Texas Tech receivers Caden Leggett (89), Ja'Deion High and Seth Collins celebrate Collins's touchdown in the Red Raiders' victory over Kansas at Jones AT&T Stadium.Elise Bressler photo

Red Raiders land three-star TE in mid-June

Simon Gonzalez, the 47th-ranked TE in the nation according to 247Sports, committed to Texas Tech in mid-June. The native of Magnolia (Texas) chose the Red Raiders over Arizona, Arizona State, and SMU.

Gonzalez is a unique tight end prospect for the Red Raiders. Listed at 6-3, 222, Gonzalez is a little light for a traditional tight end prospect. Some scouts also have Gonzalez listed as an h-back. As a junior, Gonzalez produced 600 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns for the Mustangs.

Gonzalez, who produced 600 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns as a junior at Magnolia West, is a talented pass-catcher with good overall speed and quickness. So far, he hasn’t been much of an in-line blocker so don’t expect the Raiders to utilize him much in the run game. But Gonzalez’s versatility makes him a threat from multiple formations on offense for the Red Raiders. 

Scholarship offers for the tight end position is a rarity for the Red Raiders. The Air Raid system doesn’t utilize the skill-set of a true tight end. Tight ends in the Air Raid system are primarily used in pass-heavy formations to work the seams. Former Red Raider Jace Amaro flourished in the Air Raid system and broke the NCAA record for receiving yards by a tight end.

Since the departure of Amaro, the Red Raiders haven’t had an impact player at the tight end position. Through six games this season, Donta Thompson has 1 catch for 11 yards. The signing of Gonzalez shows the Red Raiders want to get back to utilizing versatile tight ends in the passing game.