January 12, 2012

Spring Look: The WRs

How do things stand with the Red Raiders as they prepare for spring football? We will be breaking down the team position group by position group to give you a good idea of what to expect once Texas Tech opens spring practice on Feb. 17.

We're continuing with the outside receiver position group.

The dominant story

All and all, Texas Tech appears to have a pretty good group of wideouts even if receiver Alex Torres isn't ready to go.

Senior Darrin Moore looked back to nearly full speed in the final two games of the 2011 season against Missouri and Baylor and junior Eric Ward had a breakout year with 800 yards and 11 touchdowns on 84 receptions for an average of 9.5 yards per catch.

Moore appeared poised for a dominant junior campaign, but that dream ended when he suffered a compound leg and ankle injury on his first catch attempt of the Nevada game back on Sept. 24. From there, he played sporadically and wasn't awfully noticeable until the Missouri game Nov. 19.

If Moore can keep healthy, the passing game should have a big year.

Bradley Marquez also can be a big time player as both an outside receiver or inside receiver.

Transfers

Gulf Coast (Miss.) Community College transfer Javon Bell will be a big addition to the Red Raider receiving corps and it will be exciting to see where he fits in to the mix.

Bell has some good breakaway speed and an uncanny vertical that allows him to play a lot bigger than 6-foot, 175 pounds. He also has pretty good balance to gain some extra yards after being tripped up by a defender.

Then there's Tyson Williams.

The West Texas A&M transfer is eligible after sitting out the 2011 season per NCAA transfer rules.

Williams, an Aldine, Texas, standout has good size at 5-foot-11 and a bulky 218 pounds. He'll probably remind you of Ward in the way he runs and how he can get through the first tackler. In addition to that, Williams appears to have the ability to track the ball through the air and adjust his routes.

Williams only has room to improve and could be the ideal substitution for Ward in the wideout rotation.

Expecting improvement

Tech needs more output from Marcus Kennard who was highly touted when he arrived on campus from junior college. He was injured through most of last year's spring practice, but he was a non-factor on game days and averaged just 16.5 yards per game.

You have to expect more from your two for two guys.

Derek Edwards is coming out of his redshirt freshman year and it will be exciting to see what he brings to the table this spring.

Edwards has the height and speed to contribute and probably will remind you a lot of former Red Raider Lyle Leong. Only time will tell if he's as effective though.

This could be a breakout year for Edwards, but it might not be until 2012 that he's seriously considered for the two-deep. Spring will be telling.

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