Position Preview: Receivers

Are the receivers the best unit on the Texas Tech football team heading into the 2003 season? The offensive line may have something to say about that, but the receivers are definitely going to be good. With the starters already set, the biggest questions right now surround the backups.

The Texas Tech receiving corp enters the 2003 season with all but one starter returning. The lone loss was Anton Paige, who graduated. The Red Raiders showed what they can do without Anton by finishing the season strong after he was sidelined with a knee injury. The starters are going to be Carlos Francis, Wes Welker, and Nehemiah Glover and the receiver spots, and Mickey Peters playing tight end. This group caught a combined 252 passes for 3,108 yards and 32 touchdowns. Glover is the only player in the group who wasn't a starter for all of last season, but he did catch 52 passes in 2002.

The situation at backup is a little more confused. Joel Filani will probably be backing up Francis. Filani has added some muscle over the summer, and looks to have all the makings of a great receiver. Jarrett Hicks should backup Glover, while Trey Haverty is able to backup any position. There is no clear backup at tight end right now. It is likely that a number of players will see action at the position, especially during the first two games.

How good will this group be? This group of receivers is probably the best receiving corp in the country. B.J. Symons' ability to throw the deep ball will obviously benefit Carlos Francis, but it will also help others. Players like Glover and Welker, who excel at gaining yards after the catch, will benefit from the defense being forced to worry about the deep ball. The additional space should make these two even more dangerous.

How will this unit perform on the field? Look for Wes Welker to once again lead the team in receiving yards. His ability to get first downs will continue to make him one of the favorite targets in the offense. Nehemiah glover should lead the team in touchdowns this season. Glover is a receiver who can turn any catch into a big play. This big play ability, combined with his uncanny ability to run the fade route in the end zone, will add up to many touchdowns this season. Carlos Francis will have improved numbers this season thanks to more deep passes thrown his way. Mickey Peters will also have another solid season at tight end. He isn't a flashy player, but he is an important part of the offense, and always puts up good numbers.

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