Leading up to the 2021 football season, Sports Spectrum will highlight
five Christ-following college quarterbacks to watch in 2021.
All eyes in Lubbock, Texas, are on the new Texas Tech starting quarterback, redshirt sophomore Tyler Shough, whom Red Raiders fans hope can lead a resurgence in 2021.
While Texas Tech struggled to a 4-6 record in 2020, Shough was busy leading his Oregon Ducks to the Pac-12 championship and getting the attention of NFL scouts — all while completing two undergraduate degrees.
Shough started every game during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, throwing for 13 touchdowns and 1,559 yards in seven contests. The Ducks’ 3-2 regular-season record was enough to get them to the Pac-12 championship game, where they defeated the favored USC Trojans and earned a berth in the Fiesta Bowl. Held in Glendale, Arizona (near Shough’s hometown of Chandler), Oregon lost the Fiesta Bowl, 34-17, to Iowa State. On the opposing sideline was star quarterback Brock Purdy, a childhood friend of Shough’s.
In both the conference championship game and Fiesta Bowl loss, however, Shough saw his playing time diminish as he shared snaps with Anthony Brown. In February, Shough announced on Twitter that he had entered the transfer portal. Included in the caption was Hebrews 11:1, which reads, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Shough wrote: “Thank you to my teammates and brothers for making this place a home. I will forever cherish the bonds we have built together. Once a Duck, Always a Duck. I am trusting in the Lord, and excited to announce that I will be entering the transfer portal.”
Many blessings and opportunities ahead! Hebrews 11:1 pic.twitter.com/e8MyWCwyn6
— Tyler Shough (@tylershough2) February 12, 2021
Less than two weeks later, Shough landed at Texas Tech, where he’ll begin working on a master’s degree. Having already finished two undergraduate degrees, he’s a graduate transfer eligible to play immediately, and he has three years of eligibility remaining.
As he stars on the field, Shough is also open about his faith in Christ. Occasionally, he includes Bible verses and references to God in his social media posts. In his Twitter bio is Jeremiah 29:11, which reads, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
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“The greatest test of courage is to bear defeat without losing heart” Lot to grow from, God is so good man. Wins and lessons. Philippians 3:14
— Tyler Shough (@tylershough2) November 28, 2020
In the summer of 2019, while he was a backup at Oregon to current Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, Shough and teammate Mycah Pittman were baptized. He posted a video of the sacrament on Twitter.
So thankful and excited for what He has planned🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/41GoG12ej4
— Tyler Shough (@tylershough2) May 31, 2019
Shough’s life and faith have been shaped dramatically by two events that occurred within a few weeks of each other in 2006, when he was 5 years old: the passing of his 19-year-old brother and the diagnosis of stage four breast cancer for his mom, Dana.
Dana told the East Valley Tribune in 2016, “I share with my kids that you can get through anything as long as you have a positive attitude, a will to live, and the grace of God.”
Now at Texas Tech, Shough finds himself on a team well-known for its high-octane offense under third-year head coach Matt Wells. Shough beat out incumbent starter Henry Colombi for the starting QB position. Surrounding him are a number of potential playmakers, including last season’s team-leader in receptions, Eric Uzekanma, and a veteran offensive line. Eleven of Texas Tech’s top 13 tacklers from a year ago return as well.
Shough’s 6-foot-5, 221-pound stature, maneuverability and incredible arm talent give him tremendous potential as an NFL-caliber quarterback. Scouts are waiting to see it translate onto the field, and some think being in a new offense could improve his draft stock.
Shough and the Red Raiders are scheduled to begin their season Sept. 4 at NRG Stadium against Houston. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.
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