Graham Harrell continues to have a terrific fall and should have an outstanding season. He makes his reads very quickly and has even shown a willingness to scramble when the need arises. While he was technically sacked during the scrimmage today, it is more likely that he would have been able to roll away from the pressure (which he was doing) and complete the pass downfield.
Taylor Potts also had a good day of practice, although he continues to be inconsistent with his reads and checking down too often. Potts has improved on this but he also often looks for Lyle Leong early in his reads, which could be a dangerous trend.
Steven Sheffield threw a pass to Tramain Swindall during practice that was absolutely flying through the air. Swindall caught the pass and was able to take it all the way to the end zone. Sheffield could surprise some people if he is able to stay with the team and continue to progress as he has done so far. Stefan Loucks needs serious work before he is anywhere near seeing the field and Bobby Scott is a bit of an enigma since he doesn't see the field often in practice, although he was running routes as a receiver late during yesterday's practice.
Quarterback Depth Chart
Starter: Graham Harrell
Back-Up: Taylor Potts
3rd String: Steven Sheffield
Scout Team: Stefan Loucks/Bobby Scott
Overall Grade - A
Kobey Lewis was, for the first time in recent history, not the most impressive of the running backs. Lewis had a few decent rushes but was held nicely in check by the defense. Shannon Woods had a run that would have been a near touchdown but he tripped as he was going through the line and fell to the turf after a four-yard gain. Baron Batch had another good day, although he did fumble after catching a screen pass.
Aaron Crawford, Jared Flannel, and Ryan Hayes continue to man the scout team offense with the return of Baron Batch. Look for both Crawford and Flannel to red shirt unless something unforeseen happens.
Running Backs Depth Chart
Starter: Kobey Lewis
Back Up: Shannon Woods /Baron Batch
Scout Team: Ryan Hayes, Jared Flannel, Aaron Crawford Overall Grade - A-
Wide Receivers/Big H&Y:
Michael Crabtree had a very strong day today and had several nice catches during the scrimmage. Crabtree is not the fastest receiver that the Red Raiders have but he is by far the most elusive. Edward Britton had a few nice catches as did LA Reed but Lyle Leong was the second most impressive behind Crabtree.
Eric Morris seemed to have a frustrating day, especially after he was overthrown while running wide open down the field. Kelly Hildebrandt had several nice catches (3 to be exact) but did hear the foot steps coming and short armed a pass that probably could have been caught. Tramain Swindall had an outstanding catch on a post route from the Y receiving position that went for a touchdown as he outran the entire defense to the end zone. Tramain is slowly building confidence and could be the Red Raiders next big time Y receiver.
Jacoby Franks had a terrific touchdown grab when he was working with the scout team and scored easily as he ran a drag route across the back of the end zone. Franks has unlimited upside if he can add some weight to his skinny frame. Detron Lewis returned to action today and had several nice catches, although he did drop a lateral on a screen pass that was recovered by the defense. Rashad Hawk continues to impress but also is seeing the fewest passes of the new Texas Tech receivers.
Receiver Depth Chart -
Z- Michael Crabtree, Lyle Leong, Landon Hoefer
Y- Danny Amendola, G. Walker (Injured), Tramain Swindall
H- Eric Morris, Kelly Hildebrandt/Detron Lewis
X- LA Reed, Eddie Britton, Brik Brinker (Todd Walker, injured)
Overall Grade - B
The starting offensive line did a good job protecting quarterback Graham Harrell and blocking for the running game, at least until the Red Raiders were inside the 5 yard line. A false start penalty, short completion and sack later the Red Raiders were held out of the end zone. In a strange change, Louis Vasquez was once again at guard and Marlon Winn at left tackle. This might have been an experiment by Coach Moore or signify a greater change in his assignments.
Jake Johnson is starting to see time as both a guard and tackle. He looks best at right tackle but could play guard in a pinch. The second team line saw the most work of any of the lines today and did a good job, especially in protecting quarterback Steven Sheffield. Chris Olson and Stephen Hamby seem to be developing serious chemistry as the back-ups on the left side of the line. Lonnie Edwards worked with the second team and the scouts today.
The scout team line was handled roughly during the scrimmage today but they were also often matched up against older and more experienced players. Blake Emert continues to impress at his new center position while Mickey Okafor looks like a natural right tackle. Jerrod Gooch continues to have flashes of greatness followed by freshman mistakes at left tackle.
