5 Red Raiders Who Played Their Last Game at The Jones Against TCU
It was a bad Saturday for Texas Tech football but it was especially heartbreaking for the Seniors that played their last game in a 27-3 loss to TCU. The future is very uncertain in 2017 with the job of Kliff Kingsbury hanging in the balance and the last game in Austin still holding a pot of gold called a bowl game for the Red Raiders.
The TCU game featured a few standout performances, not all standing out for great reasons, but with only one game left I wanted to name 5 Seniors that won't be back in 2018.
There are obviously more than 5 Seniors on the Texas Tech football team but there are 5 that I think will be missed next season. There are team leaders like Zach Barnes and Talor Nunez that will be missed in the locker room but not as noticeably as the 5 in this list.
There's also a bonus at the end. Bonus sounds positive, but this wouldn't be a positive.
Nic Shimonek is a first year starter and has been a hot topic of conversation this season as he got off to a hot start before ultimately falling to 5-6 through the first 11 games.
Shimonek hasn't exactly lacked in stats with almost 3,500 yards and 28 touchdowns. He's also got 8 interceptions to go along with his 68.5% completion percentage.
With high expectations coming into 2017 Shimonek has taken his share of blame for the losses this season. He also deserves the praise for the success, there's just been less success with a 5-6 record.
Dylan Cantrell is a 5th year Senior but he took an unorthodox path to his Senior year playing as a true freshman in 2013 then missing the 2015 season with an injury.
Cantrell has been a workhorse the past two seasons and is in the middle of his most successful season statistically this season with 65 receptions, 778 yards and 6 touchdowns.
The rangy wide receiver that has inspired hashtags like #cantrellcatcheseverything has 18 total touchdowns in his career.
With everything he's accomplished I still think Cantrell had more to give. That's not a knock on Cantrell but an indictment on his use while in Lubbock, though he had some pretty good receivers around him also getting targets.
Justin Stockton burst onto the scene as a true freshman and had some huge plays early in his career, including a big game against UTEP in El Paso.
His biggest season was as a Sophomore when he scored 11 total touchdowns and had over 700 yards from scrimmage.
In his career Stockton has 24 touchdowns and almost 2,500 all-purpose yards.
Stockton has flourished as a pure running back during his Senior campaign fighting through injuries and coming back against TCU last week with 21 carries and 124 yards.
Cameron Batson aka CamBat is another Senior that I always expected more from, though it's not like he's been unproductive.
Batson has 152 catches and 1,460 yards with 13 touchdowns including 8 in 2016. CamBat will also be missed as a returner next season.
Big Mych has enjoyed a break out year in 2017 after joining the team last season as a transfer from JUCO.
Thomas has more than 30 tackles and a sack to go with a huge pass deflection against Arizona State that sealed the game.
Keke Coutee is just a Junior but he's eligible for the NFL Draft and has a chance to be drafted in 2018. Not in the early rounds but he's got the talent.
I don't think he'll leave but it would be a big loss if he did. Arguably a larger loss than any of the Seniors who are leaving.
Other Juniors who have left that could have made a huge impact are Patrick Mahomes and Jace Amaro.