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Texas Tech Depth Chartin' :: The Receivers

Previously on Texas Tech Depth Chartin' :: The Quarterbacks :: The Running Backs ::

Overall: I'm personally of the opinion that this is as talented and deep group of players in the Big 12. Biased? Absolutely. The entire receiving corps loses only one significant player from last year, Edward Britton, and returns virtually every contributor from a year ago. When trying to put together these depth charts, I always run into issues when trying to project past the top two players, and would even suggest that I have a problem projecting the top player. Take the inside receiver spots, H and Y. Towards the end of the year, Zouzalik was clearly the starter and Swindall was in Leach's doghouse for a bit. My rational for starting Swindall over Zouzalik is nothing more than I think that Zouzalik should take over Lewis' spot next year and be an absolute beast. Not to mention, I still believe that Swindall has a tremendous amount of potential and now it's up to him to do something with all of that talent. In any event, the point is that all of this is incredibly fluid, especially with a new coaching staff. I fully admit that there's a certain amount of futility with trying to designate positions for players when there hasn't even been a practice, but this is the sort of thing that's fun.

Lots of good discussion after the jump.

H Receiver

Player Ht/Wt Year Probable Role
Tramain Swindall 6-3/180 JR Possible Starter
Cornelius Douglas 5-9/193 SO First Backup
Adam James 6-3/215 JR Compete for Second Backup
Benjamin McRoy 5-9/160 FR Redshirt

Who Is Gone: No one.

Who Is Still Around: Tramain Swindall: As mentioned above this could easily go to either Zouzalik or Swindall, but it's Swindall for now. I really like Swindall's ability to break open games and he probably has as much, if not more, talent than any receiver on the roster. Swindall has the potential to absolutely explode and be a game-changing reciever. I'm guessing that Leach's biggest problem with Swindall was consistency. It's about working hard to get open each and every play and I would imagine that Swindall had a tough time figuring that out, which is why Zouzalik passed him on the depth chart. Swindall was one of the players that supported the Leach termination and I'll find it incredibly interesting if he takes advantage of the new coaching staff or if he'll continue to think he's entitled to play because of the talent.

Cornelius Douglas: Douglas saw a few snaps last year, especially during non-conference play and was also worked into the quarterback position of the Wildcat formation that Leach liked to use, again early in the season. Douglas is a gifted athlete, but he had the propensity to drop passes (I think he also did this in last year's spring game) who played quarterback and in the secondary. Perhaps this is just a case where it's taking some tiem for Douglas to adjust to the receiver position, but he needs to find a spot on the field relatively soon, otherwise he could eventually get passed over by equally as talented players.

Adam James: If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. No comment.

Benjamin McRoy: McRoy should greyshirt this year, or if some scholarships open up, it may not be such a bad idea to get him in the system. Ben shouldn't see a second of action this year.

Y Receiver

Player Ht/Wt Year Probable Role
Detron Lewis 6-1/205 SR Starter
Austin Zouzalik 6-1/181 SO Possible Starter
Aaron Fisher 6-3/182 RS FR Backup

Who Is Gone: No one.

Who Is Still Around: Detron Lewis: If there was a year for Lewis to shine, it's this year. This isn't to say that Lewis didn't have his moments, but his performance was just too inconsistent last year. You can blame some of all of the receivers troubles on the inconsistent quarterback play, but a player of Lewis' talents should not have a game where he only has 1 catch for 11 yards. I do think it's fairly amazing to watch Lewis' progression through the years as he has morphed from a nice sized reciever as a true freshman to the size of a running back on the inside receiver spot. At 6'1" and 205 pounds, he's about as big as Batch and now he just needs to play like it. Typically, this receiver spot has been played by Eric Morris and Danny Amendola and they've been awfully productive. I think Lewis adds something a little big different, which is the ability to run over players (at least he should) with his size. I'm torn as to whether or not Lewis' weight gain is beneficial as it may also be a factor in not getting as open as he did in 2008, but this is his opportunity.

