The Raider Read is a new weekday article. We are going to write about a hot Red Raider topic each day. Most of the articles will focus on sports, but we won't commit to that whole-heartedly as there will be times we might stray. This isn't meant to be a long read. The Raider Read will just be a quick read to start to each day. Without further ado, I give you the very first Raider Read.
Daniel Pauling at 247 confirmed that JF Thomas enrolled at Trinity Community College yesterday. He will not be a part of the Red Raider football team this fall. Two thoughts hit me as I read Daniel's article.
First, some will opine about how losing Thomas hurts our recruiting ranking. I couldn't care less about rankings. The rankings put together by recruiting sites are not totally without merit. Teams that consistently land top ranked recruiting classes are those teams consistently rank in the top ten at the end of the season, so they cannot be totally discounted. However, based on the way the Tech coaches are approaching the 2016 class, recruiting rankings are not going to determine the success of the coaching staff or the team in the near future. The football program's success will hinge on our coaching staff's ability to identify talent and develop it in the near term.
Secondly, Thomas would have been great addition of depth to the receiving corp this season, but the loss isn't traumatic . Based on the spring depth chart that was released Sadler, Grant and Lauderdale are starters at three of the four WR spots. The other is Reginald Davis which is the only spot that doesn't feel locked down at this point. With five other freshman (not including Thomas) joining the team this fall, there are 18 receivers on the roster. Those numbers indicate we could afford to lose someone at this position. I think Thomas would have impacted this season just as I expect two or three of the other incoming freshman to do, but it isn't a position were we are extremely thin like the offensive line. Thomas' impact would have been much bigger a season or two from now. The good news is that we still have time to replace his bigger impact seasons through recruiting. The coaching staff is working hard at recruiting the receiver position with six receivers verbally committed in the 2016 class. Two of those commits are JUCO guys who will be expected to provide an impact sooner than a typical incoming freshman.
Having said all of that, I hope Thomas ends up at Tech in a couple of seasons and does his best Michael Crabtree impression on the Big 12.