August 10, 2006

Ranking the wideouts on Tech's schedule

Wide receiver is a position of strength for most of Tech's opponents in the upcoming season. Virtually every team on the slate has at least one receiver who can beat you, and several clubs have multiple threats in the receiving corps. Harassing opposing quarterbacks-not a position of strength-and strong play from the likes of Antonio Huffman, Chris Parker, Brent Nickerson, Daniel Charbonnet and LaShawn Vation will be crucial if Tech's pass defense is to improve statistically against these units.

12. SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA: As is par for the course for SELU, the Lions have some solid players but nobody for whom you have to game-plan. The top returning wideout is Robby Scates (6-4 215 Sr., Baton Rouge, La.) who snared 28 passes for 296 yards (10.6 ypc) last year. Merrick Lanaux (6-4 180 so., Hammond, La.) is another lanky receiver. He caught 29 passes for 343 yards and three touchdowns in 2006, averaging an impressive 18.1 yards per catch in the process. Terrin Pierce (5-11 190 Sr., Houma, La.) who played sparingly last season will likely be the third option.

11. COLORADO: The Buffaloes look to be a bit overrated going into 2006, and the wide receiver position is one reason why. The best of this bunch is possession receiver, Dusty Sprague (6-4 190 Jr., Holyoke, Co.) who caught 44 balls for 472 yards and a touchdown last fall. The only other experienced wideout is Patrick Williams (6-2 200 so., DeSoto) who snagged 29 passes for 258 yards last season, but has questionable hands. Stephone Robinson (5-9 185 Jr., Denver) who caught nothing in 2005, and Western Michigan transfer, Tyson DeVree (6-6 245 Jr.) fill out the lineup. DeVree caught 55 passes in two years at Kalamazoo, and the Colorado coaches love his potential.

10. OKLAHOMA STATE: The Cowboys have a big-name headliner in D'Juan Woods (6-1 210 Sr., Oklahoma City), but little else to make the opposition quake. Woods, a brother of OSU All American, Rashaun Woods, hauled in 56 passes for 879 yards and eight scores last season, and is an All Conference candidate. Brandon Pettigrew (6-5 255 so., Tyler), who has 4.76 forty speed and caught 11 passes last fall, has talent. Reputedly, so does North Carolina transfer, Adarius Bowman (6-4 215 Jr., Chattanooga, Tn.). He averaged 18.2 yards per catch in his abortive career in Chapel Hill.

9. TCU: The Frogs' had Cory Rodgers (6-1 195 Sr., Houston) and he would've been one of the better wideouts Tech would've seen in 2006 but he left early and left the cupboard bare. Beyond him it looks like a pedestrian lot. Rodgers caught 52 aerials for 685 yards and five touchdowns last season. Replacing Rodgers will be 21-catch man and former cornerback, Donald Massey (5-11 170 Jr., Hillsboro) and Chad Andrus (6-4 245 Sr., Keller) who is a returning starter.

8. TEXAS A&M: Injuries took a heavy toll on the Aggie receiving corps in 2005 so this year's unit is somewhat difficult to evaluate. College Station's finest may be Chad Schroeder (6-1 180 Sr., Austin), who snagged 20 passes for 335 yards and five touchdowns, while averaging 16.8 yards per catch, before he was felled by a broken leg. Towering tight end, Martellus Bennett (6-7 250 so., Alief) earned some Freshman All American mention last season. He caught 18 balls for 162 yards and three scores. Kerry Franks (5-10 185 Jr., Orange) who caught 10 passes last fall, and Earvin Taylor (6-3 245 Jr., Mission), nephew of former Texas Tech basketballers, Jeff and Vince Taylor, look to figure in the Aggie passing attack in 2006.

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