Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell once again had a tremendous day leading the starting offense and looks as confident as ever. Harrell doesn't seem to miss a read and is consistently throwing to both sides of the field without seeming to have a preference for any one receiver. He also does a great job working with the running-back rotation.
Taylor Potts had a solid day of practice but his decision making is still somewhat of an issue, particularly in the amount of time that it takes him to make his decision. Potts also has a tremendously strong arm and it allowed him to make a nice throw in traffic today, though it was dropped by Todd Walker.
Steven Sheffield is continuing to be a good option as the 3rd quarterback and showed off some serious arm strength today on a beautiful pass to Landon Hoeffer, while Hoeffer made a great catch and was then obliterated for his efforts.
Stefan Loucks had what one could consider his first good day of practice today and actually looked comfortable working with the 2nd team offense as opposed to his typical hesitation. Seth Doege has yet to take any snaps with the starting offense but during downtime today was running full speed sprints with no issues. His knees do not appear to be an issue at all and he should be able to grow and develop during his expected red-shirt year.
Quarterback Depth Chart
Starter: Graham Harrell
Back-Up: Taylor Potts
3rd String: Steven Sheffield
Scout Team: Seth Doege /Stefan Loucks
Overall Grade - A
Shannon Woods and Aaron Crawford dominated the running-back position reps today. Woods looked very explosive while Crawford had a run of nearly 25 yards that involved dragging a would-be tackler the entire way. Woods had a great run after the catch on a screen, but that was primarily because of a great block by Chris Olson flying down the field.
Kobey Lewis and Baron Batch spent most of the day with the scout team, once again only because there are only so many reps to go around. While it appeared earlier in the week that Woods had been completely beat out, he continues to improve and this may be a three horse race with Woods, Batch, and Crawford before it is all said and done.
Running Backs Depth Chart
Starter: Kobey Lewis, Aaron Crawford, Baron Batch
Back-Up: Shannon Woods
Overall Grade - A-
Wide Receivers/Big H&Y:
Michael Crabtree was off early in practice but after absorbing a some-what questionable hit during practice that required minor medical attention to his lip/gun, Crabtree went on to score on a 40 yard slip screen and terrorize the defense as he usually does. Detron Lewis had a good, not great, day. He did drop several catchable passes but was able to take a crossing route most of the way down the field as he out-ran Brian Duncan while Duncan was panting "Man, he's to fast."
Eddie Britton had a good day, including being a member of the Britton/Lance Fuller duo that started the first huge fight of the spring. Britton caught just about everything thrown his way to and looked solid blocking downfield. Leong had several great catches and one particularly nice block on a screen-play during the pass-skeleton drill early in practice.
Tramain Swindall had a quiet, though effective day, with few balls being thrown in his direction but he did do a nice job catching those in his vicinity.
Eric Morris dominated today with great catches in traffic and it seems nearly impossible for him to drop the ball after he has his hands on it. Morris' back-up, Adam James also had a good day with several surprisingly good off-balance catches that one wouldn't expect from a player who looked somewhat clumsy this time last year.
Rashad Hawk again had a mildly off day and appears to be developing a bit of an "I'm always open, throw me the freaking ball" mentality.
Todd Walker struggled a little today but mostly because of a somewhat gimpy ham-string pull at sometime on Thursday.
Receiver Depth Chart -
Z- Michael Crabtree, Todd Walker, Landon Hoeffer, Jacoby Franks
Y- Detron Lewis, Tramain Swindall,
X- Eddie Britton, Lyle Leong, Rashad Hawk, Brik Brinker
Overall Grade - A-
Mickey Okafor had a pretty good day at left tackle but it could be said that for the first time this spring he struggled a little with outside rush from Daniel Howard and McKinner Dixon. Okafor would have certainly been called for holding at one point while blocking Howard, though he did do a great job on a run-block down the field.
Brandon Carter and Shawn Byrnes had quiet days inside while the interior line was for the first time seriously challenged by the defensive line. Byrnes and Carter blocked well in passing situations but were given fits early during the team portion of practice by the defenders on the other side of the line from them.
