Yesterday we looked at the two-deep for spring practice. Today, we’re taking a closer look at some of the weaker positions on the current depth chart and whether or not some 2014 signees arriving in the summer can insert themselves into the picture.
|Quarterback||Davis Webb, Soph.||Tanner Tausch, Fr.|
|Running Back||Kenny Williams, Sr. / DeAndre Washington, Jr.||Quinton White, Soph.|
|X-Receiver||Devin Lauderdale, Soph.||D.J. Polite-Bray, Soph.|
|Y-Receiver||Bradley Marquez, Sr.||Dylan Cantrell, Soph.|
|H-Receiver||Jakeem Grant, Jr.||Jordan Davis, Sr.|
|Z-Receiver||Reginald Davis, Soph.||The field|
|Left Tackle||Le'Raven Clark, Jr.||Trey Keenan, Soph.|
|Left Gaurd||Alfredo Morales, Jr.||Baylen Brown, Soph.|
|Center||Tony Morales, Jr.||Baylen Brown, Soph.|
|Right Gaurd||James Polk, Sr.||Josh Outlaw, Fr.|
|Right Tackle||Rashad Fortenberry, Sr.||Poet Thomas, Fr.|
|Defensive End||Branden Jackson, Jr.||Zach Barnes, Soph.|
|Nose Gaurd||Anthony Smith, Soph.||Donte Phillips, Soph.|
|Defensive Tackle||Demetrius Alston, Jr.||Jackson Richards, Sr.|
|Bandit LB||Pete Robertson, Jr.||Zach Winbush, Sr.|
|Mike LB||Micah Awe, Jr.||V.J. Fehoko, Sr.|
|Will LB||Sam Eguavoen, Sr.||Malik Jenkins, Soph.|
|Raider LB||Dorian Crawford, Sr.||Collin Bowen, Fr.|
|Field CB||Justis Nelson, Soph.||Dee Paul, Soph.|
|Strong Safety||Josh Keys, Jr.||Jalen Barnes, Fr.|
|Free Safety||Keenon Ward, Soph.||John White, Jr.|
|Boundary CB||Thierry Nguema, Soph.||Tyler Middleton, Jr.|
First up, the position with the most obvious need is nose tackle. No 2014 recruit commanded more attention and excitement than junior college transfer Rika Levi, all 379 lbs of him. He’ll be in contention for the starting nose guard spot immediately, and likely won’t have much competition outside fellow 2014 signee Marcus Smith.
Next, we shift into the defensive secondary and look at cornerback. With the youngest players on the entire spring two-deep, cornerback is likely to be a hotbed of competition in the fall once four-star recruit Nigel Bethel makes it to Lubbock.
If there’s a time and place for a young cornerback to come in and play immediately, it’s Texas Tech in 2014. Sophomore Justis Nelson is the only returning corner with starting experience, and it came late last year. Expect Bethel to make a push to crack the two-deep in fall camp.
Finally, it will be interesting to watch the battle at both offensive tackle spots in the fall. Tech returns both starters from last season, including All-Big 12 left tackle Le-Raven Clark. But junior college transfer Dominique Robertson, who was told by the coaches he’d have a shot at right tackle, could wind up taking the starting job away from Clark.
If he does, will Clark move to right tackle over senior Rashad Fortenberry, who started every game last year? Will he move back to guard, where he was an All-Conference Freshman teamer in 2012? We’ll just have to wait and see. At least this year there’s the potential for competition on the line.
What other holes do you see in the spring two-deep? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.