The 2019 Texas Tech football season is quickly approaching, and every Red Raider fan is itching at the chance to grab a set in the Jones and watch their team compete against opponents across the nation.
There will be a lot of experienced players on the team this season leaving everyone wondering who will take the leading spot? One position in particular that will be intriguing to watch this season is at wide receiver. Even with former Red Raider star Antoine Wesley gone and on to the NFL, there are still plenty of veteran wide receivers that are ready to step up to and show everyone what they’re made of.
1. Seth Collins
The former Oregon State transfer was a primary target for the Red Raiders as he played in all 12 games in his first season with Texas Tech.
The 6’3, 190 Ibs receiver ranked fourth among Red Raiders last season with 32 total receptions for 317 yards. We all got to see a glimpse of his full potential in the game against Oklahoma State where Collins dove for a 31-yard reception. He definitely caught the attention from Big 12 coaches as well by being selected as the Offensive Newcomer of the Year.
Collins full potential may have been outshined by Wesley last season, and frankly most were, but this should be his year to make a large impact on offense. As a senior, this is Collins last chance to step onto the field at Jones AT&T stadium and have a breakthrough season.
With his agility, ability to out run opponents and catching passes on the fly, I wouldn't be surprised to see Collins as a leading asset among Red Raider receivers this coming season.
2. T.J .Vasher
This has to be one of my favorite guys on the team because of his incredible work ethic and journey to playing Division 1. Working with Red Raider legend Eric Ward during his high school career and eventually following his footsteps by picking Texas Tech as his home just gets me every time.
When I think of Texas Tech football, Vasher instantly pops up in my mind. He has grown in each season with the Red Raiders. Vasher started in 9 out of 11 games last season and finished third on the team in receptions with 54 for 687 total yards. He was also just under Wesley in touchdowns with 7 on the season for the Red Raiders.
The 6’6 receiver, and he may be even taller then that now, is known to fly in the air for those remarkable one-handed catches. He has the height, speed and agility to be a nightmare for Big 12 opponents. When matched up with him, I'm sure defensive backs second guess their ability to cover him, and I don't blame them.
Vasher played tremendous football last season, but now is his time to truly shine. I can feel it in my bones. Watch out for this veteran receiver this season.
3. McLane Mannix
This is one new face on this seasons Red Raider roster. The Nevada transfer is one receiver I see getting plenty of playing time in his first year in scarlet red and black.
In his sophomore season with the Wolf Pack, Mannix recorded 50 receptions for a total of 875 yards. That’s quite impressive by anyone’s standards, especially for a receiver that stands at 5’10. Don't let his size fool you though, Mannix has the hops to rise in the air and complete almost any reception thrown his way.
He had several outstanding performances for Nevada. Mannix led the Wolf Pack in touchdown receptions, reviving yards and yards per catch. He was definitely their number one receiving threat. He played outstanding football in the Mountain West Conference, and his stats showed it. Mannix was always someone who got the ball in the end zone as he led receivers with 7 touchdowns.
He is going to come into the program and make an instant impact. With the loss of Wesley, Tech desperately needed another threat to add to its arsenal, and Mannix is a great choice to fill that gap.
All the upperclassmen Red Raiders mentioned above are elite college football players. Each can exceed their potential and make huge strides for Texas Tech.
Needless to say, it will be interesting to see which veteran wide receiver will make the biggest impact for the 2019 Red Raider squad.