Texas Tech has had many standout receivers over the years. Most notably there was Michael Crabtree, Wes Welker, Danny Amendola, Jace Amaro, Jakeem Grant, Dylan Cantrell, Keke Coutee, Eric Ward, and many others. This year the Red Raiders will have many holes to fill after the departures of Dylan Cantrell, Cameron Batson, Keke Coutee, and Derrick Willies. Not to mention the loss of Quan Shorts after his dismissal from the team. Other than standout TJ Vasher, who should fans look for this season with so many familiar faces missing?
The junior from Steele High School in Cibolo, Texas will likely get an increased role this season. Wesley is 6’5” and will be changing his number from #22 to #4 this season. During his sophomore campaign, Wesley played in all 13 games and caught 10 passes for 137 yards. Look for Wesley to stretch the field and play opposite of Vasher for an additional outside presence.
Collins is a transfer from Oregon State that is coming off of a season ending injury. In 3 games last season, Collins caught 12 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. During the 2016 season, he was Oregon State’s second-leading receiver with 36 receptons and 418 yards. Collins also played quarterback during his freshman season, so there could be a chance of seeing some of Kliff’s famous trickery with Collins as a passer.
Erik is a highly recruited true freshman that chose Tech over the likes of Arkansas, Missouri, Ole Miss, TCU, Texas A&M and others. Standing at 6’3” Ezukanma will also be an outside threat for the Red Raiders. He shows great speed and will likely contribute on special teams as a returner as well. By the end of the season Ezukanma will be a well-known receiver among Texas Tech fans.
Bowman saw his first action as a Red Raider last season after transferring from Hutchison Community College. During his juco days, Bowman was an all-purpose standout. He returned kicks, punts, and caught 84 passes for 1,306 yards in his two season there. Last season Bowman was primarily featured on special teams and caught two passes in 11 games. As a senior, I expect Bowman to have a similar role as Cam Batson did last season. We’ll likely see Bowman returning kicks and in the screen game out of the slot for the Red Raiders.
The 6th year senior has missed the past two seasons with injuries and will be sure to do everything in his power to see the field this year. In 2015 Austin had 22 receptions and 238 yards. Most of his production came against Baylor where he had 8 catches for 110 yards and a 55-yard touchdown reception from Patrick Mahomes.