Texas Tech quarterbacks last 20 years include Tyler Shough, Patrick Mahomes, Alan Bowman, Taylor Potts, Graham Harrell and others.

G. Harrell is considered by many to be the greatest QB in Texas Tech history. He holds the school records for the most career passing yards (15,793), career passing touchdowns (134), and single-season passing yards (5,705).

Harrell also led the Red Raiders to a Big 12 division championship in 2008. Moreover, he is also among four outstanding quarterbacks from TTU who won the esteemed Sammy Baugh Trophy.

The remaining three exceptional individuals are Kliff Kingsbury, BJ Symons, and Patrick Mahomes. Meanwhile, the 23-year-old young prospect Tyler Shough is the current starting QB for the Red Raiders.

Texas Tech quarterbacks list

  • BJ Symons
  • Sonny Cumbie
  • Cody Hodges
  • Graham Harrell
  • Seth Doege
  • Taylor Potts
  • Davis Webb
  • Jett Duffey
  • Alan Bowman
  • Tyler Shough

Texas Tech Starting Quarterbacks

Texas Tech starting QB Tyler Shough faced solid competition from sophomore Behren Morton. Tyler recorded 2,216 passing yards and 13 touchdowns.

From the early days of the football program to the recent success of current and future athletes, the Red Raiders have a tradition of producing some of the most innovative and exciting quarterbacks in college football.

Tyler Shough at the start of the 2021 season
Source : instagram

The Red Raiders have been home to many formidable Qbs since its establishment in 1925. Some of the earliest Q-backs for the university include Elmer Tarbox, Herbert Hoover, and Robert Hall. They played before the forward pass was legalized, mainly relying on running the ball.

In the early 2000s, Texas Tech introduced the spread offense, which allowed q-backs to throw the ball more. This offensive style led to some of the best QBs in school history.

The Emergence of Kingsbury

Kliff Kingsbury was one of the first Qbs to take advantage of the spread offense. He was a three-year starter for the Tech Red Raiders.

Kingsbury played under head coach Spike Dykes and Mike Leach from 1999 to 2002. The University witnessed Kliff's football brilliance unfold throughout his 43 games, where he displayed unrivaled prowess at the q-back position.

Kingsbury with iconic boxer Floyd Mayweather in April 2015
Source : twitter

His completion record of 1,229 successful passes out of 1,881 attempts amassed an extraordinary yardage of 12,423, securing a prominent position in the college football records.

After his playing days were over, Kingsbury became the head coach of the Red Raiders and has continued the tradition of great quarterbacks.

The Mike Leach Era 2000-2009

Mike Leach tenure as the head coach of the Tech Raiders began in 2000. Mike implemented the air raid offense upon his arrival.

During his decade-long term on the college football team, Leach gave a pathway to several q-back talents, such as Graham Harrell, Taylor Potts, Sonny Cumbie, BJ Symons, and Cody Hodges. 

Harrell's name is etched in the Texas Tech quarterbacks history as one of the greatest to play during the Mike Leach era. He set several school and NCAA records, including most career throwing yards and touchdown passes.

Taylor Potts playing for the Raiders in 2010.
Source : si

Taylor Potts was another talented QB who played for the Raiders during the Leach epoch. He threw for over 3,800 yards and 35 touchdowns in the 2009 season, leading Red Raiders to a win in the Alamo Bowl.

The Legacy of Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes was only on the college football team for two seasons, but his impact on the whole program was immense.

Mahomes burst onto the scene in 2016 among Tech Raiders Qbs under Kliff Kingsbury and swiftly became one of the best q-back in college football. He threw for 5,052 yards and 41 TDs that season and led the Raiders to a win in the Texas Bowl.

Moreover, Patrick broke many records at his college, and later, Kansas City Chiefs selected him in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Texas Tech Quarterbacks By Year

Red Raiders QBs by year are:

  • 2021/22 - Tyler Shough
  • 2019/20 - Alan Bowman
  • 2017/18 - Nic Shimonek
  • 2015/16 -  Patrick Mahomes
  • 2014 - Davis Webb
  • 2013 - Baker Mayfield
  • 2011/12 - Seth Doege
  • 2009/2010 - Taylor Potts
  • 2006 to 2008 - Graham Harrell
  • 2005 - Cody Hodges
  • 2004 - Sonny Cumbie
  • 2003 - BJ Symons

Tech Raiders football has found success with its talented roster of quarterbacks every year. They have been blessed with some top-notch players, mainly from the start of the 21st century. 

