Gridiron on the Plains: Depth Chartin’ the Wide Receivers

We take a look at the receiver position and make our best guess as to how the depth chart shakes out with the incoming freshmen and returning players.

X Receiver Y Receiver H Receiver Z Receiver
Devin Lauderdale
JR (6-0/181)
Ian Sadler
SO (5-10/198)
Jakeem Grant
SR (5-7/169)
Reginald Davis
JR (6-0/185)
Quan Shorts
FR (6-1/197)
Brad Pearson
SR (6-2/211)
Cameron Batson
SO (5-9/170)
Dylan Cantrell
JR (6-3/219)
Tony Brown
FR (6-0/187)
Caleb Woodward
SO (6-0/201)
Keke Coutee
FR (5-10/170)
Jakari Dillard
RS FR (6-4/196)
Ja’Deion High
SO (5-11/182)
Jonathan Giles
FR (6-0/175)
Zach Austin
SO (5-11/181)
J.F. Thomas
FR (6-4/180)
Kash Knutson
RS FR (5-11/183)
 Donta Thompson
FR (6-4/205)

Best Competition?

The easy answer is probably at Z Receiver since I think we could all say that the competition between Reginald Davis and Dylan Cantrell is an “or” rather than in any particular order. Given Davis’ recent off-the-field situation with the arrest for driving in possession of the marijuana, you wouldn’t be wrong to think that Cantrell is ahead of Davis. I don’t know. What I do know is that it is high time for either Davis or Cantrell to be significant players. Not just a guy, but guys that force defenses to make decisions. With the additional freshmen, I think we’re going to see a lot more competition moving forward. Without those freshmen, I think this group is in dire straits and with the freshmen, I think most of them are going to need to figure things out really quickly because once you get one or two deep, you need a freshman to step up, for the very least, to make competition tough.

Freshman Impact?

Just pick a spot. I think that the spot between Lauderdale is one that could go to Shorts or Shorts could be moved to Z if Thomas doesn’t make it. Still, there’s a true freshman at just about every spot. I think the one guy that we don’t talk enough about is Keke Coutee, who could be a real special player and think he could play inside or outside. Depending on who you ask, Coutee is 5-10, but I think he could also play outside in a pinch, sorta like Ian Sadler.

So Thomas is the most heralded, but there’s also question marks as to whether or not he’ll make the grades to get in right now. If I had to guess, my guess is that Thomas doesn’t make it. I hope I’m wrong about that.  I should say that I think that Thomas over-shadowed the other receivers and I think that Texas Tech signed 5 B+ type of receivers. Good make-up, good kids, highly productive in high school and all terrific athletes. I’m obviously biased, but for me, this group without Thomas were way too underrated in terms of their receiver class and by signing Thomas, everyone thought that this was “the guy” but those other four are really talented football players. So yeah, I’m overly in love with these guys, but I think they were all really great signs.

Expectations for 2015?

Before I get going here, let me know what I should be doing with Jakari Dillard? I don’t know where to put him, so I have him at Z. I hope he adds 30 points and is a killer tight end sort of player, but weight isn’t always easy to add even if your dad was a former defensive lineman. And I’ve put Donta Thompson over there at the Z as well, but I’m not sure where he’ll play this year.

Back to the expectations. I go back to what Darrin Chiaverini said about the wide receivers group, which is that there is pressure on them to be great. You either want that pressure or you shrink. You better not shrink. The pressure is on the outside guys to be consistently great. Every play and if I had to guess, I’d guess that they’ll be really good, but there’s other parts of me that just isn’t sure if Davis or Cantrell or anyone else is really going to be dominant. Maybe that’s the theme here, is that there are loads of players with potential. Huge upside, like Sadler and Lauderdale and Cantrell and Davis and Batson and so many others.  Texas Tech needs someone to be dominant and the stage is waiting.


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