Saturday, the Texas Tech football program added some big-play ability to the roster by once again fishing in the transfer portal. This time, the prize that head coach Matt Wells and his staff have added through the college football version of free agency is wide receiver Kaylon Geiger from Troy.
The Fort Worth native is a 5-foot-10, 170-pound pass-catcher who played two seasons for the Trojans. During that time, he amassed 141 catches for 1,625 yards and 8 TDs. That total included 64 receptions for 742 yards and 3 scores in 11 games in 2020.
But it was in 2019 when Geiger broke onto the scene to earn All-Sun Belt Conference honors. That year, his first at the FBS level after playing two years of JUCO football, Geiger caught 77 balls for 873 yards and 5 TDs.
What makes this such an intriguing addition for the Red Raiders is that Geiger has averaged over 11 yards per catch in both of his FBS seasons proving that he is a threat each time he touches the ball. He also could help the Red Raiders in the kicking game as a kickoff returner. For his Troy career, he averaged 23.7 yards per return. By contrast, last fall no Red Raider kickoff returner averaged over 20 yards per return.
It will be interesting to see how Tech utilizes Geiger. That’s because he operated primarily out of the slot at Troy, which is a position at which the Red Raiders appear to be rather solid with Myles Price, McLane Mannix, and Dalton Rigdon all set to return.
However, there is a need for the Red Raiders to add some help at outside receiver where the program lost both T.J. Vasher and Ja’Lynn Polk this offseason. But that doesn’t really seem to be Geiger’s natural position.
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On the other hand, Tech could put Geiger on the outside and try to utilize his speed to take the top off of defenses. After all, we’ve seen in recent years players of similar stature have success as outside receivers.
For instance, there was Reginald Davis who caught 97 passes for 1,301 yards and 18 TDs from 2013-16. Then there was Devin Lauderdale who hauled in 105 balls for 1,535 yards and 13 TDs from 2014-16. Both of those players were smaller in stature than the typical outside receiver but used speed to be effective at a position that typically values size.
Of course, the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner Da’Vonta Smith from Alabama was not a large receiver. In fact, he dominated the sport despite being just 6-feet and 170 pounds.
Now, no one is expecting Geiger to put up 1,856 yards and 23 TDs the way Smith did last year but Smith is proof that the game of football is changing in how receivers are being used. With receivers being put in motion more often and offensive schemes being more creative than ever, outside receivers don’t necessarily have to be 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds to have success anymore.
But while we don’t know what role Geiger will be asked to play, it is always smart to add a player with his speed and past accomplishments to the roster. After all, in the modern world of college football, no team can have too many weapons in the passing game. Saturday, Texas Tech added another.