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Nate Night Thoughts: What does the loss of Antoine Wesley mean for Tech in 2019?

After Wesley’s announcement to forgo his senior season, who will step up?

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Antoine Wesley is the latest star Texas Tech receiver to enter the NFL early. After a breakout season, Wesely has announced that he will forgo his final year of eligibility and put his name into the NFL draft.

After registering 1,410 receiving yards on 88 catches and 9 touchdowns during his final season as a Red Raider who can possibly fill the hole that Wesley is leaving? With TJ Vasher likely coming back – unless he declares for the NFL – and Seth Collins making his return for his senior season, we will look at a few redshirt freshman to fill the void that Wesley is leaving.

Erik Ezukanma

The consensus 4-star recruit from the 2018 class will be in the mix to compete for a starting job in David Yost’s offense. Standing at 6’3” Ezukanma brings size and speed to the Red Raider’s receiving corps. Ezukanma did make an appearance for the Red Raiders in the 2018 season in two different games. He only had 2 catches, but he did reel in a 44-yard touchdown from Colt Garrett in garbage time against Lamar. The stage is set for Ezukanma to live up to the hype this upcoming season.

Myller Royals

The Abilene Cooper standout will be another name to watch next season. At 6’5” Royals is destined to be a breakout receiver in Lubbock after registering 91 catches for 1,475 yards and 16 touchdowns in his senior year of high school. Royals did play in 3 games this season for the Red Raiders, but he did not have any statistics. Royals is another big and lanky body that can mirror the size of Wesley to compliment Vasher on the other side. If he develops as well as every Red Raider fan hopes he will, he could be a special one by the time he leaves Lubbock.

Corey Fulcher

Fulcher is another name to keep an eye out for next season. Fulcher was recruited as an athlete due to his various roles in high school. As a high school senior, he rushed for 647 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns and caught 54 passes for 556 yards and 3 receiving touchdowns. The 6’1” athlete made the transition to wide receiver for Texas Tech during his redshirt season and did not make an appearance in 2018. After taking a year to fully learn the position, we could see Fulcher breakout in the spring due to his natural athleticism.