How high should expectations be for freshman receiver Micah Hudson in 2024?

Micah Hudson arrives with plenty of hype but should there be massive expectations on the freshman wide receiver this fall?
Oregon v Texas Tech
Oregon v Texas Tech / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

Sometimes it can be tough for fans to temper expectations. That may particularly be true this year when it comes to Texas Tech football fans and freshman wide receiver Micah Hudson.

That's what happens when your favorite program lands its first-ever five-star high school recruit. It also doesn't help that the Temple, Texas native plays receiver, a position that Red Raider fans are accustomed to seeing thrive in Lubbock.

When Hudson picked Tech over Texas and announced his verbal commitment to the Red Raiders back in September, just days after the Red Raiders' loss to Oregon, many around the recruiting world were shocked. After all, players with offers from the likes of Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Texas A&M, Texas, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Oklahoma don't typically wind up calling West Texas home.

Naturally, Red Raider fans have been itching to see Hudson in action since then. That desire only grew when Hudson had to miss the spring as he recovered from surgery on his knee.

Now, as the 2024 season approaches, there are going to be plenty of Red Raider fans who start to imagine what Hudson could become as a collegiate. However, history suggests that he won't set the world on fire as a true freshman.

Even some of the best Texas Tech wide receivers of all time were average at best as freshmen

Let's just get this out of the way. Hudson isn't going to be the next Michael Crabtree as a freshman. That's because Crabtree didn't play as a true freshman due to an issue with his high school transcript.

However, several other Red Raider greats did play in their first year on campus. None, though, came close to being dominant.

For instance, consider Wes Welker's freshman season. The man who is currently third on the Texas Tech all-time receiving yardage list and who was the program's all-time leading receiver when he left campus, caught just 26 passes for 334 yards and no TDs in 2000 as a true freshman.

What's more, some of the best Red Raider wideouts ever didn't even have stellar redshirt freshman seasons. For instance, Eric Ward, one of only two players (along with Crabtree) to rank among the top five in Texas Tech history in career receptions, career receiving yards, and career touchdown receptions managed just six catches for 63 yards and a TD in 2010 despite playing in eleven games.

Jakeem Grant, Tech's all-time leading receiver, was a stellar return man as a redshirt freshman, but he wasn't much of a weapon in the passing game. In 2012, he hauled in only 33 passes for 287 receiving yards with three touchdowns.

The simple fact is that true freshmen wide receivers don't typically burst onto the scene. There are so many nuances to playing wide receiver that making the adjustment from the high school level often takes time.

Now, it must be noted that Hudson arrives with far more hype and pedigree than any receiver in program history. Thus, he should be expected to contribute significantly this season. However, he may not have to be a superstar for the offense to be dominant.

Texas Tech has other weapons to feed besides Hudson

Let's also keep in mind that Tech has several talented offensive playmakers to carry the load this season. That means that Hudson won't have to be asked to be a 1,000-yard receiver for the offense to be effective.

We all know that running back Tahj Brooks is going to get plenty of carries. Last season, he ran the ball nearly 300 times and this year, the offense will revolve around him, not Hudson.

At receiver, Josh Kelly is in the mix after transferring in from Washington State. Last season, he caught 61 passes for 923 yards and eight touchdowns. Now, the super-senior is going to be asked to be Tech's leading option at receiver.

What's more, talented transfers such as former Florida wideout, Caleb Douglas, and former Arizona State tight end Jalin Conyers will also demand their share of touches. In other words, there are plenty of mouths to feed on this offense and that could be a reason Hudson doesn't post astronomical numbers.

The point is not to be a wet blanket on anyone's excitement over Hudson. Still, it is important for fans to have realistic expectations, even for a player of Hudson's talent. Though he comes in as highly rated as any freshman in the Big 12, he is likely going to have to grow into a veteran player before he dominates the college game the way we all hope he eventually will.