State of the Position: Receiver

Joe Yeager breaks down the receivers that Tech has, as we head towards the summer work outs.

Spring Personnel: Bradley Marquez, Jakeem Grant, Darrin Moore, Javares McRoy, Derek Edwards, Javon Bell, Tyson Williams, Jordan Davis, Aaron Fisher, Marcus Kennard, Jace Amaro

Fall Additions: Alex Torres, Austin Zouzalik, Eric Ward, Casey Gladney, Dominique Wheeler, Reginald Davis, Keenon Ward

Pre-Spring Power Rating: 84

Post-Spring Power Rating: 89


Money Quote: "Our best receiver is Darrin Moore. He's dominated about the last five practices we had. He's made a bunch of plays. In our last practice on Thursday [before the Red-Black scrimmage] he had four or five touchdowns. And he's a guy who led the country in receptions through three games last year. And he's really played that way for like the last four, five practices."—Neal Brown


Spring Performance: Spring camp could have been a borderline disaster for Texas Tech's receiving corps. The Red Raiders began workouts with veterans Alex Torres and Austin Zouzalik rehabbing injuries, former inside receiver Cornelius Douglas playing cornerback, and ex-outside receiver Bradley Marquez pitching in at running back. To make matters worse, Eric Ward, the team's leading receiver in 2011, went down with an injury on the first day of practice, and never returned.


But rather than disappear from the highlight reels, Tech's young and depleted receiving corps absolutely blossomed, and as of this writing, looks like the offense's strongest unit.


The bedrock of this group's success was simply catching the football. The last few spring and summer workouts were marred by a contagion of dropped passes, and sure enough, that negative trait also manifested itself during the actual seasons.


In spring 2012 dropped passes were conspicuous by their scarcity. Indeed, there is not a single receiver who participated in spring ball who had a problem latching onto the pigskin. Every one of them did a good job on this score.


Various receivers stood out in other ways, though.


Bradley Marquez, despite not knowing where he'd be playing from one practice to the next, was the most consistent receiver in spring camp. He made plays in every single workout.


Jakeem Grant and Javon Bell were the most noteworthy newcomers. Grant's acceleration is truly remarkable. He may not be the team's fastest player over 100 or even 40 yards, but nobody can come close to matching Grant's 10-yard burst. He's a true jackrabbit.


Bell may have more top-end speed than Grant, and will certainly combine with the freshman to give Tech's passing attack serious downtown threats in the fall.


The longer spring camp wore on, the more the coaches raved about redshirt freshman Derek Edwards. The Brenham product is not particularly flashy, but he is quietly effective.


West Texas A&M transfer Tyson Williams, like Edwards, is not spectacular, but he gets the job done. That said, he still must master the nuances of reading coverages and adjusting his routes accordingly to be a huge factor in the passing game.


One facet of the game Williams has down pat is blocking. He's a serious headhunter who will spring many an explosive play with his thunderous hits on converging defenders.


Prototype tight end Jace Amaro is the unit's x factor in more ways than one. He disappeared at times, but at other times completely dominated. Consistency is his hobgoblin right now.


Hopefully Amaro will overcome his pending legal issues and be ready to go for the Red Raiders in the fall. If not, however, spring camp showed that Tech has the depth to overcome Amaro's absence.

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