For the vast majority of Texas Tech fans, Saturday's Red/Black Scrimmage will be the last opportunity to glimpse the Red Raiders before they spring into action in earnest against Northwestern State in the season opener. Naturally, the overall performance of the team will be uppermost, but here are still several players which one should pay particular attention to. Below are some especially interesting players along with Red Raiders who must rise to the occasion if the team is to make waves in 2012.
Cornelius Douglas: To this point, the receiver turned cornerback has been Tech's spring MVP. The Red Raider pass defense has been the team's most improved element and Douglas deserves much of the credit for this apparent turnaround.
Douglas has largely stymied big Darrin Moore in the spring. It will be interesting to see if he can keep it up in the final scrimmage.
Bradley Marquez: Like Douglas, Marquez has been bouncing around according to the needs of the team, but Marquez has shuffled between receiver and running back. And it is at receiver where Marquez's star has shown most brightly this spring. Indeed, he's been Tech's best wideout.
Sam Eguavoen: The last most people saw of Eguavoen he was lost and hapless on last year's defense. But the true sophomore has staged a remarkable recovery from the nightmare of 2011. Egauavoen is ranging all over the field to make plays, and looks especially promising in pass coverage.
Jakeem Grant: Some folks were surprised that Grant did not play as a true freshman. But never fear—Grant will certainly play as a redshirt freshman.
At this point Grant looks like Tech's most dangerous skill position player with the ball in his hands. His acceleration is something to behold. Grant will remind you of a cross between Tyrone Thurman and Nehemiah Glover.
Ronnie Daniels: With the status of Eric Stephens and DeAndre Washington up in the air for 2012, Daniels could be Texas Tech's feature running back. Heck, even if Stephens and Washington return to full health in time for the season opener, Daniels will get many snaps.
I've stated that Daniels is Tech's most talented running back since Bam Morris, and I stand by that statement.
Jace Amaro: Just as advertised, Amaro is the complete package. He's built like Godzilla and runs like a velociraptor. Now if he can learn to catch like Kellen Winslow the Red Raiders will be in clover. Heck, Neal Brown and Seth Doege would probably settle for just a few fewer drops.
Ryan Bustin: If the Red/Black Scrimmage follows the form of previous scrimmages, kicker Ryan Bustin will get numerous opportunities from various points on the gridiron. And if Bustin kicks like he has thus far, he will nail everything from 45 yards and in. If Bustin can kick under pressure and extend his range a bit, he will be sheer dynamite for the special teams.
Will Smith: You've seen the previews. You've heard the rave reviews. Now step up to see the man live and in action. That's right, Will Smith, who has been pitched as the savior of Texas Tech's defense, will get one final chance to make eyebrows skyrocket and lips slaver before mothballing his talismanic pads and helmet for a few months. Yes, the hype has been immense. Now's your chance to see if it's justified.
Alfredo Morales: Not very often would I suggest you keep your eyes on a backup left guard, but Morales bears some observation. He's been the premier bruiser on a Texas Tech offensive line that could use some muscle and nastiness.
Tyson Williams: You rarely get to see a wide receiver play like a linebacker, but with Tyson Williams you'll get exactly one season to do just that. Might as well get a head start and start watching him in the Red/Black Scrimmage. But word around the Tech camp is that NFL scouts are watching him too.