Texas Tech showed a glimpse of what to expect with a remodeled offense and defense under new head coach Matt Wells in its spring practice game Saturday at The Star in Frisco. The Red Raiders worked out their expected starters, but there is time between now and the fall for the depth chart to move around. Here is a projection of where the two-deep depth chart would be if the season started today:
Quarterback: 1 – Alan Bowman, 2 – Jett Duffey
Bowman, as expected, took the opening snaps in the spring game. After Saturday’s scrimmage, there is no reason to believe he won’t get the starting nod come game time in the fall. There may be complications on the offense, but Bowman is a capable quarterback.
Running back: 1 – Ta’Zhawn Henry, 2 – Jax Welch
Another player everyone expected to see in the starting unit was Henry. He made an impression as a true freshman and, due to the suspension of Da’Leon Ward, was the clear-cut choice on the opening snap of the scrimmage. Henry tied with Ward to lead all Tech running backs with 341 rushing yards last season, and his eight rushing touchdowns were a team high. Welch was worked in at the spring game, accounting for a 2-yard score.
Outside receiver: 1 – Erik Ezukanma, 2 – Dalton Rigdon
Keep in mind that the Red Raiders are currently dealing with injuries in their receiving core, but Ezukanma showed he is a threat downfield, leading all pass catchers with 114 yards on six receptions in Frisco. Rigdon is a capable receiver (six catches for 92 yards at the spring game) and adds depth at the position.
Inside receiver: 1 – Dax Neece, 2 – Brandt Schilling
It’s difficult to project who will be called on when it comes to inside receiver in the fall, but Neece and Schilling are viable options. The pair saw playing time in the spring game and could see more when the first live game of the season comes along.
Left tackles – Travis Bruffy, Dawson Deaton. Left guards – Madison Akamnonu. Center – Bailey Smith. Right guard – Jack Anderson. Right tackle – Terence Steele, Will Farrar.
The offensive line returns a seasoned crew. Someone will have to step up at center to keep the ball rolling and the quarterback safe in the fall. That being said, Bruffy, Akamnonu, Anderson and Steele are strong candidates for starting spots. Tech will have to see how its signing class performs to add depth in the trenches.
Defensive tackle: 1 – Broderick Washington Jr., Joseph Wallace
Washington and Wallace are sizable players who are capable of disrupting plays up the middle. Expect to see the two, along with others, in rotation at the defensive line.
Defensive end: 1 – Eli Howard, 2- Nelson Mbanasor
Howard is experienced, having played in all 12 games a season ago (11 starts). Mbanasor shined in the spring game, accounting for two of the five sacks. The pair can cause some damage off the edge next season.
Linebacker: 1 – Jordyn Brooks, 2 – Riko Jeffers
While the Red Raiders lost one of their top linebackers, the team returns some talented players in Brooks and Jeffers. The pair finished second and third on the team in tackles a season ago, respectively.
Safety: 1 – Thomas Leggett, 2 – Trey Gentry
Under new defensive coordinator Keith Patterson, the Red Raiders will look different in how they try to stop the chains from moving. The secondary will play a vital role in that cause, and Leggett and Gentry can help slow things down through the air.
Cornerback: 1 – Douglas Coleman III, Adrian Frye
The secondary appeared sharp and aggressive in the spring game. Frye was seen taking on various roles and returned punts on special teams. Coleman and Frye are two players to look out for next season.
Punter: 1 – Cody Waddell
The special teams unit currently lacks depth when it comes to kickers. Waddell is the only listed punter on the roster. That will change once the full 2019 recruiting class arrives.
Kicker: 1 – Trey Wolff
Wolff was considered one of the top kickers in Texas coming out of high school. The Klein graduate garnered interest from schools such as Houston, Oklahoma State, North Texas, Massachusetts and Ole Miss.
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