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Offensive player of the year: Keke Coutee flourishes despite team struggles

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This year’s Air Raid wasn’t as dynamic as we’ve seen in season’s past, but that didn’t stop Coutee from producing.

Texas Tech v Baylor Photo by John Weast/Getty Images

After star wide receiver Jonathan Giles transferred to LSU, every eye that followed Texas Tech football suddenly shifted its focus to a 5’10, 180 pound junior from Lufkin, TX.

Small in stature but big in potential, Keke Coutee instantly became the focal point of one of the most pass-heavy offenses in the country. The expectations laid on him were so lofty they could arguably be perceived as unfair, but when you look at the season he put together, they couldn’t have been more justified.

Some compared Coutee to Wes Welker, others to Jakeem Grant—but Coutee is his own player. He’s got a level of speed that’s unparalleled in the Big 12 Conference and his ability to produce is not limited to lining up every play in the slot. He’s just as shifty and agile as any of the Red Raider greats, and his big-play potential is unmatched.

It’s those qualities that enabled Coutee to pull in 82 catches for 1,242 yards and nine touchdowns in seemingly effortless fashion.

Somehow, despite the 82 catches (and four carries), it felt like Coutee didn’t get enough touches in 2017. He averaged 15 yards per catch, and it felt like every time he touched the ball, it went for a first down or a touchdown. There were three games in which Coutee caught three or fewer passes, which is unacceptable in every way. This could’ve been a 100 reception, 1,750-yard season for the dynamic wideout. Fortunately, Tech will get one more year to lean on the Second Team All-Big 12 honoree (which is a joke, by the way. Allen Lazard, seriously?) and perhaps he can rack up even bigger numbers than he did in 2017.

In any case, congratulations to Keke Coutee on a great year, and the Viva The Matadors offensive player of the year.