April 13, 2007

Who and what to watch for

Five to Watch at Red & Black

The Texas Tech Red Raiders will hold their annual spring game on Saturday in Jones AT&T stadium and for most fans this will be their first peak at the 2007 team. Tech has had to replace numerous starters on both sides of the ball and in most cases sophomores and redshirt freshman are in the mix.

Of the many players you'll see, who do we think you should watch for on Saturday?

Michael Crabtree - Not sure what else to say than watch #5 a lot. He is the next future all-conference wide receiver at Texas Tech. Use any adjective you want to that has described great receiver play and it fits #5. Playmaker, home-run threat, great body control, great hands, runs great routes and all that. One thing that new wide receivers coach Lincoln Riley has learned already is not talking up a player too much. "I think over at Z (position), Crabtree has done a good job." Understatement of the spring.

Ed Britton - Speed, speed, speed. Former Miami Hurricane and Dallas Cowboy head coach Jimmy Johnson used to say: "Speed kills!" Britton adds an ingredient to this offense that has been lacking in previous years. Todd Walker was supposed to add it but his career hasn't gotten off the ground yet. Britton is fast but he's also football fast which seems quite a bit different than what Walker has shown. Britton might not end up being a starter at X because of L.A. Reed but he is going to play a lot and he's a home run threat that won't disappoint with the ball in his hands. He's a much more polished wideout than at the beginning of the spring.

Marlon Williams - Finally some athleticism on the outside at linebacker. Is Williams ready to start in the fall? He sure looks like it to us. Williams might be just keeping the spot warm for injured senior Chad Hill though based on Lyle Setencich's most recent comments. "If Chad Hill was healthy right now, I believe he would be the starter. He plays hard, and he's very bright. I expect that continue when he's healthy." Not sure we understand that philosophy, especially since Setencich really likes the quickness and hustle shown by a very athletic Marlon Williams. Watch Williams (#39) for yourself and see what you think.

Paul Williams - Finally some athleticism in the middle. Williams' fairly quiet spring has been welcomed by nearly everyone, especially Setencich. Williams knows where he's supposed to be, lines up right and all that. But, he also gets their quicker, makes plays behind the line of scrimmage and is one of the few certain assets this defense has.

Joe Garcia - Seems like a different player compared to last spring. He's the unquestioned leader of the defense and he's got the respect of his peers. Why? Players respect guys like Garcia that will knock your block off and that play physical. The extra 10-pounds he's added to his frame has kept the hits and the respect coming this spring. Garcia isn't as much of a liability on coverage as he used to be either.

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