December 1, 2021

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Red Raiders reach out to UTSA’s Jeff Traylor, SMU’s Sonny Dykes remains popular

Texas Tech football’s coaching search is under way. The Red Raiders fired Matt Wells in the middle of his third season Monday, sparking the second search in three years. SMU’s Sonny Dykes and UTSA’s Jeff Traylor are two popular names mentioned early.

In fact, Texas Tech has already reached out to Traylor, according to Jarrett Johnson of 247Sports’ InsideTheRedRaiders.com. He delved deeper on Wednesday’s episode of The College Football Daily podcast.

“I’ve actually reported on InsideTheRedRaiders that they’ve already reached out to Jeff Traylor through intermediaries,” Johnson said. “I don’t know who exactly it is in each camp, but good sources, multiple very good sources that it’s happened, and that there’s possibly mutual interest between Jeff Traylor and Texas Tech. Timing, because it’s in the season, he’s trying to do something special there at UTSA which is a mouthful in and of itself. So, I like Jeff Traylor. That’s who the first target is.”

Tech tabbed offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Sonnie Cumbie as the interim. Johnson said he will get a fair shot, and even has people in his corner.

Sonny Cumbie has an opportunity,” Johnson said. “They’re playing Oklahoma in Norman. You win that game, which sounds impossible right now, but if you do, and anything can happen, that makes national news. That goes a long way in him getting an opportunity I think. You still have three games left against three ranked opponents. They have one of the toughest schedules remaining in all of college football, so he’s going to have his hands full there, but if he does win another couple of these games, he makes a pretty strong case for himself.

“I know there’s some really influential people here in Lubbock that really like Sonnie Cumbie and would like to see him become the next head coach.”

Dykes has been the other popular name mentioned. Johnson says he has been talked about within circles. Johnson highlighted his recruiting abilities as a strong point.

Sonny Dykes — three years ago — he was kind of talked about as a candidate,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if he really was, but I like him a lot more now with what he’s done at SMU. I’ve seen the way they recruit. … Some of the recruits Tech and SMU go after are the same.What they’ve done with their brand and matching with Dallas and the recruiting has been very smart. It’s been very intelligent.

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“I like the idea of Sonny Dykes coming back to West Texas a lot more than I did three years ago. … Those are the two names I’ve heard so far early in the process, of course, along with Sonnie Cumbie.”

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