A community college offensive lineman being recruited by Texas Tech got a close view of head coach Tommy Tuberville’s hasty departure over the weekend.
Tommy Tuberville unexpectedly bolted from Texas Tech and accepted the head coaching job at Cincinnati on Saturday.
Devonte Danzey of Hutchinson (Kansas) C.C. arrived in Lubbock for his official visit.
Shortly after arriving in Lubbock, Danzey and at least two other recruits — lineman Sunny Odogwu and receiver Javess Blue — along with “eight to 10” coaches, including Tuberville, all went to dinner at the 50-Yard Line Restaurant on South Loop 289, Danzey said.
In the midst of the conversation at the table, he asked the coaches how long they expected to be at Tech (if they were not fired), he said.
“I asked Coach (Charlie) Weis at KU and Coach (Dana) Holgorsen at West Virginia (the same question), just so I know my relationship with them,” Danzey said. “(Tuberville) was just telling me he coached at Miami and Auburn, he coached 10 years and recruited Ray Lewis and kind of blew the question off I didn’t even realize.”
He added: “The waitress brought our food out, and we thought (Tuberville) went to the bathroom, but he never came back to dinner. Then next thing I know, the next day, he made an announcement that he’s going to Cincinnati.”
Texas Tech athletics spokesman Blayne Beal confirmed Tech coaches did take players to dinner that night, which he said is a common occurrence on visits by recruits, but was unaware of any incidents that happened at dinner.
The next morning the recruits were scheduled to take a tour of the campus, but Tuberville did not show up for it, Danzey said. That’s when offensive line coach Chris Thomsen, who was named interim head coach Monday, came back to the group and broke the news Tuberville had been named the new head coach at Cincinnati.
The tour was “around 11 a.m.” or “about 30 minutes before the news broke,” Danzey said.
The 6-foot-3, 303-pound offensive lineman did not let Tuberville’s departure ruin his visit.
“Everybody was going crazy,” Danzey said. “The players were shocked, too. We still had a good time at night, but it was crazy how he just got up and left out of nowhere and left people in the dark and in the shadow.”
Before Saturday’s turn of events, Danzey was considering the Red Raiders because of the chance he would have to compete for the starting center spot.
“I don’t know right now because they don’t know if their coaching staff and Coach Thomsen will still be there,” Danzey. “I had a good relationship with him and there was a good chance Texas Tech was going to be my school. They are basically starting from scratch again and they may bring in a new staff that I don’t get along with, or that may not like my style of play.”
The three-star offensive lineman said he is now considering Baylor, West Virginia, Kansas, Auburn and Washington State.
“I’ll make a decision probably Christmas day,” Danzey said. “I got to get a feel for them for a while. I know I’m not going to sign on the 19th, I will just be getting back from my last visit.”
Danzey said he averaged “about seven or eight pancakes a game” this season.
With the right hire, Danzey said the Red Raiders would still be an option for him.
“If they decide they want me still,” Danzey said. “They may go with the players they have or go with a skill guy and change up their scholarships. It depends if they’re still in need of an offensive lineman.”
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