Thursday, April 28, 2011
The Revolving Door: Texas Tech
By ESPN.com staff
We capped off our series looking at the strongest and weakest points of each team in the league heading into 2011, and it's on to the next one.
I've done it. You've done it.
"Hey, is that guy still around?"
Admittedly, even with two fewer teams, it's hard for fans to keep track. Our next series, which we did last year, too, takes a look at two key players for every team in the league that are taking their talents elsewhere, returning to campus, or arriving to try and write a legacy of their own.
So really, this series isn't so much for the fans of the teams in the posts, but more for everyone else. It wouldn't be a bad idea to bookmark this series.
Let's get started.
First up? Texas Tech.
Taylor Potts, QB
Potts was no fan favorite during his time in Lubbock, but he had a nice senior year and finished his career with a bowl win over Northwestern. Perhaps his finest moment? After being benched for Steven Sheffield midseason, Potts came off the bench against then-No. 12 Missouri to lead a comeback win and the signature game of the Red Raiders' season. That's impressive. Despite the criticism, Potts still threw for 3,726 yards and completed 67 percent of his passes last season, notching 35 touchdowns and just nine picks. Only three quarterbacks in college football threw more touchdowns last season.
Lyle Leong, WR
Leong caught 19 of those touchdowns last season, second nationally to only Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon. He proved to be a reliable red zone target and caught 74 passes for 926 yards. His career built to his big year as a senior, and despite Texas Tech's usual depth at receiver, his presence will be missed in the passing game. It'll be most evident down in the red zone.
Alex Torres, WR
Torres struggled while battling injuries last season after a big freshman year. He finished with just 39 catches, 481 yards and three touchdowns, but if he stays healthy, he's likely to have a 1,000-yard season as a junior in 2011. Clearly, the potential is there, and he's likely to be new quarterback Seth Doege's top target. As a freshman, he had 67 catches for 806 yards and six scores. Here's guessing he clears that number easily this fall.
Cody Davis, S
Davis should be one of the leaders of the Red Raiders defense as its leading returning tackler. As a sophomore in 2010, he made 87 tackles, with 69 solo stops, just two fewer than linebacker Bront Bird, who led the team. Chad Glasgow coached an All-American and a Thorpe Award finalist at safety last season in TCU's Tejay Johnson. He comes to try and shore up a Texas Tech secondary as its defensive coordinator this season. Davis may not have Johnson's athletic ability, but he should look even better with a spring and fall camp under Glasgow's watch.
Jace Amaro, TE
For now, Texas Tech's starting tight end is Adam James. A beefed up, 233-pound Adam James, but still. Amaro, meanwhile, was one of the Red Raiders top recruits and one of the nation's best tight ends. Coach Tommy Tuberville wants to have a more capable tight end to help run the ball more effectively, and a strong effort to recruit one paid off in his first full class. Amaro will be a part of a slight change in Texas Tech's offense, but his 6-foot-4, 230-pound frame should fill out plenty a year from now.
Ronnie Daniels, RB
The Red Raiders have two more highly-recruited running backs headed to campus this fall, Bradley Marquez and Kenny Williams, but Daniels made a big impact this spring after enrolling early. Tuberville wants to use more two-back formations, and for now, the 6-foot-1, 195-pounder, is likely to find his way on the field. He showed plenty of prowess carrying the ball and catching it, and if he can prove he's mastered pass blocking as well, he'll definitely make an early impact somehow.