Replenishing the Ranks: Receiver

The following is one in a series of evaluations of the Texas Tech 2014 recruiting class in the week leading up to National Signing Day. Once again the Red Raiders are poised to sign a fantastic group of receivers. See film, analysis, quotes and statistics on the entire group.

THE RECRUITS

Cameron Batson (5-8, 170)
School: OKC Millwood HS
Rating: | National Position Rank: 203


Byron Daniels (6-1, 170)
School: San Antonio Madison HS
Rating: | National Position Rank: 120


Jakari Dillard (6-4, 180)
School: Princeton HS
Rating: | National Position Rank: 96


Devin Lauderdale (5-11, 175)
School: Navarro College
Rating: | National Position Rank: N/A


Ian Sadler (5-11, 185)
School: Argyle HS
Rating: | National Position Rank: 46
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Position Grade: A

Evaluation: If there is a position at Texas Tech that sells itself it is receiver. Yes, quarterbacks get a lot of glory and get to toss the ball around the park in this offense, but the receivers have made the Air Raid special.

The 2014 class of wideouts is another very good one with four prospects expected to sign Wednesday and another, Navarro College transfer Devin Lauderdale, is already on campus.

Lauderdale, who signed with Tech out of Houston Bellaire a year ago, was forced to make a detour to Navarro, but is back in the fold after signing in December. The speedster did not disappoint in his one season in the junior college ranks as he caught 33 passes for nearly 700 yards and six touchdowns.

Look for Lauderdale to challenge for playing timeout at outside receiver immediately and to make plays by both stretching the field vertically and in coach Kliff Kingsbury's screen packages.

The other four receivers come from the prep ranks and boy, do they bring a lot to the table.

Argyle's Ian Sadler is rated as a four-star prospect and you'll get no argument here. I was able to see him in person twice this season and once again on TV in the Texas Class 3A Division II state championship where he was named Offensive MVP after he rushed for 197 yards and three touchdowns, caught four passes for 72 yards and returned a punt 65 yards for another score.

I first saw Sadler in September and it took less than five minutes of gameplay to see he is the prototypical Texas Tech inside receiver. He has good speed and acceleration, is an excellent runner after he gets the ball in his hands and has a knack for making spectacular catches in traffic.

What's more, he is a competitor with a mean streak which can be seen in this video I shot. Watch what he does to a corner at the 1:03 mark after the guy pulled him down by his face mask during the previous play.



Cameron Batson is another inside receiver Tech fans should be excited about. The 2013 Gatorade Oklahoma Player of the Year is diminutive but brings a 4.4-second forty time to the table and has proven to be an all-around stud on the gridiron.

Batson played quarterback, cornerback and was a dangerous punt returner for Oklahoma City Millwood, who lost in the Class 2A state final.

Jakari Dillard didn't put up monster numbers (45 catches, 717 yards, 10 TDs) for ground oriented Princeton last season, but as a legitimate 6-foot-4 receiver with decent leaping ability, he could become a dangerous red zone threat.

Then there's Byron Daniels, who chose Tech over the likes of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Daniels appears to be the whole package as a speedster with good hands and good size at 6-1. He caught 72 passes for 1,128 yards and 12 scores in 2013.

Daniels, who helped Madison to the Class 5A Division I state semifinals, is the kind of guy who everybody agrees is a solid prospect coming in but is kind of overlooked and then ends up being an all-conference player. I'm not predicting that will happen, but I wouldn't be surprised by it four years from now either.

I have been searching for a negative about this group and can't really find one. I don't think they will all pan out but I'm willing to say at least two will be household names in Big 12 country by the end of their careers and that deserves an "A" in my book.

Quotes: "I can't wait. Just knowing that they have had some crazy good inside receivers, especially about my size, and they put them to the best use they can; I mean I can't wait to get there." -Ian Sadler

"Still staying firm with Texas Tech. That's the place where I want to be. I love Lubbock and I love coach Kingsbury and everybody and I love his system." -Cameron Batson

"Texas Tech is the perfect fit for me," -Byron Daniels

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