Red Raider wide receiver Antoine Wesley announced earlier today that he would be foregoing his senior season in Lubbock in order to play in the NFL.
He put out a statement on Twitter, where he thanked friends, family, coaches, fans, and Texas Tech University for their support. Wesley notes in that letter that he received “positive feedback from the NFL,” and that was key to his decision:
Blessed for the past. Excited for the future! GUNSUP ALWAYS 👆🏽LOVE YOU TEXAS TECH RAIDERS & RED RAIDER NATION ⚫️🔴 pic.twitter.com/w3Xsobo3BO
— Antoine Wesley (@antoine_wesley) December 10, 2018
Wesley would be the third straight offensive player to leave Texas Tech early in order to be drafted into the professional ranks.
It’s hard to fault Wesley when you look at that recent history – the Red Raiders have become well-known for their ability to produce NFL-caliber talent, and had two wideouts hear their names called in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Wesley’s biggest obstacle to being drafted will probably be the fact that he’s been such late comer – he went from having 137 yards receiving in his sophomore season of 2017 to almost posting 1500 yards this year. At the same time, the junior Red Raider flashed plenty of the potential that made his 2018 breakout season possible.
In all likelihood, Wesley will be invited to the NFL Combine, where he’ll have a chance to really separate himself from a loaded crop of receivers.
This is definitely a blow to new head coach Matt Wells’s efforts to rebuild the program at Texas Tech, as Wesley would surely have made some preseason watch lists if he had returned.
Even so, it’s difficult to fault college players for wanting to make a living when given the opportunity. It will be interesting to see how he fares as we move closer to the 2019 NFL Draft.