Whitley Looking to Improve

Sophomore offensive lineman E.J. Whitley made an almost immediate impact in his first season as a Red Raider. He played in all 13 games, and started the final 10 games of the season. Whitley, along with the rest of the Texas Tech offensive line, played an important role in the Red Raiders' Big 12 leading offense.

E.J. Whitley earned a spot in the starting lineup early in the 2002 season, but he knows he still has some room for improvement. "I got a lot of playing time as a freshman, but the thing I had to work on most since last summer was my strength, my decisions on the field, and my pad level," said Whitley.

The Red Raiders lost Rex Richards to graduation this year, but they return the four remaining starters. "Losing Rex was a very, very big loss, but we still have Toby Cecil and Casey Keck as the two biggest leaders on the line this year, and they'll bring us through," said Whitley. "Cecil and Keck, they'll be our two main leaders. Toby is the big guy in the middle, he tells us what to do and we get the job done."

Even with the losses, he is optimistic about the offensive line. "We'll have a really good O-line this year," said Whitley. After an injury plagued spring, the offensive line is back at full strength and playing well. "Toby is back and he's doing good. He's moving well. Keck is moving good. Everyone is moving well. So we're real excited about this upcoming year," said Whitley. When asked about the key to a successful season on the offensive line, Whitley answered, "Everyone injury free."

Playing against the Texas Tech defensive line on a daily basis gives Whitley the chance to see just how good the defensive line is going to be during this upcoming season. "Our D-Line is going to be very good," said Whitley. "They're very young, they might go through some growing pains, but they're going to be a very good D-line."

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