Austin Zouzalik: Again, I could easily see Zouzalik starting over Swindall. Zouzalik truly turned it on towards the end of the year last year. In fact over the last three games of the season, Zouzalik averaged 69 yards and 4.6 receiptions a game. Slowly but surely, Zouzalik has forced himself onto the field towards the end of the year. One of the reasons why I think that Zouzalik stays at this Y Receiver position is that this is the same position that Eric Morris and Danny Amendola had so much success during their last year and I think that it may not be a bad idea to have Zouzalik, who might be one of the most dependable receivers, to continue the succsss at this position.

Aaron Fisher: A lot of folks projected Fisher to be an outside receiver because he had so many game-breaking plays in high school, but the current staff and the former staff both wanted fisher inside. Fisher was always known as somewhat of a technician in that he is a very precise route-runner and has excellent hands. I think that Fisher (along with Celestie and Ward) are somewhat forgotten, but they shouldn't be. Fisher has tremendous talent, the sort of talent that you're shocked he doesn't play sooner. When he hits the field, he's going to be good.

X Receiver

Player Ht/Wt Year Probable Role
Lyle Leong 6-1/165 SR Starter
Eric Ward 5-11/202 RS FR First Backup
E.J. Celestie 5-11/174 RS FR Second Backup

Who Is Gone: Edward Britton's reign on the X receiver position is over. This should be a difference maker at this position, and I'll be interested to see if Leong and the rest can make plays on a consistent basis.

Who Is Still Around: Lyle Leong: Leong actually out-performed Britton as Britton slowly devolved from a receiver that was supposed to open up the field, to a merely average receiver. Leong though does have plenty of talent, famous for that leaping ability that makes him a good target for quarterbacks and a tough cover for a lot of defensive backs. I think I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Leong's hands. And this isn't to say that Leong doesn't have his fair share of drops, but he's a darn reliable receiver that just happens to be an athletic freak of nature.

Eric Ward: When Ward entered the program last spring, there was quite a bit of discussion that Ward would immediately force himself onto the field. Ward's biggest criticism coming out of high school was that he was not a consistent route-runner and that apparently held him back this year. There's no doubt that Ward is a terrific athlete and a tremendous talent, but it sounds as if its the little things that Ward needed to refine during his redshirt year.

E.J. Celestie: This is the exact type of player that Tuberville wants. A speed guy that's probably a bit raw. The one thing that I noticed when watching his old high school film was that he's absolutely explosive, but he goes down awfully easily and doesn't run over players. That's something that Celestie can improve upon and I wouldn't necessarily look for Celestie to play this year, but he'll get a shot soon enough, perhaps in the return game.

Z Receiver

Player Ht/Wt Year Probable Role
Alexander Torres 6-2/196 SO Starter
Jacoby Franks 6-1/185 JR First Backup
Derrick Mays 6-0/166 RS FR Second Backup
Shawn Corker 6-1/183 FR Redshirt

Who Is Gone: No one.

Who Is Still Around: Alexander Torres: One of the best freshmen in the country last year returns, but Torres has some competition. Torres isn't as gifted athletically as his competitors, but he is incredibly consistent. I think I'd prefer to have more of a game-breaker at this Z-Receiver, but Torres gives you a big target that seemingly gets open game after game. And despite not thinking that Torres a huge playmaker, he still finished with over 12 yards per catch. Not bad.

Jacoby Franks: I'm not real sure what to think of Franks to be honest with you. In high school, Franks was a true deep threat and the type of receiver that you would have thought would be taking over Crabtree's old position. But with Franks, is a consistency issue (I think I've said that before). He has all of the talent to be a difference-maker, but he's been passed over on the depth chart by Torres. I'm going to be very interested to see how Franks adjusts to the new coaching regime.

Derrick Mays: This is one player that I haven't seen a lick of video. What I've been told is that Mays is a world-class athlete with speed to burn. Legitimate 4.4 speed (which is very good). The one thing that interests me is that it appears that Mays hasn't put on any weight (the weight listed above is from the current roster). Maybe someone else can give some insight as to Mays' ability.

Shawn Corker: Corker is certainly a player that has the ability to make a difference. I don't know that he plays a down this year, but that's okay. I'm hoping that he absolutely tears it up on the practice squad. Aside from Ward, I think that Corker is the other young player that can eventually become a play-maker for this team. I credit Corker's commitment as a part of the Crabtree-Effect, i.e. that it was Crabtree's success that led Corker to consider Texas Tech.