This is DTN's annual review of players, position-by-position, to take a look at the players that I think will be gone (graduating seniors or players possibly leaving the program), guys I know something about (these are players I've heard), guys I know nothing about (these are players that are on the roster who I have no idea who they are) and guys I think are on the way (commits to the program).
PREVIOUS ROSTER REVIEWS | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Offensive Line | Receivers | Defensive Line | Linebackers | Secondary | Special Teams
GUYS I THINK WILL BE GONE
|25||Baron Batch||SR||5-10/210||Running Back|
|37||Andre McCorkle||SR||6-1/210||Running Back|
|36||Gerardo Acevedo||SR||6-1/212||Running Back|
I think this team will miss the work of Batch, but there's lot of depth and I actually think that a guy like Crawford (discussed below) could take over that role. The bottom line is that Batch isn't irreplaceable, there are plenty of options at running back and there are plenty on the way. Still, I thought that Batch had a pretty good year, but he actually rushed for fewer yards in 2010 than 2009, but had more carries. And most of the time, I'd be concerned about replacing over 800 rushing yards, but the only thing that I'm remotely concerned about is replacing the type of runner that Batch is. Batch is a good size running back, bigger than Stephens, and has better speed than Crawford. I like Batch's combination of size and speed with the other running backs, I don't know that there's a similar combination like Batch in the top 4 possible replacements.
I seem to recall that McCorkle was a transfer from Texas State, but never did much. Acevedo played special teams and was suspended for the bowl game (I think).
GUYS I KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT
|32||Aaron Crawford||JR||5-10/205||Running Back|
|10||Harrison Jeffers||SO||5-7/201||Running Back|
|24||Eric Stephens||SO||5-8/192||Running Back|
|34||Ben McRoy||FR||5-9/160||Running Back
So this is what I'm getting at when I talk about size and speed combination. Crawford is a bigger back and I could seem him tacking on a short-yardage back type of role. I think that Crawford is a good guy, a hard worker and an integral part of the special teams unit. I really like those types of players and hope he gets rewarded a bit with some meaningful carries. Stephens is a bit small and I think he's learning how to run between the tackles, but when he gets a step, he's gone and that's what you saw in the Northwestern game. Obviously, the fumbling is an issue and I think it's one that's the staff isn't going to put up with much. He's obviously talented, but he can't turn the ball over and I would expect Stephens to correct the issue. Jeffers is the bowling-ball of a running back. A head of steam and he's really tough to bring down. OC Brown likes putting both Jeffers and McRoy in motion to get a head of steam and let them run to the edge. I like Jeffers and I think the staff likes Jeffers' talent, but I get the impression that if he wants to be an every-down back, then he's got to master some of the finer parts of pass-protection. McRoy is relatively small and if he could add 10 to 15 pounds without losing any of his speed then I don't see any reason why he can't become an every-down back. And McRoy's speed is just break-neck, which is pretty amazing considering I thought Stephens and Jeffers were fast. And the only reason why I think McRoy needs to add weight is so that he can also be a little more adept at pass protection.
Last year, Texas Tech had 437 carries and I think that this amount may go up a bit, but for the most part I think 450 carries might be right where this team will be at next year. The next part will be to determine how those carries are divided amongst the three returning running backs and the plethora of newcomers. Last year, Stephens has 127 carries, but a good question for the comments might be how many more carries does he receive and how are the rest of the carries split?
So much more after the jump.
GUYS I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT
|31||Tim Graves||FR||5-9/170||Running Back|
|20||Josh Talbott||RS FR||6-0/201||Running Back|
This is where we're going to learn a little something about the players on the roster who you may not have heard of. Rather than doing much homework, I'm going to link to their Texas Tech profile page and let each of you dig around.
Up first is Graves:
Timothy Graves... born November 6, 1991, in Queens, N.Y.... son of Timothy Graves and Paulorie Benjamin... has four siblings... majoring in civil engineering.
Civil engineering? Awesome!
Josh Talbot ... born on February 3, 1990 in Grand Prairie, Texas ... son of Jim and Cassaundra Talbot ... has one brother Jimmy ... father played linebacker in the CFL and brother played football for Baylor ... enjoys drawing, playing video games and photography ... majoring in business marketing.
GUYS I THINK ARE ON THE WAY
|Kenny Williams||FR||5-10/210||Running Back|
|Bradley Marquez||FR||5-11/180||Running Back|
|Ronnie Daniels||FR||6-1/195||Running Back|
|DeAndre Washington||FR||5-9/193||Running Back|
En embarrassment of riches. Like a lot of people, I think the interesting thing about each and every one of these backs is that they are electric. No slow-pokes. I'm not worried about how or where these players will eventually play. These things have a way of working out on their own. I do think that Williams has that speed and powerful running style that Batch has and to me, he represents a very similar runner to what Batch was when he left Texas Tech. The thing for me is that Williams, as a high school player is already there.
Marquez is a guy, a lot like McRoy and Washington, that just needs to get on the field. Position be damned, whether it's at slot receiver or at running back. They're both dual-threat players, can run the ball and catch the ball out of the backfield. Marquez is already the prototypical size for a slot receiver and he's got speed to burn. Washington can get some touches returning kicks or punts.
Washington was recruited as an athlete, although I think he'll play running back. He seems to be built more like Jeffers and I could see him returning kicks or punts this year, although I'd be completely comfortable with him redshirting this year and the staff figures out where he needs to go. Washington is explosive and that's a rare trait, although Texas Tech is blessed to have two running backs, Washington and Marquez, that seem to have that same type of explosiveness.
And Daniels represents the sort of running back that you see at other colleges. Daniels is already mature physically and if he adds a bit of weight, he's going to be a tall running back that just might mature into a running back that's 6-1/220. That seems to be the size of an average NFL running back and it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see Daniels add that much weight. If you had to guess as to a running back that has the most pro potential, it might be Daniels.
Not a depth chart, but a chart based on who is here and how much time they have left. I think the only candidates that might redshirt are the true freshmen (Williams, Marquez, Daniels and Washington).
|Aaron Crawford||Harrison Jeffers||Ben McRoy||Tim Graves|
|Eric Stephens||Josh Talbot||Kenny Williams|