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The Rise of Jonathan Giles and Keke Coutee

These two receives stepped up big for Tech this season.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When you have the FBS leader in passing yards and the best offense in the country, you're bound to have wide receivers with outstanding numbers. Going into this season I expected seniors Devin Lauderdale and Reginald Davis to be the leading receivers for Tech. Instead, a former quarterback turned receiver and a kid who did not score a touchdown his freshman year, led the way for the Red Raiders and became reliable targets for Patrick Mahomes.

Easily forgotten coming out of high school in Missouri City, Texas, Jonathan Giles was actually recruited as a quarterback. Once he arrived at Texas Tech in 2015, he converted to wide receiver. He saw limited action his freshman year, catching only three touchdown passes. This season was a breakout year for Giles as he led the Red Raiders in receiving with 1,158 yards and 13 touchdowns. After the season, he was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team, joining Mahomes. Not bad for a guy who changed positions when he got here. After this season and the fact that this kid has two years left at Tech, I expect Giles to be a huge go-to receiver and a big part of this offense next season.

Giles was only one half of this dynamic duo. The other was a kid from Lufkin, Texas who only had 105 total receiving yards his freshman year. Keke Coutee emerged by mid-season as one of the best play-making receivers in this offense. He finished the year with 890 yards and seven touchdowns. His numbers were not as good as Giles' but he was Tech's second-leading receiver this season. He had a huge breakout game against the Baylor Bears in which he had eight catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns. If he continues to improve, I think Coutee will be a star in this offense for the next two years.

Both of these receivers stepped up big in the passing game for Mahomes this season. With injuries to Dylan Cantrell, Derrick Willies, and the lack of production from Lauderdale and Davis, this offense needed some new faces to help lead them, and they delivered. With Davis and Lauderdale headed out the door, I hope Giles and Coutee continue to be leaders not only on the stat sheet but also in the locker room as they become upperclassmen heading into next year. This could be the start of something special for these two wideouts.