Joey McGuire doesn't like to use true freshmen on the Texas Tech football team.

The Red Raiders head coach would prefer to keep all of his freshmen in the four-game redshirt window, although circumstances can change over the course of a season.

Three defensive backs – Brenden Jordan, Jordan Sanford and Chapman Lewis – all saw significant playing time as freshmen in 2023, appearing in a total of 36 games last season.

Are there any newcomers to the 2024 roster who could get the same amount of playing time? Here are a few to keep an eye on.

Micah Hudson, receiver

Amazingly, the first name to pop up on this list is future five-star recruit from Temple Lake Belton. Micah Hudson's arrival generated a lot of buzz, although the 6-foot-4 receiver was unable to showcase what he can do in spring ball as he recovered from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to repair an injury dating back to his high school days.

Regardless, Hudson is expected to be a strong presence on the field for the Red Raiders despite his freshman age. Offensive coordinator Zach Kittley said the team is working this spring to find ways to incorporate Hudson into the offense, whether from the outside or inside receiver positions. Hudson should be ready for summer workouts.

“I don't think you'll ever hear me say we're not going to let Micah Hudson play,” McGuire said on signing day. “I think he's going to have a presence on this football team from day one, from the moment he gets here.”

What that looks like remains to be seen and will likely remain a secret until he takes the field for his first game as a Red Raider.

Cameron Dickey, running back

Tahj Brooks is the star of this year's Texas Tech team. After finishing fourth in the nation in rushing, Brooks announced his return to the Red Raiders in December.

The question is who will back him up and get the few appearances he has after him. Cam'Ron Valdez is back as a veteran player after flirting with the transfer portal, while redshirt freshmen Anquan Willis and Bryson Donnell decided to go elsewhere via the transfer portal.

McGuire attributed her departure to the emergence of Cameron Dickey this spring.

“He's very experienced in football,” McGuire told the Avalanche Journal this spring, “and it's dramatic every time you see him compete against some of the other guys.”

McGuire also said he hopes to redshirt Dickey — because that would likely mean Brooks and Valdez are healthy for the season — but he's a name to keep an eye on in the backfield.

RELATED: Will Texas Tech football player Cameron Dickey redshirt in 2024? Joey McGuire speaks out

Will Hammond, quarterback

Why is the true freshman on the list who could be fourth in the rankings this season? The story of Texas Tech.

The Red Raiders have started with three different quarterbacks each of the last three years, meaning every pitcher on the roster has to be ready to play at any time.

Hammond has a chance to take the third spot away from Jake Strong, but Behren Morton and Cameran Brown seem to have the starting and backup positions all but secured. Hammond not being able to redshirt would be the ultimate disaster scenario for McGuire and his team, but it can't be ruled out.

RELATED: Is Jake Strong or Will Hammond the third quarterback for Texas Tech football? Joey McGuire explains

Malik Esquerra, defender

The majority of true freshmen who didn't redshirt last year came from the secondary, so it's clear that this position group presents another opportunity.

Our Don Williams had Esquerra ranked third on the boundary safety list after spring training, behind CJ Baskerville and Javeon Wilcox.

Esquerra's speed was McGuire's biggest selling point. He took home gold in the Class 5A 110-meter hurdles at the state track and field championships and placed third in the 300-meter hurdles. Whether on defense or special teams, Esquerra could get more playing time because of those skills.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *