When Kliff Kingsbury took the head coaching position with the Texas Tech Red Raiders, it promised a return to the high-flying offenses from the program’s peak in the early 2000’s. Back then, Tech was airing the ball out more than anyone in college football, turning their athletic receivers into major college stars. When Eric Ward decided to come back to Lubbock for his senior season, he was signing up to join that tradition and is poised to have a huge year for the high-flying Raider offense.
He’s already shown the ability to be a big-play receiver during his junior season. Ward led the team in receiving yards, catching 82 passes for 1,053 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was part of a pretty dynamic duo with Darrin Moore who led the team with 92 receptions, amassing 1,032 yards and 13 touchdowns in the process. Moore is no longer on the roster an there is no other receiver on the team who had more than 35 catches or 409 yards a year ago.
That means nobody will be pushing in on Ward’s touches in 2013. He has distinguished himself as the go-to guy in the passing game in Lubbock and will be targeted early and often as Kingsbury brings the Air Raid back to Lubbock. Michael Brewer will also be taking his first serious snaps under center as the starter, so you can expect him to lean on a security blanket like Ward to turn short passes into big gains as he finds his rhythm in the passing game.
Texas Tech is sure to be among the nation’s most pass-happy teams in 2013 and they will have a talented playmaker in Ward to reap the benefits of it. Can the senior wide receiver push his way into the conversation of top pass catchers in college football next season?