With the lack of incoming transfers Texas Tech has this spring, the focus might shift to the players that redshirted last fall and will be striving to prove themselves to the new coaching staff. This group of redshirts is at a bit of a disadvantage because they weren't recruited by the new staff, but their careers will be most affected by it. Here's a look at some of the guys who could make a real play for playing time this spring:
1) This was going to be Michael Starts' spot, but he's not on the roster.
2) Deandre Washington – Four different running backs carried the ball for Texas A&M last year (Ben Malena, Christine Michael, Trey Williams, Bryce Dolzeal), not to mention Johnny Manziel who led the team in rushing. Washington is the speed part of the equation at RB for the new Texas Tech offense. He drew rave reviews during the fall and won the scout team player of the week several times on offense while recovering from a knee injury. If he's back to 100%, he'll compete with Kenny Williams for starting snaps.
3) Keenon Ward – Another player here that the question must be asked: Offense or defense? A dynamic ball carrier at Snyder, and won a scout team player of the week award last fall trying to mimic the opposition's QB. The need is on defense with 4 open starting jobs in the secondary, but if no one steps up and fills the void at H receiver, I could see Ward getting a shot here.
4) Reginald Davis & Dominic Wheeler – We know they'll play receiver and that they'll get an opportunity, but the question is will they be a factor in the playing rotation? Davis is said to be a little further along, but Wheeler has the burning speed that coaches dream of. With 5 departing senior receivers, the opportunity is there for both of these players to step up and establish themselves early in their careers.
5) LaDarius Newbold – Opportunity is right in front of Newbold with 4 departed seniors in the defensive backfield. Most were surprised that Newbold didn't break into the lineup as a true freshman, but Newbold did redshirt. He could play corner or safety and should get a lot of meaningful snaps this spring. The time is now for Newbold if he wants to get a leg up on some of the signees like Dee Paul and Martin Hill that will be here in June.
6) Kris Williams – Williams isn't a name most people know, but as a 6'1'' 213lb OLB, he's got the size and athleticism and plays a position of need. Williams dressed and traveled for nearly every game last year, but coaches kept the redshirt on him. Micah Awe played ahead of Williams because of Awe's ability on special teams. But Williams could be a big piece to the puzzle moving forward, especially with as many players as will be tried out on defense.