There are a lot of questions heading into spring ball. Over the next several days leading up to the first practice we'll be looking at five of the biggest questions surrounding the team one question, one day at a time. Monday we discussed the coaching staff, Tuesday the defensive line. Next up:
3. How will Texas Tech replace DeAndre Washington?
It won't be easy and the lazy answer to this question is "by committee". Well, that's great, but who will be the central characters making this happen?
Making the task even more difficult is the fact Tech has lost two running back coaches; Mike Jinks and Jabar Juluke since Dre played his last game in scarlet and black. Kingsbury has stated he wants to find a replacement before spring ball so stay tuned on that front.
Here's a list of some of Dre's accomplishments and please feel free to point out any I missed in the thread and I will add it here:
Some of his other highlights include:
- First team All-Big 12 honors
- The first Tech RB to rush for over 1,000 yards since 1998
- The first Tech RB to rush for over 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons since 1996
- Finished his career with the fifth most rushing yards in program history
Welp, the good news is we all were able to witness his great Tech career which included rehabbing back from a catastrophic knee injury to becoming one of the top running backs in Red Raider history. The bad news is he's gone, on his way to beginning an NFL career and Tech must now replace his production.
Here are the candidates to replace him:
Justin Stockton: The junior to be has rushed for 763 yards on 109 carries (7.0 YPC) and nine touchdowns, plus caught 34 passes for 417 yards and seven scores while also returning 19 kicks for 284 yards (14.9 YPR) in his first two seasons at Tech. My take: I think he'll definitely get more touches next season, but I still see him as more of a factor back who will be utilized all over the formation by Kingsbury. He's just too valuable as a home run threat and counter to be just stuck back there next to Pat as an every down back.
Demarcus Felton: The redshirt sophomore hasn't been given a lot of carries, in fact just six last season, but on one of those he ripped off a 53-yard scoring run against Iowa State. My take: Everyone talks about what a good player he is, including Washington who has been quoted as saying he "can't wait for y'all to see what Demarcus is about, how good he is". Every time I have seen him in practice he has been very impressive. I expect him to be the every down back next season and to receive the most carries.
Corey Dauphine: The 2015 four-star signee sat out last season with the redshirt. My take: Dauphine redshirting last season hasn't stopped the chatter about his exploits in practice and the weight room. At 6-foot-2, 215 pounds with near Olympic speed, he is a physical specimen and could be a wildcard in the backfield. If he explodes on the scene Kingsbury won't hesitate to give some of Stockton and Felton's touches to him.
Quinton White: The senior to be has gained over 400 yards from scrimmage in his career. My take: White saw his production dip last season as he transitioned to more of a fullback role. It remains to be seen exactly how they plan to use Q next season, but there is no doubt the staff would feel comfortable turning to him as a rusher, receiver and blocker in any situation.
Da'Leon Ward: The 2016 signee rushed for almost 4,600 yards and 46 touchdowns the past three seasons at Dallas Skyline. My take: Ward isn't scheduled to hit campus until after the spring semester, but Kingsbury has said on more than one occasion Ward could see the field as a freshman next season due to his versatility. I'm a huge fan of Ward, but hope he redshirts due to the depth at the position.