The Texas Tech receivers need to prove to be stars
Last fall, the Texas Tech football team got decent but not spectacular play from the receiving corps. Now, it is time for that group of players to prove to be more than just average. They now need to become stars.
The Red Raiders used to produce dominant outside wide receivers on a yearly basis with the likes of Michael Crabtree, Joel Filani, Jarrett Hicks, and others putting up eye-popping numbers every fall. However, Tech hasn’t had a 1,000-yard pass catcher since Antoine Wesley shocked everyone with his 1,410-yard season in 2018. In fact, since then, no Tech wide receiver has gone over the 800-yard mark.
If Jerand Bradley doesn’t become the next 1,000-yard club member in 2023, it won’t be for a lack of talent. Voted a preseason all-conference honoree after putting up 744 yards and 6 TDs last year, the redshirt sophomore has all the physical gifts necessary to be one of the Big 12’s most feared weapons.
At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, he can bully most defensive backs. What’s more, he has deceptive, if not blazing speed allowing him to be a big-play threat as well. Last year, he had three 100-yard games including 173 against Oklahoma. Now, many are expecting him to become one of the conference’s premier receivers.
Opposite him, Loic Fouonji also has the potential to be a star. The former 4-star recruit has struggled to avoid the injury bug in his career, including last year when a shoulder injury limited his effectiveness even though he did appear in all 13 games.
The Midland native has above-average speed allowing him to be a big-play threat and his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame makes him capable of making physical plays as well. Thus, there’s no reason he shouldn’t easily surpass the 451 yards and 3 TDs he amassed in 2022.
Though players such as Jordan Brown are pushing Fouonji for playing time, he has an opportunity this year to become a star if he can finally live up to the potential that everyone can see he possesses. In fact, there’s no reason why both Red Raider outside receivers shouldn’t be electric this season. It is time for the tradition of wide receiver dominance to return to the South Plains.