The Texas Tech football program has become synonymous with fantastic wide receiver play and these are the 10 best seasons by a WR in program history.
It may be hard for Texas Tech football fans to believe it but there was a time when our beloved Red Raiders were known for defense and running the ball. But since the turn of the century, the most productive position group on the field for Tech has been receiver.
In fact, since 2004, six Red Raider receivers have been selected in the NFL Draft. That’s one more than was selected from 1925-2003. It’s also the most of any position group in the program in that time frame.
Therefore, it makes sense that we take time to look at the best seasons in program history by a receiver, either slot or outside. But before we do, we should give some credit to players who would have put up better seasons but were limited because they played in the wrong era.
In the history of Texas Tech football, even before the “Air Raid” era, some of the most popular players have played receiver. And many of them have been diminutive.
From 1995-1998, Wolfforth’s Donnie Hart caught 125 passes for 2,211 yards and 17 TDs. He would have been a perfect player in the slot in today’s game and had he been given that opportunity, he would have dwarfed the numbers that he put up in the late 90s.
Making 93 career catches in his Red Raider career was 5-foot-3 Tyrone Thurman. The Midland, TX native finished his career with 1,270 yards and 5 TDs through the air but was more well-known for returning punts as he took four to the endzone.
5-foot-11 Rodney Blackshear would also have been a weapon in the slot. He caught 97 passes from 1987-81 totaling 1,980 yards and 14 TDs. Interestingly, all of his scores came in his final two seasons.
Also playing in the late 80s (1985-88), 5-foot-8 Waco native Wayne Walker was a weapon in the passing game. He racked up 2,007 yards and 14 TDs on 101 career receptions, a fantastic average of 19.9 yards per reception.
Thus, the Texas Tech football has been producing productive wide receivers long before the spread offense revolution changed the way the game is played. And when that revolution started to truly take hold, the genesis was in Lubbock, Texas.
So it is only natural that we spend some time counting down the best seasons in program history by wide receivers. And we will begin with a trailblazer who played nearly a half-century before the “Air Raid” sirens began sounding across the South Plains.