Every Texas Tech fan is waiting, hoping, and praying for the next Michael Crabtree to show up at the Jones this fall.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news; he's not in Lubbock and won't be this year.
However, that doesn't mean that the Air Raid isn't going to just as much of a nightmare for opposing coaches as it was with No. 5 in the lineup.
In fact, one could easily make the case that this is the most talented crop of pass catchers that Capt. Leach has ever put on the field.
Yesterday, I mentioned true freshman Eric Ward. He is a four-star recruit that was committed to Oklahoma before switching to Texas Tech. We are still 10 days away from the North Dakota game but it looks like he might be redshirted.
Think back to 2005. At that time it was inconceivable to think that the Red Raiders would be in a position talent-wise to redshirt an elite prospect, much less one who plays wide receiver.
Back to what you can expect to see this fall.
The Air Raid will again feature a QB that passes for 4,000+ yards. It will again feature eight or nine guys that catch 15 or more balls, gaining 100+ yards, and scoring at least one touchdown.
However, don't expect to see Detron Lewis or Ed Britton grabbing 95 balls for 1,110 yards and 12 TD's. They simply are not the difference makers that Crabtree was.
Nobody on this roster (or any other roster in FBS except for maybe Julio Jones) should be expected to deliver a Crabtree-esque performance.
I see the 2009 edition of the Air Raid being a virtual mirror of the 2005 group. Four players catching between 65 and 75 passes, scoring five touchdowns each, and collectively gaining over 3,000 yards.
If you want a sleeper to watch this fall, then check out Lyle Leong. He and Taylor Potts were arguably the most dynamic QB/WR duo in Texas HS Football in 2004 and 2005. Leong was 1st Team All-State and averaged 22 yards per catch as a senior at Abilene High.
Oh and one other thing...
The Crabtree 2.0 starter kit is on his way to Lubbock. His name is Kadron Boone of Ocala, Fla., and he will be in Lubbock June 1, 2010. Stay tuned...