It's easy to fall in love the hope and excitement that incoming recruits can give fans each year. Especially, right before signing day. We get caught up in the rankings, who is underrated, where is our class rank this year, etc. But the majority of that is for the recruits themselves and for fans. Coaches don't go to Rivals, ESPN, or 24/7 to do their homework. They are often looking for talent that fits their system and who they believe can make a difference on a team.
Now as we've seen with several class from 2010 to 2012, and for all coaches and classes for that matter, things don't always work out the way we would hope. For whatever reason, good players and overrated players alike, don't adjust to the surroundings, or get lost in the depth chart around other really good players.
Two players I've had my eye on for a few years haven't made an impact like I thought they would. The difference here is, they didn't transfer. They are still waiting for an opportunity and from all accounts, the issue isn't skill. So here are my two players that I want to see more from in 2016.
1. Jakari Dillard - WR
Redshirt Sophmore, 6'4 190
3- Star Recruit (Rivals, ESPN, 24/7) Class of 2014
Dillard was recruited by Tommy Tuberville's staff in 2012 and committed that same year. When the coaching change happened, Dillard stuck with his commitment and continued to be recruited by the new staff. Dillard added a significant receiving piece to the class, one that Kingsbury and crew thought would be a staple for Brewer or Webb to throw to. Dillard was the third ranked receiver behind Ian Sadler and Byron Daniels, the latter never enrolled and went straight to JUCO.
He's a big target in a receiver corps that is pretty undersized, especially on the outside. With all the talk this past year of issues on the outside and not winning the matchups and with Dylan Cantrell redshirted for medial reasons, I really was expecting Dillard to get a chance. For some reason, he did not.
With an ever expanding WR contingent at Texas Tech and more on the way in the upcoming class, the window for Dillard to make an impact may be closing. I believe he has the talent to be a big time threat especially in the red zone considering his height and ability to have a mismatch on smaller defenders.
2. Quinton White Jr. - RB
Redshirt Senior, 5'7 209
3-Star Recruit (Rivals, ESPN, 24/7) Class of 2012
White had everything Tommy Tuberville and Neal Brown could want in a running back during their bid to add more balance in the offense via the run. He's short, but he's built with a strong lower half. He's someone that we thought would run in between the tackles and get the tough yards when necessary as opposed to Stockton who is more of a speed back.
This past season, he was moved to an unofficial Fullback position and didn't see many carry or reception opportunities. Nicknamed "Spin" , and quite appropriately too, White was known for his good vision and elusiveness while being recruited. He's tough enough to take on a defender or make him miss in space. He isn't as quick as DeAndre or Stockton are, but he compliments their style quite nicely.
With Corey Dauphine and Demarcus Felton looking to expand their roles more with the departure of Washington, White may find himself stuck in the Fullback position unless something changes. With one season left, you can bet he's on a mission to make a mark on the offense and get everybody asking, "where did this guy come from?"
Best of luck to both Jakari and Spin. Looking forward to seeing more of you in the offense this upcoming season!