Texas Tech fans have caught only a glimpse this spring of what a Davis Webb-to-D.J. Polite-Bray connection might mean for the future. Those snippets have been bursting with promise, though.
In the Red Raiders’ first open scrimmage of spring practice, Polite-Bray ran a go route and turned a Webb bomb into a 60-yard touchdown, capping a six-catch, 104-yard day in Midland.
Then in the second open scrimmage last week, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound sophomore caught three passes for 72 yards, the highlight when he ran past a cornerback on a post pattern and produced a 46-yard gain.
The only thing better would have been not getting caught from behind.
“I actually feel I could have done a better job on that post,” Polite-Bray said Tuesday, “taking it some more toward the end zone, getting some points out of it, but Davis saw me, made a good pass and we connected.”
Those are the only two sessions of spring that have been open to fans and media, but co-offensive coordinator Eric Morris said they’re indicative of the month Polite-Bray has had.
“I’d say out of the guys who we really didn’t know about, D.J. Polite-Bray is probably the number one that’s done some really good things,” said Morris, who coaches the receivers. “He’s been consistent day in and day out. He’s been a guy that’s shown up, making plays every day, which has been really good for us to see.”
And not a moment too soon. At the end of last season, the Red Raiders waved goodbye to split end Eric Ward after his third consecutive 80-catch season. Finding his replacement is one of the primary objectives before next season.
Polite-Bray ended last season second at the position, but hadn’t played much.
“I thought it was a great opportunity,” he said. “First and foremost, playing behind (Ward) my freshman year, he taught me a lot of things. Once he left, I feel I’ve got to make the most of what he taught me, what coach Morris taught me and what I already knew to have my chance.”
Polite-Bray came to Tech from Lithonia, Ga., choosing the Red Raiders over Tennessee, Mississippi and TCU. He’s been all about Tech since before he arrived on campus.
“Even before I came to Tech, I would always be in school texting Davis, trying to get a great relationship with him,” Polite-Bray said, “like, ‘Once I get there, we’re going to do big things.’
“And once I get my opportunity this year, the timing is working out pretty good and the chemistry is definitely going to be there.”
Polite-Bray’s best asset is speed. Apparently, what rough edges he had are being polished in timely fashion.
“He’s kind of learning how to read defenses and how to set different things up, and his footwork has improved dramatically from day one this spring to now,” Morris said. “It’s just, I think, taking coaching and learning how to maneuver defenders and get them to believe you’re going somewhere you’re not and being explosive.”
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