Last week, Texas slot receiver Reggie Hemphill-Mapps announced his intent to transfer. This is big news for universities looking for a smaller receiver to play multiple positions including kick and punt returner. One of these universities in question is Texas Tech. Mapps is a red-shirt freshman and will be able to come in and help Texas Tech whenever he is able to get on the field, whether it be in 2018 or 2019.
In a surprise move, Texas redshirt freshman Reggie Hemphill-Mapps expected to transfer (via @JeffHowe247) despite solid season as slot receiver (37 catches) and punt returner.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) January 26, 2018
The main reaction from the Longhorns’ fan base is disbelief. Some believe that Mapps could have been the team’s future at that position, which is news to the rest of us. Texas fans are usually brutally honest about players on the team and here it is no different.
Hearing that Reggie Hemphill-Mapps was potentially homesick. He is from Houston. Regardless, going to miss the guy on field. Dude was definitely a baller. One of my favorites on the offensive side of the ball. #HookEm— E (@HiroProtoganist) January 26, 2018
Man, I felt like Reggie Hemphill-Mapps wasn’t on the field enough this past season. Now the word is he’s transferring?— Wes Crochet (@WesKCrochet) January 26, 2018
Hemphill-Mapps has a 6-1 185 pound that is a prototypical build for a slot receiver. This is a similar build to now NFL Draft Prospect Keke Coutee, whose last 2 season at Texas Tech were astounding. Mapps would fit in at Texas Tech with his ability to make people miss and his kick and punt return ability. With the loss of 4 of the 5 best receivers from last season, Texas Tech will need people that can produce in their passing offense.
Mapps can fit this role, paired with Ja’Deion High, would make a formidable duo in the slot for Texas Tech. He can also replace Cameron Batson and Keke Coutee in the kick return game. Hemphill-Mapps was third in receiving with 402 yards and tied for second on Texas’ roster with 37 catches. These are relatively good numbers for an offense that likes to run the ball more than anything. Mapps scored his only touchdown of the year on a punt return against Maryland in the first game of the year.
There is no doubt in my mind that wherever Hemphill-Mapps ends up, he’ll be a contributing member of the offense. With his experience against Big 12 defenses, he would not only be a contributor but an asset to Texas Tech and their new young group of receivers. We can only hope that Kliff Kingsbury and his staff will make this electric play-maker a high profile target in this year’s recruiting cycle.