Texas Tech redshirt junior and Perryton graduate Dalton Rigdon caught 34 passes for 486 yards with five touchdowns last season. [Elise Bressler/ Texas Tech athletics]
Through these unusual times because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Texas Tech finally opens the regular season at 7 p.m. Saturday against Houston Baptist.
When the Red Raiders do kickoff their 2020 campaign, one player chomping at the bit to make his mark is redshirt junior Dalton Rigdon.
The Perryton graduate and ever exuberant Rigdon emerged as one of the top receivers as a sophomore in 2019 before his season was cut short suffering a season-ending concussion on a nasty hit from TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney.
“I still have a sour taste in my mouth since my season got cut short,” said Rigdon, who missed the final two games due to injury last season. “I want to continue to prove myself, and help us win games. Personally, I want to work hard and be an All-Big 12 performer. I want to be better than last year.”
The 21-year old who is as fast as the West Texas wind was one of eight Red Raiders placed on scholarship last season by head coach Matt Wells. Rigdon didn’t disappoint his coach starting in 10 games at inside receiver. Rigdon finished the year with 34 catches for 486 yards and five touchdowns, all of which led the inside receiver group. He also ranked second on the team in touchdown catches, and had a career-high 106 yards receiving at West Virginia.
“It was an amazing year personally,” Rigdon said. “I’ve been watching Texas Tech football since I was a little kid. I remember my first time being at Jones Stadium and watching Michael Crabtee, and going from that experience to being the one scoring the touchdown is a feeling that still gives me goosebumps.”
Texas Tech receiver Dalton Rigdon break free from UTEP defenders during a nonconference game last season. [John Moore/ Press Pass Sports]
Rigdon originally signed his letter of intent to run track at Texas Tech. Rigdon was a Class 4A state champion in the long jump (24-9), and a fifth place finalist in the 200 meter dash.
However, football was his always his calling.
He decided to walk-on as a skinny, 5-foot-11, 145 pound freshman.
Anyone who’s ever met the young man knows confidence has never been an issue, and instead of going into fall camp intimidated, Rigdon went into camp to put in the work, and learn to the best of his ability.
“I was fortunate to have good guys that showed me the proper ways of doing things,” Rigdon said. “I was a freshman whenever Dylan Cantrell, Keke Coutee and Cameron Batson were here. They were all big influences on me and showed me the ropes and what it took to play receiver. I’ve definitely used what they taught me when I was a young guy here. I also got to give credit to the coaches for investing in me and giving me a shot.”
Rigdon devotes himself in the weight room, becoming a much stronger athlete today. He has ensured trust in his coaches like Luke Wells that know they can give him the ball.
“For one he’s fast,” Texas Tech wide receivers/ tight end coach Luke Wells said. “We all know that. Anytime he catches the ball he has a chance to score. He is a natural explosive player. He did a lot last year, but this year we want to see him be a better blocker and be more physical. But he’s a consistent guy and he gives us a chance to be successful.”