Bradley Marquez is a bit of a mystery man for the 2013 Red
Raiders. He is coming off a severe injury, he has the option to bolt to Major
League Baseball whenever he wants, and on top of that, Marquez belongs to a
fluid receiving corps in which he could play any position.
Red Raider fans need not fear, however. Marquez is fully
primed to be front and center for Tech, when the squad opens the season against
SMU on August 30.
Most important, Marquez is healthy. He suffered a
season-ending knee injury against West Virginia in game six of last season, but
is fully recovered.
“Yes, sir, pretty close to 100 percent,” says Marquez when
asked about his health.
“I feel real good. In other words, I feel real good out here
just trying to get in the groove of things. It’s been a while since I’ve been
on this field, so as far as physically, I feel good and I’m just kind of
shaking off the rust a little bit.”
It is still extremely early, but Marquez appears to have the
inside track on a starting berth as well. He is currently manning the Z
receiver position, which is no surprise, but his top competition, redshirt
freshman Reginald Davis, is a bit of a surprise. With Javon
Bell not currently in the mix at this position, Marquez is the odds-on favorite
to start and get the lion’s share of the reps.
Coming back from a five-month layoff and immediately being
thrust into a starting role is a difficult task, if only from a stamina standpoint.
Compounding matters, new head coach Kliff Kingsbury already has his offense
operating at warp speed.
“It [practice] is a lot faster,” Marquez states
“I mean, we were fast, but we’re faster. It’s fast and we
practice really fast from when first walk out here. It’s technically called a
walk-through, but it’s fast, even the walk-through is fast, so as far as the
last two practices I can say the speed has definitely picked up a lot.”
Naturally, there is a method to the mercurial madness.
Kingsbury wants to be able to run opponents ragged when the play is for keeps.
“Definitely translated to the football field, yes sir. You
train your body this way every practice and come game time it’s gonna feel easy because your body
is used to it instead of just trying to turn it up. We want to turn it up out
here so we can take it to the field,” Marquez confirms.
And according to Marquez, the Red Raiders, in Michael Brewer, will have the perfect quarterback to gut gassed defenses this season.
Brewer’s athleticism is the reason why.
“Athleticism,” Marquez responds without hesitation when
asked what Brewer brings to the quarterback position. “First off, his
athleticism. If a play breaks down there’s always room for him to get out and
As Red Raider defenses have learned from brutal experience
over the last 15 years, there’s nothing more demoralizing than having a
quarterback leak out for a long run on 3rd-and-long. In 2013, Tech
may finally be able to inflict this misery on the opponent.
But according to Marquez, there’s more to Brewer than just a
good set of wheels.
“…just the winning mentality,”
Marquez continues in describing Brewer.
”He comes from Lake Travis and that’s a program everybody
really knows well across Texas and even nationwide. He comes from that program
so he’s been trained well since high school and he prepares himself every day
since he’s been here. I think this is his third spring ball that he’s going
through and it’s finally his time. He’s had his time to wait, and right now
we’re excited about him. We’re ready to see him back on the field in game-time
situations, but definitely that competitive nature, that winning attitude and
athleticism would be what he brings.”
And fortunately for the Red Raiders, Marquez will bring it
for Texas Tech instead of the New York Mets in 2013, although baseball is still
on the front burner for the Odessa wideout.
“Baseball’s definitely in my future. Just like both sports.
I’ve been doing them both and I feel like I try to dedicate myself to both of
them. The Mets are a great organization and they’ve done a lot for me. They’re
the ones putting me through school and stuff so baseball is definitely a big
part of my life as much as football. It just so happens that I have to go to school
and spend a lot more time here than at baseball going into summer, but
definitely not one over the other right now.”
With any luck, Marquez will remain injury free in 2013, and
live up to the promise both the Mets and Red Raiders see in him.