Koch's Keys: Five Sophomores to Watch

The Koch's Keys series continues as now Joshua Koch looks at the sophomore class and breaks down what five players should be on everyone's radar in 2013.

After a freshman season, where some players get to see playing time while others just see the clipboard on the sideline, a sophomore campaign can be big.

Not only can a sophomore season be a good chance for a player to get recognized but also make a huge impact on the field.

For the 2013 version of the Red Raiders, Kliff Kingsbury has a solid group of sophomores to pick from to put on the field this season.

So to pick the five sophomores to watch this season is a little hard because there is arguably more than a handful to choose from.


5) Pete Robertson (Sophomore – Linebacker)


It really has been a coming out party for Pete Robertson with his freshman season and now a solid spring under his belt.

Robertson is coming off a season where he played in 12 games, recording 20 tackles, 16 of those solo over the course of the season. He also recorded two sacks and one forced fumble.

In the spring game, Robertson kept showing off his skills by being second on the defense in tackles with six, one sack and one tackle for loss.

Coming out of high school, Robertson was a three-star recruit by Scout.com and earned both All-State and All-District 11-5A in 2010.

Robertson could play a big role in 2013 on the defense, which will need to step up for the Red Raiders to be successful.


4) Jakeem Grant (Sophomore – Wide Receiver)


In a group of wide receivers that is loaded with talent, including senior Eric Ward, there are some young studs.

One of those youngsters includes Jakeem Grant.

Grant is coming off a freshman campaign where he played in 12 games recording 33 catches for 287 yards and three touchdowns.

In 2013, definitely expect more from Grant.

Oh yes, forgot to mention that Grant was put on the kickoff return team in the final two games and took two kickoffs back to the house for touchdowns. So after those performances, you could put money on it that number 11 will be back returning kicks in 2013.

Following his freshman campaign, Grant was named to the ESPN All-Big 12 Freshman Team (1st team) and earned the College Football Performance Award – National Kick Returner of the Week for the week of November 25.

In the spring game, Grant finished with four receptions for 26 yards, a touchdown and a 34-yard kickoff return.

Grant is not new to big numbers coming out of Mesquite Horn High School where in his senior season he had 79 receptions for 1,306 yards and also logged 516 rushing yards on 66 carries.

So in 2013, Grant will be a big key to the offense and every time a kickoff happens be sure to be watching because if Grant gets the ball, the show is just beginning.




3) Tony & Alfredo Morales (Sophomore – Offensive Linemen)


The Morales brothers by the time they are seniors could be both anchoring a strong offensive line.

Not many times you get brothers on the same team that play the same position and are both the same size.

Tony and Alfredo are both listed as 6-foot-3, 302 lb. offensive linemen.

Alfredo has seen more playing time in his time at Tech with getting four starts and 10 appearances in 2012 on the offensive line.

Tony on the other hand was a part of the scout team, but with a depleted offensive line with the loss of LaAdrian Waddle and Deverick Gallington, Tony could earn his way onto the offensive line for the upcoming season. Tony did get the start in the spring game at left guard.

If the Morales brothers will reunite on the offensive line in 2013 time will tell and we will see if the Morales brothers run out together to protect the quarterback and open the lanes for the running backs.



2) Deandre Washington (Sophomore – Running back)


After missing the 2012 season because of injury, DeAndre Washington is back.

In 2011, Washington played in 12 games recording 77 rushing attempts for 366 yards and three touchdowns.

After his freshman campaign, Washington was named an All-Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year honorable mention by the coaches.

The Missouri City, Texas native had a season-ending injury against Missouri on November 19, 2011.

Coming out of high school, Washington was a member of Texas Football Magazine's Top 300 and Top 30 running backs.

In his senior campaign the 5-foot-8 running back exploded for 1,378 rushing yards on 192 attempts.

If Washington is fully healthy by the beginning of the season, which we are expecting him to be, he could be a part of a very stellar backfield of running backs.



1) Michael Brewer (Sophomore – Quarterback)


Finally the man of the hour – sophomore quarterback Michael Brewer.

Brewer is expected to be the starter at the beginning of the 2013 season and be the leader of the Red Raiders.

The Lake Travis, Texas native made nine appearances going 34-for-48 from under center for 375 yards and four touchdowns.

In the spring game, it was the Michael Brewer show at quarterback.

Brewer ended up going 26-for-43 for 282 yards and two touchdowns including a 67-yard pass. He definitely put his stamp on his resume for a shot at being the starter with that spring game performance.

Coming out of high school, Brewer was ranked the 43rd-best gunslinger in the state of Texas and was a part of four consecutive state championship teams at Lake Travis.

In his senior campaign he threw for 2,865 yards despite missing game due to injury and was named All-State as a senior. 

Brewer also brings a dual-threat element to the position, which will be the first time in a long time the Red Raiders have had a quarterback that could do that. In his junior season he rushed for 593 yards and then 743 yards in his senior campaign.

So Brewer brings a winning mentality to the table, the young man just knows how to win and win on the biggest stage.

Now can Brewer translate that to the collegiate level? This season will tell us if he can and if he can beat some of the best not only in the Big 12 but also in the country as the season goes on.

A good thing for Brewer is he has a head coach that has been there and done that in Lubbock before. If Brewer takes guidance from Kingsbury, the sky is the limit for the young quarterback.

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