Before we get into the future for Texas Tech, let's go over what has happened.

Jett Duffey was suspended for the spring semester and any summer classes. This is a University-sanctioned suspension and has nothing to do with his standing on the football team...except he can't practice if he isn't a student.

"There is protected information that I can’t share at this time," Texas Tech spokesman Chris Cook said in the post by A-J. "I can tell you he is suspended only for those two semesters. He is eligible to return in the fall."

At this point, nothing has been released as to why Duffey was suspended from the University. But since it's a suspension and not an expulsion, it's safe to assume Duffey will be back in the fall.

Working under the assumption that this is not the end of a possible Duffey era before it even starts, Texas Tech will have to answer some difficult questions before he returns in the fall.

Duffey, a freshman, was redshirted in 2016 and was seemingly next in line to the throne that Mahomes vacated yesterday morning with his decision to enter the NFL Draft. The job is now wide open for the other quarterbacks on the roster, who will all be able to participate in spring football.

Those quarterbacks include most likely starting candidates Nic Shimonek and JUCO transfer McLane Carter. (On a side note: If I was ever to write a western, the outlaw gunslinger would be named McLane. It's perfect.)

Obviously, Shimonek is now the lead dog in the race to the starting quarterback role. He definitely has the most experience at Texas Tech. Carter is just now in Lubbock this week starting the spring semester -- his first as a Red Raider.

Carter was previously at Tyler Junior College where he was named the SWCJC Overall MVP. He threw for 3,226 yards and 30 touchdowns on route to his MVP campaign.

What's important is that Texas Tech has options. While Shimonek is likely the lead dog in the race now, Duffey is not out of the mix completely. He's got an entire spring, summer and fall under his belt and will likely be back in the fall. If nothing else happens discipline-wise, there's no reason that Duffey won't be the starter in 2017.

Kliff Kingsbury's track record as a head coach points toward using Duffey over Shimonek because of Duffey's ability to extend with his legs. Speaking of legs, the Red Raiders also have Xavier Martin coming in as a freshman. As a senior in high school, he threw for more than 2,200 yards and 22 touchdowns while only throwing three interceptions. He also ran for 10 touchdowns using his 4.4 speed.

Yes, he's that fast.

So those are the four top options on the Texas Tech roster to replace Patrick Mahomes as the starter in this program. Shimonek, Carter, and Martin will all be there participating in spring football.

Duffey will likely be back in the fall. If he isn't, Texas Tech will survive.

2016 Texas Tech Football Highlights


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