team is in a "wait and see" holding pattern to hear about Ward's academic progress. Kingsbury also confirmed that Ward's absence is academic related.
Ward, out of Skyline, led the Red Raiders in rushing last season as a true freshman, in spite of not seeing regular action until the eighth game of the season. In Tech's last five games, Ward carried twenty times or more in four. He missed the fifth due to injury. For the season, after playing in just six games, Ward accumulated 428 yards on 103 carries with three touchdowns.
DeMarcus Felton, a junior from Houston, will see a fair amount of action after finishing second on the team in rushing in 2016. Senior Justin Stockton is the most complete back, having caught twenty or passes out of the backfield the last two seasons. He saw his production drop from the rushing end last year, rushing for a career low 154 yards.
Tech also adds a thumper in transfer Desmond Nisby from Diablo Valley College. At 6-1 235, Nisby gives Tech a size variant they've lacked in recent seasons.