Football

Texas Tech Fall Camp Position Battles: Reginald Davis vs. Dylan Cantrell

We start this series with a look at the Z-receiver position: Reginald Davis vs. Dylan Cantrell.

Tale of the Tape

Reginald Davis Category Dylan Cantrell
6-0/184 Ht/Wt 6-3/213
Junior Year Junior
29 Receptions 20
318 Yards 312
5 TD’s 2
10.97 Avg Yds/Catch 15.6

Staking The Plains Staff

Brian: I feel that, currently, Cantrell is the best play in terms of who should start at Z right now. The other 3 starting receivers (Lauderdale, Grant, Sadler) are all under 6-0, so Cantrell’s size alone would warrant him a place on the field. When coupled with his sure-hands and the already existing rapport he enjoys with former high school teammate Pat Mahomes, Cantrell turns into the best kind of safety blanket for our offense when Pat leaves the pocket. In my dreams the two will work on-field a la Manziel & Mike Evans did throughout the ’13 season. Big and range-y should work as a great Z complement to speedy Lauderdale’s X. As much as I love Reg, a lot of that is still based on the equity he earned from me during the 2013 season; a version of him that all but disappeared in 2014. VERDICT: Cantrell

MeestahRogers: Davis has shown flashes at being an outstanding outside receiver. When he was on, he was stretching the field and making defenders look silly in the open field. But this also has as much to do with my thinking that Dylan Cantrell may not be an outside receiver in this offense. He has shown his issues with getting open versus the cover corners in the league. I think he may be better suited inside against linebackers and safeties. Back to Davis. I think if he can get his head back into it (he seemingly disappeared in the middle of 2014 through the end of the season), he can hold down that other outside receiver position opposite of Lauderdale. Having said that, though, the coaching staff did go out and recruit 6 wide receivers in this last class, and Davis is taller than only 1 of them. I honestly don’t think we’ll see a full year starter over at Z, especially if some of the younger, bigger receivers catch on. VERDICT: Davis

Seth: I think I’m starting out with one of the tougher battles and one where I don’t think there will be a clear winner. In fact, I’d guess with this spot that you could have a different guy starting every week because I tend to think that receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini will let that competition play out because there’s no reason why it shouldn’t. Davis is more talented in that he can absolutely break plays that Cantrell simply cannot, but Davis’ biggest issue has been consistency and fighting each and every play. Chiaverini mentioned how Davis has to be more consistent when, spoke on Tech Talk, about how these receivers need run the play and clear and to also embrace being uncomfortable with that spotlight on you. Davis is the home run threat, but Cantrell has traits that Davis doesn’t have either. Cantrell catches everything thrown his way and has a terrific ability to go up the ladder and grab a pass, both traits Davis lacks. Cantrell has had a problem getting off the line of scrimmage and getting down the field, but he should prove to be a fantastic redzone target. Combined, they caught nearly 50 passes, which isn’t even close enough for this position. Davis was roundly praised for having a pretty good spring and then the arrest came for Davis. This hasn’t appeared to be a huge deal (again, to emphasize, Davis just had possession and was not under the influence) to the coaching staff, one that they will handle in-house. Even though I think Davis had terrific spring, I’m going to take Cantrell here as the guy that I think will start and will have better stats at the end of the year. VERDICT: Cantrell

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