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Mahomes happy to have spent spring on the gridiron to make his field of dreams come true

Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes couldn’t help but laugh. Mahomes gave up baseball last spring to concentrate wholeheartedly on football. So what did the Red Raiders baseball team do? Only returned to the College World Series again. Mahomes laughed again as he recalled that even his old high school, Whitehouse, reached the Class 5A state tournament.
But he has no regrets about passing on baseball. That extra time resulted in getting stronger in the weight room and putting on an additional 15 pounds.
“I turned myself into a meathead,” he said.

And he wasn’t the only one. Mahomes said many of his teammates put in the extra time pumping weight. That work, plus spring football drills and summer strength and conditioning, are some of the reasons why the quarterback was looking forward to the start of the 2016 season. He can throw the ball 85 yards and reminds the Texas Tech defense he’s not the easiest guy to tackle when he runs. He’s spent days watching prostyle offenses to learn how they relate to the Red Raiders’ scheme.

“I’m hopeful I’ll have more zips on my throws,” he said. “I watch so much film now. I can see what happens and make the reads. I’m getting as strong as I can — fast but strong.”

Another reason for his optimism is that he is working on getting better in one area coach Kliff Kingsbury is emphasizing – taking the “ordinary play.”

“It’s hard but at the same time, I’m learning it,” he said. “That’s something I’m doing better at. (Coach) told me to lead and do what it takes to get the team to go where you want it to go.”

Mahomes said his only offer as a quarterback came from Kingsbury, so he is working very hard at the position to “prove he was right in his decision.”

The quarterback noted that Kingsbury is smart in his scheme, playcalling and ability to teach and has earned more of Kingsbury’s trust.

Mahomes, the son of former Major League Baseball pitcher Pat Mahomes, recalled picking up a baseball at a young age. He broke so many windows that his mother, Randi, enrolled him in youth baseball. One play led to a position change during his season. He was playing shortstop when the ball was hit to him. So he stopped the ball and threw to first base for the out.

“I thought they could catch,” he said of his teammates. “I hit a kid straight in the face. After that I had to play first.”

As he looked forward to the start of the 2016 season, Mahomes said it takes effort, focus and determination from each Red Raider to have success. He emphasized he and his teammates have done their part to get ready.

“You have to have a great team to win,” he said. “Every single team has a great offense and a good quarterback. I really struggled my freshman year. I’m really focused on working hard.”

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