Indispensable: absolutely necessary.
This is not a team's most valuable player or a team's most important player, but players on a team that we can't live without. We're going to run through the top 10 most indispensable Texas Tech Red Raiders. Here's the countdown:
Player: Edward Britton
Position: Wide Receiver
You wouldn't necessarily think that a guy who only caught 10 passes last year would be the 7th most indispensible player for Texas Tech, but I believe that Ed's development is vital to the offense's success this year. I've thought for quite some time that the key to the sustained and future offensive dominance of Texas Tech is recruiting wide receivers who have speed that can stretch the field. It's not rocket science, the thought is simple enough. If Harrell can get the ball down field, and the stats show that he can, then it's more likely that things will open up in the middle of the field, making life easier for everyone. Most of the receivers who have been stars at Texas Tech were great for what they were, but few have had the serious speed that Britton brings to the table. Granted, Filani had comparable speed and it would be easy to point out that he was one of the main reasons why Texas Tech was so successful last year.
Recruited as a running back, Britton was moved to wide receiver last year. Considering the depth at running back, including incoming recruits, this was a wise move on Ed's part to accept the challenge and make the move. Britton runs a 4.51 40 yard dash (Rivals and Scout) and is by all accounts a good kid.
The key here is that Britton is an explosive player, who is adept at making people miss in the open field because of his time spent at running back, but more importantly has speed that hasn't consistently been on the field for Texas Tech. And perhaps, it's just not his speed, but the improved speed of the entire receiving corp that will benefit this offense and not just one player. Crabtree (4.5), Leong (4.5), Reese (4.6), Reed (4.6), Franks (4.5), Hawk (4.48) and Lewis (4.66) all have pretty good speed. This unit could do more damage because of it's overall collective speed.
Nevertheless, I think that it's Britton that makes a huge difference for this team this year. It's more of a gut feeling that anything else, although I think Leong will be somewhat of a surprise this year too. I have visions of Ed breaking open field tackles and easily out-running secondaries to score touchdowns and think that the Red Raiders would have a successful season if he were the 2nd most productive receiver for Texas Tech.