Offensive Line Depth Chart -
Right Tackle: Rylan Reed, Jake Johnson, Mickey Okafor
Left Guard: Marlon Winn, Adrian Archie/Lonnie Edwards, Landon Burge
Left Tackle: Louis Vasquez, Chris Olson, Jerrod Gooch
Overall Grade - B-
Defensive Line :
A defensive end group that looked to have more players than positions is a perfect example of why depth is important. With Brandon Sharpe still dealing with a death in his family and Tyler Yenzer being held out of practice after an injury to his neck, the unit has lost almost a quarter of its scholarship players. However, those left behind are doing a great job of taking up the slack. Jake Ratliff is still working well on the strong side and seems to have improved his burst off of the ball in just the last week while Sandy Riley and Brandon Williams continue to split reps on the weak side as Tyler Yenzer recovers from his injuries. Phillip Jones is a Jake Ratliff clone and it is difficult to tell who is who without looking at the numbers. Perhaps the biggest impression has been made by Daniel Howard, a transfer end who was written off at the beginning of practice that is starting to make his presence felt. Howard had several tackles for loss today and was even seen to go from a defensive end 3-point stance to an upright 3-4 linebacker stance.
It is all but official that Rajon Henley will start at one of the tackle spots for the Red Raiders this coming season. Henley is difficult to block at the point of attack and does an outstanding job of using his speed to exploit mistakes by the opponent's offensive line. Clint Stoffels did a good job against he run today but he was also hit with a 15-yard face-masking penalty as he tried to reach out and make a tackle. Richard and Brian Jones continue to provide great depth for the Red Raiders and while they are not the best pass rushers on the team the two of them might be some of the best run stoppers just because they are difficult to move out of the way. Bobby Agoucha and Colby Whitlock continue to rotate in with the back up defense while it appears that David Neill is close to being red shirted. Not for lack of talent but to save his skills and not let him lose a year of eligibility when there is no need to.
Strong Side (left) end: Jake Ratliff, Phillip Jones, Daniel Howard
Defensive Tackle (left): Rajon Henley, Brian Jones, Bobby Agoucha
Nose Guard (right): Clint Stoffels, Richard Jones, Colby Whitlock
Weak side (right) end: Brandon Williams, Tyler Yenzer(Injured)/Sandy Riley, Brandon Sharpe
Overall Grade - A-
It was a more quiet day for the linebackers today as they made the routine play. Marlon Williams and Chad Hill continue to rotate at the weak side and it appears that a decision on the starter should be made by next Thursday. Paul Williams was in on several run plays but didn't have the chance to get in on much coverage work today. Williams is a very active middle linebacker who plays sideline to sideline and should give the Red Raiders the speed that they have been looking for in the middle.
Blake Collier returned to practice today and saw some action as a middle linebacker in some of the 3-4 defensive sets. Victor Hunter continues to man the middle with the second team but it appears that the race for the strong side back-up is more open than previously thought. Defensive Coordinator Lyle Setencich said that Bront Bird, Brian Duncan, Ty Linder, and Taylor Read were all receiving consideration for that position. It appears that the decision on whether or not to red shirt Bird is still up in the air, particularly after he made several punishing tackles during the scrimmage today.
Sam Fehoko and Tyrone Sonier worked with the scouts today during the scrimmage and acquitted themselves well. These two don't yet have the needed knowledge to be good as linebackers but their instincts are good enough they should be able to learn coverage and become valuable Texas Tech linebackers in the future.
Linebackers Depth Chart
Weak Side Linebacker: Chad Hill/Marlon Williams, Julius Howard, Blake Collier (Injured), Tyrone Sonier
Middle Linebacker: Paul Williams, Victor Hunter/Marlon Williams, Ryan Hale, Sam Fehoko
Strong Side Linebacker: Kellen Tillman, Ty Linder, Brian Duncan/Bront Bird
Overall Grade - A
The cornerbacks were a big part of the defensive backs having an outstanding day. They played tough and hard with several good tackles of elusive receivers. Chris Parker is a starter but it seems that cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell is rotating in junior Marcus Bunton to spell sophomore Jamar Wall. Wall is also the third defensive back in certain sets so this may be an attempt to keep him fresh and well rested. De'Shon Sanders and LaRon Moore had good days with several good tackles by each player. Sanders also had a particularly nice break-up of a pass intended for Jacoby Franks.
Darcel McBath was a force against both the run and the pass today with several good plays all around. Joey Garcia didn't incite any riots at practice today but had both good coverage and was helpful in stopping the run on several tosses. Daniel "Danny Duke" Charbonnet seems to be working his way up in the world and is by far the best of the strong safeties in coverage. Lance Fuller and Anthony Hines were working with the second string defense today and both looked up to the challenge. Red shirt freshman Brett Dewhurst had several nice plays and is one of the few young safeties on the Red Raiders roster.
Secondary Depth Chart -
Right Cornerback: Chris Parker, Marcus Bunton, Brent Nickerson, De'Shon Sanders
Free Safety: Darcel McBath, Daniel Charbonnet/Lance Fuller, Jordy Rowland
Strong Safety: Joe Garcia, Anthony Hines, Daniel Charbonnet
Left Cornerback: Jamar Wall, Pete Richardson/LaRon Moore
Overall Grade - A+
Now it's time for some awards
Offensive MVP: Graham Harrell
Defensive MVP: Secondary
Mr. Underrated: Daniel Howard
New Comer of the Day: Tramain Swindall
Come back tomorrow for the next RaiderPower Practice report!