Connect with us


Texas Tech Football Position Preview: Tight End

A forgotten position in the past, is that no longer for the Red Raiders

Photo CC:

Of the many focuses Head Coach Matt Wells has brought to Texas Tech, one of the more interesting ones is that of a renewed emphasis on the tight end position. Over the last twenty years, the tight end position has taken many a back seat in the Red Raider offense. Usually, being flexed out as a larger wide receiver in the Air Raid passing attack to create mismatches against either linebackers or defensive backs.

Part of this was already in the works, as former Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury had recruited Simon Gonzalez to bolster the offense that, too many times, seemed to get stymied in the red zone. Wells arrived in December and made a splash with JUCO talent Travis Koontz who was ranked the No. 1 tight end recruit out of junior college. Since then, Wells has added four more tight ends to the roster including two straight out of high school and two via transfer. Not to mention, Wells and co. have two more tight ends already committed in the 2021 class; Jed Castles a 6’6, 3-star talent and Mason Tharp, a 6’7 3-star talent.

While the tight end room may be getting crowded, it adds more versatility in the run game, mismatches in the pass game, and is being treated as a prime position for the first time in decades. 

Projected Depth Chart (as of August 5th)

  1. Travis Koontz (Sr)
  2. Simon Gonzalez (R-Fr)
  3. Jason Lloyd (So)
  4. John Holcomb (Fr)*
  5. Jayden York (Fr)*
  6. Connor Killian (Sr)
  7. Henry Teeter (So)*

*Redshirt Candidates

Travis Koontz (Sr)

Koontz played sparingly in 2019 racking up just 10 receptions for 152 yards while playing behind converted wide receiver Donta Thompson. As the most senior member of the tight end corps, and one of Wells’ first gets on the recruiting circuit, Koontz looks to make a major impact as the starter in 2020. At 6’5 – 245, Koontz has had time to fill out his frame to better suit the position, especially in the run game, compared to his younger teammates. While almost all of them are tall and can be asests in the pass game, Koontz gives Yost versatility in the run game immediately this year, which gives him the nod here. 

Simon Gonzalez (R-So)

With Coach Matt Wells needing an immediate big body in his offense, Wells turned to Donta Thompson as his number one tight end in 2019. Thompson would record 26 receptions for 311 yards during the 2019 campaign. Coupled with Koontz, 10/152 mark, Wells decided to redshirt Gonzalez. Since being recruited Gonzalez has added nearly 15 pounds onto his frame, allowing him to be more physical in the run game. Gonzalez was ranked the No. 26 TE, nationally, in the 2019 class. 

Jason Lloyd (So)

Jason Lloyd was a major get late for Wells as a transfer. Coming off a successful freshman campaign at the College of San Mateo, and named Bay 6 All-Conference, Lloyd transferred to Texas Tech in May of 2020. While the late arrival may slow his acclimation to the offense, the fact that most of Tech’s reps have been virtual may give Lloyd a chance to play right away. 

John Holcomb (Fr)

Holcomb comes to Texas Tech as a 3-star prospect and a speedster who will be able to flex out and create major mismatches in the passing game. At 6’5 – 215, it’s easy to fall in love with his height, but his physicality could become key as he also earned 2A All-State honors for his performance on the defensive line. With three legitimate options head of Holcomb, as well as senior, Connor Killian, Holcomb will more than likely be redshirted, though may see some time under the four-game rule. 

Jayden York (Fr)

Jayden York is a bit of a mystery as he was underrecruited. If he plays to his potential, he could be a major steal for the Red Raiders. During his senior year, for 6A-Bowie High School, York earned first-team All-District after compiling 32 receptions for 665 yards and 12 touchdowns. How the 6’5, York received very little interest leads us to have a Wes Welker sized head scratcher.  

Connor Killian (Sr)

Yes, it does seem weird to have a senior so far down on our projected depth chart, but Killian isn’t your average tight end. He started out as a long snapper as a freshman, moved to fullback as a sophomore, before being moved to tight end last year as a junior. Killian is pretty much an H-back at this point. His size makes him an asset at tight end, as he checks in at 6’2 – 240, but he is used mainly as a blocking specialist. He’ll be in on short yardage plays either at the tight end position or at fullback. Consummate professional during his time at Texas Tech and while he may get more playing time than others on this list, being limited to blocking downs and not being a real threat in the passing game lands him here.

Henry Teeter – (So)

Transfer from Holy Cross, Teeter was redshirted last year due to injury, but played considerable time as a freshman. Should be looking to move into a Connor Killian type roll in the future and help on special teams. 

Click to comment
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

More in Football