At the X position:
Hicks is quite arguably the best receiver in the Big 12, maybe even the best in the country. His amalgamation of size, agility, hands, and speed is enough to give defensive backs nightmares. Without question, he will be a significant part of the Red Raider offense this fall. Expect this preseason All-American to have another exceptional season and receive quite a bit of attention from NFL scouts before his Senior year.
Life is tough when you play in the same slot as one of the top receivers in the nation. Just ask Brandon Douglas. From everything we have seen of him, he appears to be a talented receiver who would be starting at nearly any other school. That being said, he is a very solid backup for Hicks. He will have his chance to prove himself early in the season, as he will likely see substantial playing time in the first three games.
3) Todd Walker
The question surrounding Todd Walker is whether to redshirt him or not. He could be a valuable contributor this year at any receiver slot, but who would he replace? If anything, he would be more of a role-specific player as opposed to a true starter. Considering our depth at receiver, I think the best call would be to redshirt him this year unless one of our starters gets hurt. As of right now, he is best fit for the X position based on the composition of the depth chart and his style of play. However, the question marks at the Z spot could get him some playing time this year or perhaps start at Z next year.
At the H position:
Red Raider fans will not soon forget the legendary Wes Welker. However, Welker's time in a Tech jersey has come and gone, and the void he left as a receiver and returner has been more than filled by Danny Amendola. As a true freshman, Danny has managed to put up numbers as good or better than Welker's first year in most of the statistical categories. Amendola has already proven himself to be capable of changing the course of a football game anytime he touches the football. Needless to say, his future looks to be extremely bright as a Red Raider.
2) Slade Hodges
Slade Hodges has one distinct advantage over all of the other Texas Tech receivers in that he grew up the twin brother of Cody Hodges, this season's projected starting quarterback. Due to playing sports together their whole lives, they have the special sibling connection of knowing what each other will do next. If you don't believe this makes a difference, ask Oklahoma State and the Woods brothers. However, even without considering his kinship to Cody, Slade is a sure-handed receiver who is very capable of being a solid contributor to the Texas Tech offense.
3) Eric Morris
Eric Morris played the Spring with more heart than nearly anyone else on the team. Unfortunately, he has extremely tough competition at the H position. However, as a Freshman, he has plenty of time to move up the depth chart. If he continues to play with this kind of intensity, he will likely see the field somewhere during his Tech career.
At the Y Position:
Robert Johnson transferred to Texas Tech from Reedley Junior College last season and was redshirted in 2004 as the coaches tried to find the position where he would fit in best in the Red Raider offense. It appears they made the right call in putting him at the Y receiver slot. Johnson was one of the pleasant surprises of the Spring practices, looking remarkably comfortable as a receiver. His hands are soft enough to handle any type of pass, and his speed, size, and agility were never in question. Look for him to be a major contributor next season.
2) L.A. Reed
L.A. Reed was redshirted last year, but looks to be progressing nicely in the system. He may see some playing time early in the season, but Robert Johnson will be the starter in the tougher games. Still, with his natural athletic ability, Reed has the potential to step up and become an asset to the team sometime in the future.
Anthony Jenkins continually impressed us during the Spring. He will easily move up the depth chart quickly if he sustains the stellar play he showed everyone during the Spring. He made many outstanding catches, and has good speed and agility. He may have more potential than any other receiver on the team. However, he needs to run with more control, as he was the most prone to slip and fall during the practices.
At the Z position:
1) Joel Filani
Joel Filani has some of the best breakaway speed on the team. Only the All-American Hicks is as good at he is at leaving defensive backs in the dust. However, his speed has never been questioned, as his critics have always pointed to his problems catching the ball. Fortunately, it appears that he worked some of this out in the Spring. There were still inconsistencies, but overall, his hands have improved. Still, he will undoubtedly prove to be valuable at burning defensive backs deep all year long for a few touchdowns.
2) Cody Fuller
Cody Fuller will see the field often during the year, most likely splitting receiving duties with Filani. It is likely that Filani will play for most of the deep routes, while Fuller will do so for the shorter patterns. Expect him in a role similar to that of Trey Haverty's season last year. He is also one of the toughest players on the team, as he proved last year by withstanding several serious hits. With his reliable hands, he could very well get the ball thrown his way in third-down situations.
Marquis Johnson will also likely see the field this year during a few games. He was heralded coming out of high school with his tremendous ability, but he has taken some time learning the Texas Tech spread offense. However, everything signifies that he is ready to play this year and become the star we all heard about.