August 4, 2006

Don't forget about L.A.

You had to wonder if there was a future for wideout L.A. Reed at Texas Tech back in early December when it was learned that both Marquis Johnson and Reed had been suspended indefinitely for violation of team rules and that each would miss the Cotton Bowl. Reed has been off an on with his playing and practice time since he arrived in Lubbock two years ago due to injuries and a blood pressure situation.

Even though Johnson left and opted to turn pro it appears that Reed, a redshirt sophomore, couldn't be standing on any firmer ground heading into the 2006 season.

It's going to be fairly easy to overlook any receiver on Tech's roster this year not named Jarrett Hicks, Joel Filani or Robert Johnson but don't forget about Reed.

"Physically he's better then all of them, he's as tall as all of them, he's stronger than all of them, maybe not quite as fast as a Filani and maybe not quite as fluid as Robert and Hicks and doesn't have the experience that those guys have but physically he's extremely gifted," said Dana Holgorsen who coaches the inside receivers and doubles as co-offensive coordinator.

Reed put on a show in one of the Saturday scrimmages this past spring catching five passes for 107-yards. That day he flashed some consistency and more importantly, big-play potential. Inconsistency is something he's battled with in the past but the added experience and being more mature is causing the 'I' word to disappear from one's vocabulary when discussing Reed as a player.

"The thing he's been battling with the past year and a half is just consistency and staying healthy. He's trying hard right now and I'm excited about him."

Something of note: only the trio of Hicks, Filani and Johnson averaged more yards per catch last season among Tech's receiver rotation than Reed did. Because of that big-play potential Holgorsen decided to move him to 'H' this past spring which allowed him the chance to start.

The 'H' had an incumbent in junior Danny Amendola that is coming off a sub-par season, mainly due to two bad knees where are healthy now. Battling Amendola though was a better proposition than going toe to toe with the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year in Johnson.

"That job at 'H' is really wide open and no one was going to beat out Robert. Amendola has the experience factor but L.A. Reed has it physically. We have three guys right there battling. L.A. has a chance, you know if he's healthy he's going to play, we'll see if he can win the starting job at 'H' and if he can't then he'll have an extended role at several different positions, he's a smart kid as well."

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