Harrell backtracks, says Leach likely to stay

NEW YORK -- Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell isn't so sure now that coach Mike Leach will be leaving Lubbock.

Harrell, who last week said there was a "great chance" Leach would leave the Red Raiders, reversed his opinion Tuesday because his coach didn't fill the vacancy at Washington.

"I really thought a few weeks ago he might go," Harrell said in a brief interview with the AP. "I thought the Washington job would be a great job for him. He loves the West Coast. He likes the Pac-10 Conference.

"When he didn't take that one, I figured, I think he'll be back," he said.

Leach met with Washington officials, but USC offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian was hired to replace Tyrone Willingham.

Leach has been offered a five-year contract extension and what athletic director Gerald Myers called a "substantial" raise by the university.

Leach has also been mentioned as a possible candidate to replace Tommy Tuberville at Auburn.

"They're going to have to pay him a lot of money, as anyone will at this point," Harrell said of Leach.

"He does more with less than anyone in the country. He can't go hand-choose his recruits like the USCs, the Oklahomas and the Texases. He has to really work at recruiting, get some less-talented players and develop them," Harrell said.

Leach is 76-38 in nine seasons with Texas Tech and his offenses have set numerous passing records. The Red Raiders (11-1) matched a school record for victories this season.

Harrell was in New York for the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame awards banquet. The record-breaking passer and Heisman Trophy contender was one of 15 finalists for the Draddy Trophy, which goes to the nation's top scholar-athlete.