A consequence of signing one of the country’s top recruiting
classes is that your depth chart could experience a serious upheaval between
early August when the blue chippers arrive, and the season-opener in early
September. Extremely talented players have the potential to overcome lack of
experience and make impacts early in their careers.
Tommy Tuberville and his coaching staff will be faced with
this problem very shortly. It is, as they say, a nice problem to have.
In this series we will take a look at the incoming recruits
most likely to see the field in 2011, try to project where they will fit in the
depth chart, and what they will bring to the table for the Red Raiders in the
There are more highly touted players in Texas Tech’s 2010
recruiting class, and there may be a few who are surer bets to contribute
immediately, but none could factor at as many disparate positions as Bradley
Marquez. The Odessa High product will play and play well for the Red Raiders,
but the question is where.
Marquez made his mark as a running back in the high school
ranks and will get an opportunity to do the same as a collegian, but his
ultimate home could be at slot receiver or even cornerback. Marquez has the
athleticism and raw skill to excel at any of those positions.
The talents that allowed Marquez to flourish as a running
back translate well to the inside receiver position. Marquez is a long strider
with excellent speed, but more important, he is a decisive, economical runner
in the open field.
Marquez is not as dynamic as a Michael Crabtree, and he
doesn’t have the quickness of a Wes Welker, but like both of those players, he
wastes no time getting upfield once the ball is in his hands. Additionally,
Marquez does a phenomenal job of reading his blockers. Consequently, he never
makes a bad cut or runs into the wrong seam.
One of the more interesting features of Marquez’s game is
his blocking. Despite weighing no more than 180 pounds, Marquez obviously
relishes taking out opposing defenders. In his high school days Marquez was
known for obliterating two or even three opponents on a single play. This
speaks to Marquez’s aggressiveness, physicality and unselfishness.
And this thirst for contact is one reason why playing
Marquez at cornerback is not a stretch. At five-foot-eleven, he also has the
ideal frame for the position, and his speed is plenty good as well.
If the Tech coaching staff leaves Marquez at running back,
he will almost certainly redshirt. The Red Raiders are stacked with experience
and talent at this position, and Marquez is unlikely to make a dent there
Inside receiver is another story. Marquez, who looked very
comfortable catching the ball in high school, could contribute here in a hurry.
Current inside receivers Alex Torres, Austin Zouzalik, Cornelius Douglas, Adam James and Aaron Fisher all have either injury or productivity issues. There is
an opportunity here for Marquez and fellow freshman Jakeem Grant to make an
Cornerback would be a more difficult transition for Marquez,
but Tech has a need here. Jarvis Phillips, Derrick Mays, and Tre’ Porter all
have talent, but the Red Raiders would like to go into battle with at least
four cornerbacks they feel very good about. And Marquez is bright enough to
pick the position up quickly should the Tech coaching staff decide to go this
direction. At this point, who knows what direction they’ll go?