Recruiting class brings renewed hope to Lubbock

Signing day has come and gone, and in the process Texas Tech Head Coach Mike Leach has put together the best recruiting class of his tenure at Texas Tech. While recruiting classes don't always work out as coaches plan, this class has left Texas Tech fans with a view of a bright future for the up and coming program.

Answering questions about the quarterback seems to be a new tradition for the Texas Tech football program. After Kliff Kingsbury graduated, Mike Leach came through with a record breaking performance by B.J. Symons. Now with Symons graduated, the Red Raiders once again have people questioning the ability of their high powered offense to produce with a new signal caller. This recruiting class brings one of the top quarterback classes in the nation to Lubbock. Quarterbacks Graham Harrell and Robert Johnson will be among the players fighting for the rights to guide the Red Raiders' passing attack. While Leach says he is happy with his current quarterbacks, the odds on favorite for the starting spot is Robert Johnson. Johnson is not only a capable passer, but Coach Leach says that his feet are as good as anybody he has ever coached. It is unlikely that Coach Leach would bring in the JUCO transfer just to have him sit on the bench, so Johnson should be in the lead heading into spring practice. It should be interesting to see how Leach incorporates the running ability of the speedy quarterback into the already potent Texas Tech offense. IF Johnson wins the job, look for Harrell to be redshirted for the 2004 season.

The potential impact players don't stop there. At wide receiver, the Red Raiders will look to make use of Marquis Johnson. Johnson was a highly regarded recruit out of high school. After committing to Texas, the receiver ended up going to Hutchinson Community College. Now the 6'3" wide receiver will be looking to make an impact as part of the nation's top offense. While Texas Tech has had plenty of quality receivers under Mike Leach, Johnson is the first receiver to fit the mold of the prototypical NFL receiver. Johnson comes to Lubbock with the potential to change the game every time he touches the ball.

How much higher can the Texas Tech offense go? Despite what some may think, there is still room for improvement on the offensive side of the ball. The duo of Robert Johnson and Marquis Johnson could be just what Coach Leach needs to work some more of his offensive magic in Lubbock. The thought of adding a scrambling quarterback and a true playmaker at wide receiver to a n already explosive offense will have opposing defensive coordinators dreading the task of facing Texas Tech. While some experts will undoubtedly focus on the players that the Red Raiders have lost, they are missing the possibility that this team might be even more talented than it was last season.

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