LUBBOCK, Texas — There's a reason great offensive players continue to come to Texas Tech and flourish.
Words like "Air Raid" and "No. 1 Offense" have become synonymous with Tech and the Double-T. But one group has specifically set themselves apart from the rest in creating an identity that brings to mind a couple of other schools.
USC was "Running Back U" after players like Charles White, O.J. Simpson and Marcus Allen came through the program and it continued with another Heisman winner in Reggie Bush (ok we won't go too deep into that).
Texas Tech has become not just a place for quarterbacks to flourish, but also the guys on the other end — welcome to Receiver U.
"We wear that name on those shirts proud," sophomore wide receiver Alex Torres said following a practice last season. "That's something that this place has become known for and we just want to keep that tradition going."
Torres returns with all of last year's group, excluding Edward Britton and now have the opportunity to learn under inside receivers coach Sonny Cumbie, a graduate intern last season, and outside receivers coach Tommy Mainord.
Mainord joins Tech after he served as the co-offensive coordinator at Sam Houston State in 2008 while recruiting west Houston for the Bearkats. Mainord coached D.D. Terry who rushed for a school-record 1,328 yards to rank seventh nationally among football championship subdivision schools and led the Southland Conference with 132.8 yards per game.
Mainord came to Sam Houston after working the previous six years as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Tarleton State.
His father, Carlos Mainord, was the safeties coach at Texas Tech before retiring in the offseason.
Tommy Mainord said the chance to be a coach at a school like Texas Tech and be involved with the offense was something he just could not pass up.
"We've got a lot of talented kids out here who are going to be able to help put some points on the board," Mainord said during spring practices. "I think with the experience of guys like Detron (Lewis), Alex (Torres) and others, it gives us a good chance to keep winning."
That group caught 310 passes for 3,851 yards and 31 touchdowns with Torres (67 catches), Lewis (844 yards) and Leong (9 touchdowns) leading in the three categories.
The receivers look to be even more improved this season with a more physical approach to their line drills and route running and two big additions that showed plenty of promise in the spring.
Inside receiver Cornelius Douglas and outside receiver Eric Ward were two players to constantly keep your eyes on during spring scrimmages. Douglas ended his spring semester with five catches for 106 yards and a zig-zag touchdown that gave fans a preview of what he can do next season.
"This spring was a big step for me," Douglas said. "Hopefully, if I just keep working hard, I will continue to improve and be able to contribute all year long. This group can do a lot and there's no reason to think that we are going to just put up more yards and more scores next season."