February 8, 2012

Brown expecting big things

Texas Tech football fans have a lot to be excited about on the offensive side of the ball this season.

It's going to be tough to replace three offensive starters in Justin Keown, Mickey Okafor and Lonnie Edwards on the offensive line, but the Red Raider offense couldn't be in a much better situation position-by-position than it is right now.

Wideout Tyson Williams, an All-American as a sophomore at Division II West Texas A&M, is eligible after sitting out the standard transfer seasons and the coaches are raving about what he can bring to the team.

Williams might be Tech's best receiver at tracking a ball through the air. He also gives Rudy Ruettiger effort on the practice field with about 100 times more natural talent.

"He's got a unique personality," offensive coordinator Neal Brown said just after an interview with RedRaiderSports.com's Chris Level and Aaron Dickens on the Fox 34 National Signing Day Special in Lubbock. "He's very outgoing. He likes Tyson Williams and rightfully so because he's been productive not only in high school but also college. A kid that transferred West Texas.

"A coach on our offensive quality control staff coached him at West Texas and we felt good about bringing him in. He's been good to coach. A fun kind being around everyday, but he comes to work, he's physical and explosive. I'm excited to see what he can do."

At running back, the Red Raiders will get a big lift with the return of Ronnie Daniels. Daniels spent most of last season, his freshman year, on suspension for a violation of team rules.

"If Ronnie Daniels can keep his academic and his personal life on the right track, which he is right now, he's got a great chance to be that breakout player," Brown said. "I think (wide receiver) Marcus Kennard is sitting on a lot of potential. I think they can perform really well.

"Then you look at a guy like (offensive lineman) Beau Carpenter who played some crucial downs for us last year but is ready to take the next step and be an every down player."

Speaking of the new looking offensive line, Deveric Gallington will start spring football as the No. 1 center but will face some tough competition from freshmen.

"We're also getting Tony Morales back which we're excited about," Brown said. "Then we have Jared Kaster who I'm excited about watching developing. He's already on campus."

Then there's tight end Jace Amaro, a Rivals100 recruit a season ago.

"Jace, that's usually one I name out first when talking breakout players," Brown said. "I really expect him to start out at spring practice as our most improved player. He feels more confident and we're expecting more things from him in this offense. He's pretty filled out anyway, but he's about 260 pounds now."

Back at running back, there's some good news.

Both Eric Stephens and especially DeAndre Washington are ahead of schedule with their knee injuries.

They'll miss spring football, but both are expected to be playing this upcoming season.

"They're on schedule," Brown said. "Obviously, Washington's injury was cleaner. He just had the ACL so he's probably a little further ahead than Eric is even though Eric had his surgery earlier. Eric had the dislocation which takes a little bit longer to recover from but they're both on track.

"They'll get released to do some things in June and we'll know in camp where they're going to stand."


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