Monday, JUCO tight end Jason Lloyd verbally committed to the Texas Tech football program making Red Raider fans feel better about that component of the offense.
It didn’t take long for the Texas Tech football program to find out from JUCO TE Jason Lloyd that he would like to be a Red Raider. Monday, the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder who still has three years of eligibility remaining announced on Twitter that he had committed to Matt Wells’ program just three days after he picked up his offer.
You can read more about him as a player here but for the rest of this piece, let’s look at what his addition means for the future of the TE position in Lubbock.
Lloyd likely slides right into the second spot on the TE depth chart behind senior Travis Koontz, himself a former JUCO recruit and the first player to commit to Tech after Wells’ arrival. But it isn’t all that preposterous to believe that Lloyd could push Koontz for the starting job.
Neither player put up stellar numbers in 2019. Lloyd had just 200 yards receiving while Koontz put up just 159. And we would have to admit that we expected more from Koontz.
Rated the No. 1 JUCO TE in the class of 2019, Koontz held offers from LSU, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Michigan State, TCU, and others. So when he signed with Tech, most fans thought he would be a walk-in starter.
However, he was eventually beaten out by converted wide receiver Donta Thompson who entered last fall having never played TE and having caught just three passes for 41 yards combined in his career. In other words, it was quite an upset to see Koontz beaten out by a player who had previously been unable to get onto the field and who had never been asked to be the type of blocker that a tight end must be for his team to run the ball.
More from Wreck'Em Red
- Texas Tech football: 3 Kansas State offensive weapons to know
- Texas Tech football: Red Raiders and Cyclones to kickoff at 2:30
- Texas Tech football: KSU game not must win for Matt Wells, but it’s close
- Texas Tech football: DE Tyree Wilson impresses in his Red Raider debut
- Texas Tech football: Hidden moments that proved costly against UT
So we now have to wonder if Koontz is ready to make a significant jump this year and take over the starting spot in the wake of Thompson’s graduation or if Lloyd might push him for the job. Last year, he never caught more than two passes in a game nor did he find the endzone and that is a level of production that will be unacceptable this fall.
For what it’s worth, Tech needs more from the TE than it got from Thompson as well. While his 26 catches and 311 yards were both career highs, that’s not enough productivity from the position and either Koontz or Lloyd has to give Tech more in 2020.
But this addition also sets the program up for the future. Most importantly, it is a safeguard against the thinning of the ranks if Simon Gonzalez isn’t able to come back from his current indefinite suspension.
Initially a Kliff Kingsbury commit, the Magnolia, Texas native also signed with Tech in the class of 2019. But he did not play as a true freshman using the season to redshirt and develop physically. Thus, we have no idea what he brings to the field.
Prior to Lloyd’s commitment, the 6-foot-4, 235-pounder was the only other TE technically in the program. The Red Raiders did sign 3-star TE John Holcomb from Wellington, TX in the class of 2020 but he was not on campus for the abbreviated spring football period and now, there’s no telling when he will be able to begin working out with the Red Raiders.
Therefore, it was obvious that Wells was going to add another warm body at TE because going into 2020 with either Gonzalez or Holcomb as the backup to Koontz was going to be risky. And now that Lloyd is in the mix, the position appears to be on solid ground. But the key is going to be finding a player who can become a difference-maker.