Oct 5, 2013; Lawrence, KS, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders wide receiver Dylan Cantrell (14) catches a pass for a touchdown against Kansas Jayhawks safety Alex Matlock (43) in the second half at Memorial Stadium. Texas Tech won the game 54-16. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech Football Top 25 Players: No. 21

We continue our series looking at the most important players projected to suit up for Texas Tech this season. This is not a list of the most talented players, but rather a breakdown of which guys stand to make the most impact either by their presence or absence. 

No. 21: Inside Receiver Dylan Cantrell

Wide receiver is likely the deepest and most talented position on this Red Raider team, but it’s also one of the youngest overall. Outside of four-year starter Bradley Marquez and junior Jakeem Grant, only a couple of guys have starting experience. With Marquez and Grant lined up inside, Reginald Davis at flanker and D.J. Polite-Bray at split end, the starting four have speed to burn and will certainly stretch defenses. But who’s going to make the physical catches in a crowd with the game on the line?

True sophomore Dylan Cantrell saw spot action last year in relief of Jace Amaro, but he flash good hands and a willingness to make tough catches in traffic. He won’t win any foot races or run deep patterns, but his combined height (6-4), weight (205) and body control make him a great red zone threat. Coach Morris even experimented with Cantrell at flanker during the spring, and he’s been compared to former Red Raider Darrin Moore, who built his reputation on winning jump-ball situations in the end zone.

Right now, Cantrell is not listed on the official post-spring two-deep, but his physical attributes and ability to play multiple positions in a three- or four-wide set make him a valuable rotation option going into the season.

No. 22: cornerback Justis Nelson

No. 23: safety Jalen Barnes

No. 24: linebacker Micah Awe

No. 25: running back Quinton White Jr.

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