LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It wasn't long ago when former Lufkin Panther Keke Coutee signed to play football at Texas Tech upon graduation this year. He'll be a freshmen at Tech this upcoming season as he tries to earn a role on the team.
According to head coach Kliff Kingsbury, Coutee has already made an impression. Through all the frenzy the Big 12 media days offered this week, Coutee's name was in the mix.
As an all-state honorable mention last season, the one thing Coutee had going against him is his size. Standing at 5-11 he weighed in at Tech this year at 163 pounds, but Kingsbury said his speed and athleticism make up for much of that one setback.
"He's very explosive and very competitive playing basketball and football in high school. He was a great punt returner so that may be a deal where he starts as a punt returner and then works his way into the rotation this year, but he's a very gifted young man. He's just got to get bigger and get stronger," said Kingsbury.
Since Kingsbury has taken over the Big 12 program in Lubbock, he's made recruiting in East Texas a habit.
Coutee will be joining an offense which consists of potential starting quarterback from Whitehouse, Patrick Mahomes. Also from Whitehouse came wide receiver Dylan Cantrell. Coutee will also be joining Tenaha native and wide receiver Reginald Davis, just to name a few East Texans.
"I've said this all along, they get coached hard out there in East Texas," said Kingsbury. "Those high school coaches do a tremendous job. They're very disciplined, coach them hard and they love football. They love to play and so we've been trying to get as many guys out there as we can."