As we continue to look towards the upcoming Texas Tech football season, let’s take a look at five players we can’t wait to get a look at in 2020.
When we think about the Texas Tech football team, it doesn’t take long until we realize that there will be a ton of new faces being asked to play significant roles this fall. Thus, there are players who might need to step up and contribute despite playing for what is essentially the first time for the program.
Of course, there are some familiar names set to return as well. First of all, there will be Riko Jeffers.
It is hard to believe that the LB from Garland is already a senior. With 33 games under his belt, he is the unquestioned leader of the defense and he will be looked to as the man that needs to take on the role in the defense that Jordyn Brooks played last year, but not from a football perspective.
Jeffers will likely remain at his OLB spot while JUCO addition Krishon Merriweather will enter the fall as the likely starter at middle LB, which Brooks played last year. But where Jeffers has to fill Brooks’ shoes is as the steadying influence and vocal leader that the rest of the defense can look to for guidance. Hopefully, Jeffers will have the type of senior year that Brooks had when he earned second-team All-American honors in 2019.
Offensively, the most prominent name is Jack Anderson. The right guard enters what would be his senior year but given that he missed all but three games last season, he’s technically a redshirt junior. However, it is assumed this will be his last go-round in Lubbock as an almost certain NFL career lies in his near future.
Another familiar name and multi-year starter is T.J. Vasher. But unlike Anderson or Jeffers, questions still linger about whether the senior from Wichita Falls is set up for a big 2020.
Despite possessing all the physical tools a receiver could ask for, the senior has yet to post a 1,000-yard season. But he’s reportedly been impressive this offseason when it comes to his maturity and his work in the weight room and his head coach, Matt Wells, believes that Vasher is ready for a big year.
Could it be that the leader of the 2020 offense will be a sophomore? After an impressive 2019 season, running back SaRodorick Thompson enters the season as the player that Texas Tech football fans feel the most comfortable with. That’s both a compliment to the Iriving native, who ran for 765 yards and 12 TDs as a redshirt freshman, as well as an indictment of the rest of the skill players on the offense.
But for the most part, we know what to expect from these players because we have at least three seasons of evidence to look back on. However, we can also expect some players who have previously been non-factors, either because of their age or their injury history (or both) or because they are new to Texas Tech, to play meaningful roles. So let’s take a look at the players we are most excited to get our first look at in meaningful roles.