September 14, 2011

Marquez moves back inside

Every catch Bradley Marquez has in his Texas Tech career has gone for a touchdown.

OK, Marquez only has one catch for one touchdown and the coaching staff decided to move Marquez from a Z wideout position to an H inside receiver after the Texas State game. It was an announcement that shocked him.

"It surprised me, but it was something I was open to," Marquez said. "They said they're just going to play around with it, we've got a lot of receivers. We're just toying around with it and seeing if I can use my speed to beat these linebackers rather than working on these corners that are pressing a lot of the time.

"I feel like maybe it will suit me best. I haven't played a game at (H) yet, just practice, but as far as now I feel like it fits me pretty well and I can be successful there. Definitely excited to be out there as an inside receiver against New Mexico."

Marquez starred as a running back at Odessa (Texas) High School last year but at 5-foot-10 and 183 pounds coaching staff felt he would be better off at receiver, especially considering Marquez came in a recruiting class with running backs Ronnie Daniels, DeAndre Washington and Kenny Williams.

The original thought was Marquez, who also has recently a professional baseball contract with the New York Mets organization, would be a good fit at inside receiver but early into fall camp the coaching staff decided to pair him up with Darrin Moore on the outside.

Entering Saturday, however, the coaching staff feels Tramain Swindall, a long, lanky former inside receiver, makes the most sense to back up Moore. Meanwhile Marquez can now use his speed against linebackers and safeties in the middle of the field.

"From the snap to the end his routes are full speed," head coach Tommy Tuberville said. "There's not a lot of indifference between. When he starts, he goes fast, and he's going to catch the ball on the run. Quarterbacks sometimes have to adjust to that because some guys kind of throttle down a little bit. He doesn't throttle out of a cut. He comes out of a cut and I think that's one thing that Major League Baseball was looking at, how he accelerated and continued to accelerate his athletic ability.

"So that's what he gives you. He gives you a guy that's full speed."

Not only is Marquez making his debut at inside receiver Saturday, he's also starting for the first time in his college career along with freshman linebacker Sam Eguavoen. And the start comes in a hostile environment, University Stadium in Albuquerque, N.M.

"I'm excited," Marquez said. "I'm excited to play at the D-I level, going into hostile territory, there's going to be a lot of people and it's hostile territory. I've got to block out the distractions and focus on what I'm going to do. I'm excited, hopefully going to get the jitters out early… Like coaches always say, going on the road is a business trip so be prepared and ready to play."

Scoring a touchdown on a first career reception is impressive, but Marquez wants that one to be the first in a long line of scores this season. Playing inside receiver can help him get there.

"That was awesome," Marquez said. "It was just a blessing the way it happened. First play, first touchdown and not many people can say that. But there are still things I need to focus on to be successful. I definitely don't want that to be my last touchdown. I want there to be quite a lot more.

"I'm working hard, hopefully get a few more catches and make a big difference for this team. Be a playmaker and make a big difference for this team."

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