Louis Vasquez was his old self today and recorded three consecutive pancakes on running plays today during practice and was by far the most dominant of offensive linemen today.
Justin Keown and Chris Olson are the guards of the future for the Red Raiders as both continue to excel on the left and right side of the lines, respectively. Olson was a one-man convoy down the field leading Shannon Woods through a tunnel of defenders on the East sideline of Jones Stadium.
Offensive Line Depth Chart -
Right Guard: Brandon Carter , Stephen Hamby, Dominique Delpeche
Center: Shawn Byrnes, Stephen Hamby /Justin Keown, Blake Emert
Overall Grade - B
Defensive Line :
Brandon Williams and McKinner Dixon returned to practice and along with Daniel Howard, it gave the defense a huge boost. While Brandon Williams has the advantage because of playing time and experience, Dixon and Howard both continues to make plays and at the conclusion of any-given play, these three can be seen running until the whistle is blown.
The entire interior of the defensive line excelled today and showed potential to become a dominant presence in the coming season. Richard Jones played with a tenacity that he had yet to show and Chris Perry was absolutely eating offensive linemen alive inside. Rajon Henley showed serious speed as he ran down a toss from the near hashmark to the East sideline and Colby Whitlock was his usual aggressive self.
Jake Ratliff had another good day but appears to have more serious competition than was originally though from Brandon Sharpe. Sharpe is faster than Ratliff and carries more weight in a shorter package. While he would be unlikely to completely take Ratliff's job, it will be interesting to see how the situation looks come August with the addition of Brandon Sesay.
Strong Side (left) end: Jake Ratliff, Brandon Sharpe
Defensive Tackle (left): Rajon Henley, Richard Jones, David Neill, Joey Fowler (Injured)
Nose Guard (right): Colby Whitlock, Chris Perry,Clint Stoffels, Richard Jones
Weak side (right) end: Brandon Williams, Daniel Howard, Sandy Riley (injured)/McKinner Dixon (out),
Overall Grade - B+(tackles)/A-(ends)
Brian Duncan had the best day of the starting linebackers followed closely by Marlon Williams and then Bront Bird, who for the first time this spring seemed to struggle. The issue with Bird is that he at times forgets what his responsibility is on a certain play and can get himself out of position.
Sam Fehoko finally had the light turn on today as he played like a man possessed. He also did a great job tracking down Shannon Woods and blowing the screen up before it had a chance to get started.
Linebackers Depth Chart
Weak Side Linebacker: Marlon Williams, Blake Collier, Julius Howard
Middle Linebacker: Brian Duncan, Victor Hunter (injured), Sam Fehoko
Strong Side Linebacker: Bront Bird, Tyrone Sonier, Julius Howard
Overall Grade - B+
LaRon Moore saw time at right corner back and had by far the best day at that position. Marcus Bunton, Pete Richardson, and Brent Nickerson also looked good but Moore had by far the best day with several great pass break-ups and good coverage.
De'Shon Sanders had a quiet day and didn't make much noise, though he nearly had a diving interception during the pass-skeleton drill.
Taylor Charbonnet continues to impress in his limited time on the field, though he was beaten today during 1-on-1 drills.
Chris Scott and Jared Flannel were once again on muscle-beach .
Darcel McBath edged out LA Reed for the best hit of the day as he separated Blake Kelly from the ball during the full-scrimmage portion of practice. Reed once again popped Ed Britton early in practice and looked stronger than ever at the strong safety position.
Secondary Depth Chart -
Right Cornerback: Marcus Bunton/Pete Richardson/Brent Nickerson, De'Shon Sanders
Strong Safety: Anthony Hines (Injured), Jordy Rowland, LA Reed/Lance Fuller
Left Cornerback: Jamar Wall, LaRon Moore (injured), Taylor Charbonnet, Jarrell Routt (injured)
Overall Grade - A-
Now it's time for some awards
Offensive MVP: Detron Lewis
Defensive MVP: Brian Duncan
Mr. Underrated: LaRon Moore
Freshman of the Day: Chris Perry
Come back tomorrow for the next RaiderPower P