Kliff & Company probably know that the defense is going to take some time to catch up to the offense in terms of recruiting prowess. It doesn't happen overnight. So what do you do?
|OL Robert Castaneda (6-5/318)
OL Justin Murphy (6-8/276)
|The Skill Players
|QB Patrick Mahomes (6-3/198)
RB Demarcus Felton (5-7/179)
RB Justin Stockton (5-9/180)
IR Cameron Batson (5-9/164)
WR Byron Daniels (6-1/170)
WR Jakari Dillard (6-5/180)
WR Ian Sadler (5-10/194)
|On The Radar
|OL Deionte Noel (6-3/300)
WR Michael Coley (6-2/185)
You kill it on the offensive side of the ball with players that are at the top of their game. You sell your program on what you do best, which is put up offensive numbers and let players shine. It seems to be that this group is a bit under the radar overall, but I wouldn't trade this group (I'm probably way too close to the situation). I love the upside of each of these players and although none of them are rated across the board as 4-star players, a lot of these guys are on the edge of 4-star status.
There's no doubt that the offensive line is made up of guys that don't have the high rating, but there isn't a position that can develop more than the offensive line. I'm still trying to figure out Lee Hays "type" of offensive lineman that he prefers and I'm just not sure. I'd tend to think that all three are projects and there would have to be something catastrophic happening for any one of these guys to play. That's the way an offensive line should be. You shouldn't need to play true freshmen.
Still, I very much like all of these guys as projects. I haven't thought about Castaneda because he committed so early, but he's mean and nasty and I like that aspect on a lineman. I've written before about how Murphy is a technician and I still think that's true. He's got fantastic footwork. Noel is supposed to maybe get a greyshirt, but I'm not sure any more. He's still committed to Texas Tech, although he visited Houston. Noel is raw, I think he's only been playing football for a few years, but he could be really good, depending on how he develops.
The Signal Caller
Mahomes is maybe the exception rather than the rule. Mahomes is a high upside athlete. I know that there is some concern about Mahomes just playing baseball, but I think he wants to play quarterback. I know the money will come calling, but there isn't a better example of how to handle this than Bradley Marquez. I think that helps to have a guy like that on the team.
Mahomes is far from a finished product, having only played quarterback for the past two years. He is far from being polished in the traditional sense. He does have a ways to go, but the athleticism is there and there's no amount of repetition that can teach that. And keep the fact that this is really Mahomes second year of playing quarterback as far as his rating is concerned. He was a safety before that, I think. And he just won the Texas offensive player player of the year award.
These are your running backs of the future. By all accounts, Felton had a "down" senior year, as he only rushed for 1,700 yards and 9 touchdowns for 7.3 yards per attempt. The year before that, Felton rushed for 1,900 yards and 20 touchdowns. I think he'll be fine. Stockton is the guy that just going to run past people in a very fast fashion. In three years as a running back, Stockton ran for 5,734 yards and 83 rushing touchdowns, with over 2,000 yards in his junior and senior years. In fact, Stockton had about 20 less carries his senior year, but ran for over 100 more yards. And let this stat blow you away. Stockton averaged 12 yards a carry. That's just unheard of. Don't think for a second that he's not special.
Sadler has burst onto the scene with his Argyle team winning team winning the 3A Championship and a performance for Sadler in that game that was one for the ages. He did it all for his Argyle team, running back, punt returner, kickoff returner, quarterback, receiver, whatever. He's a transcendent high school player, I'm confident of that. I think it is going to transcend to college too. Daniels was offered by some of the big boys in the Big 12, including Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. as well as Nebraska and Minnesota. I think his offer list was essentially shut down after being committed to Texas Tech, but he is another guy that quietly caught 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns.
And last, but certainly not least, Dillard could be the answer to this team's questions at tight end. Dillard is rail thin right now, standing tall at 6-5, but only 180 pounds, but his dad, former Oklahoma defensive tackle Stacey Dillard, weighed in a 290 as a professional football player. I have no idea if Dillard is going to be able to add the the type of size needed to play tight end, but he could, eventually, be that option. He's going to get bigger, there's some certainty about that and if he does add 30 pounds over the course of his redshirt and freshman year, he could really become a tight end that would be a tough cover for just about anyone.