BJ Symons, a successor to Kliff, joined the Red Raiders in 1999. For three years, he remained under the shadow of Kliff, acting as his backup.

In 2003, coach Leach appointed him as the starting QB for the 2003 season. That year, Symons went full beast mode and cracked the NCAA record for most passing yards and TDs in a single season.

G. Harrell with the Red Raiders in 2008
Source : facebook

After Symons joined the NFL after the 2004 draft, Sonny Cumbie took over as the main q-back for a year, and then Cody Hodges stepped in as the starting Qb in 2005.

The Graham Harell era began in the 2006 season, during which he started every game for the Raiders, producing records one after another. He finished his career with 15,127 passing yards and 134 touchdowns, both of which are still school records.

Moreover, Harrell was also named the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player in 2007 and 2008.

After Graham's exit, Taylor Potts stepped in to fill in his shoes. He served two seasons as a reserve QB for Harrell and finally earned his moment in the 2010 season. During his four-year stint with the Red Raiders, Potts threw 7,835 yards and 62 touchdowns.

Mahomes holds the Tech record for most yards completion in a single game.
Source : twitter

Seth Doege began his third season as starting QB for Texas in 2011. During that campaign, Doege managed to pull a record-breaking throwing completion percentage for a quarterback, completing 40 accurate throws out of 44 (90.9%) in September 2011 against the New Mexico Lobos.

Beforehand, the achievement belonged to Kingsbury, who managed to successfully complete 49 out of 59 passes, resulting in an impressive completion rate of 83%.

When Davis Webb said farewell to college football, Patrick Mahomes took charge as the starting q-back for Texas Tech during his second year.

Mahomes played from 2014 to 2016, and he was one of the most exciting players in college football during his time in Lubbock. Mahomes threw for 11,252 yards and 105 touchdowns in his three seasons at the University.

Following Mahomes, the Red Raiders had a lineup of talented Qbs such as Nic Shimonek, Alan Bowman, and Tyler Shough. Each had its shining moments and carried forward the legacy.

Texas Tech Quarterbacks in the NFL

Here is the list of Texas Tech Football QBs who played in the NFL.

  • BJ Symons (Houston Texans)
  • Graham Harrell (Green Bay Packers)
  • Davis Webb (New York Giants)
  • Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs)
  • Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns)
  • Nic Shimonek (Los Angeles Chargers)
  • Kliff Kingsbury (New England Patriots)

Texas program has been a breeding ground for successful college Q-backs, with several players making their mark in the professional league.

However, those numbers are only limited as there have been numerous players who struggled to adapt to the demanding nature and fierce competition of the National League. Consequently, many of them left the league after just a season or two.

BJ Symons, who completed 11,206 passing yards while at the Red Raiders, was selected by the Houston Texans in the Round 7 of the 2004 NFL Draft. 

Symons played for the Texans for a season, then joined the Frankfurt Galaxy in Germany. After that, he got signed by the Chicago Bears but was eventually released in 2006.

Baker Mayfield signed with the Carolina Panthers in 2022
Source : reddit

After a sensational college career, G. Harrell held his head high when he entered NFL after he was signed by the Green Bay Packers in 2010. He played two seasons with the Packers before moving to the New York Jets in 2013.

The current Denver Broncos head coach Davis Webb played in the NFL for four seasons. The New York Giants picked Webb in the 2017 draft, and he played a season there before relocating to the Jets (2018) and Buffalo Bills (2019-2021).

Out of all Texas Tech alumni, Patrick Mahomes has the most success post-college football. Kansas selected him as the 10th overall pick in 2017.

Mahomes went on to win two Super Bowl championships in 2019 and 2022 and was honored as the MVP of the Super Bowl on both occasions.