Don’t sleep on Texas football WR Tarique Milton this fall

Tarique Milton Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Tarique Milton Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Texas football head coach Steve Sarkisian and new wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator Brennan Marion did a nice job this offseason loading up on talent in the receiving corps. This Texas wide receiver room looks so impressive that it could be the best at the position for the program in the last decade.

It’s not just the talent present in the Texas wide receiver room that makes this position group so special in 2022. Texas has stocked up on depth at wideout that we haven’t seen in a while with this program.

Some of the key additions for the Longhorns at wide receiver this offseason include former Wyoming redshirt sophomore Isaiah Neyor, Iowa State senior Tarique Milton, Alabama redshirt freshman Agiye Hall, and four-star 2022 signee Brenen Thompson.

If I had to pick, I would go with the trio of Neyor, Milton, and Thompson, as the most impactful new wideouts for the Longhorns out of the gates in 2022.

But the focus here is on maybe the most underrated new addition at wide receiver for Sark, Marion, and the Longhorns heading into the 2022 season. The Iowa State grad transfer and super senior Milton could be a sneaky good addition for the Longhorns this fall.

Milton was the final transfer portal addition for the Longhorns this offseason. He transferred to Texas back in late May and was able to arrive on campus for the start of summer workouts back in early June.

Since arriving on campus, we keep hearing that Milton has made a very positive impression in the locker room and on this staff thanks to his speed and work ethic. It sounds like he’s bringing that gritty and tough mentality to the table that this Texas team needs to succeed in the Big 12 this fall.

Moreover, what’s even more notable regarding what we’ve heard about Milton this offseason is what he’s showing in the early stages of fall camp. Milton is apparently one of the more impressive wide receivers in fall camp, showing off the speed that made him so elusive and dangerous in the open field at Iowa State.

Fans shouldn’t sleep on Texas football transfer WR Tarique Milton this fall

Practice notes from Orangebloods on Aug. 8 (paid content) indicate that Milton has actually started to form a really nice connection with redshirt freshman quarterback Quinn Ewers.

Given the proficient connections we’ve heard Ewers form this offseason with the likes of Neyor and Worthy, this really bodes well for the direction of this passing game in 2022.

Sark, Marion, and the Longhorns have done a nice job providing ample support at the skill positions to the quarterback, which is an improvement compared to last season.

Moreover, it looks like Milton will be in a position to make a sizable impact on this offense this fall. Despite filling a backup role out of the slot behind redshirt junior wide receiver Jordan Whittington this season, there will be ample opportunity for Milton to get significant targets in the passing game.

Given the shaky injury history that Whittington brings to the table, it’s good to know that the Longhorns have a solid insurance policy in place among slot receivers with the experienced and proven Milton on the roster.

At a minimum, I would expect Milton to get more targets in the passing game in 2022 than he did in the last two seasons with Iowa State. He averaged roughly just 22 targets in each of the last two seasons at Iowa State.

A major reason for that dip in targets in the passing game in the last two seasons for Milton at Iowa State was due to injury issues. He experienced a lower-body injury a couple of years ago that definitely impacted him in the last two seasons in Ames.

But Milton was also passed up for starting reps out of the slot by Jaylin Noel last season.

However, I do fully anticipate Milton to see at least a noticeable increase in his targets this season compared to the last two. If Milton even gets the same number of targets in the passing game last season that tight end Cade Brewer (27 targets) or wide receiver Marcus Washington (30 targets), he would clearly surpass what he got in the last couple of seasons at Iowa State.

Now, there are two reasons why I believe that Milton is in line to at least get 25 or 30 targets with the Longhorns this fall. The first is the reason I mentioned earlier, which is the injury issues that Whittington faced in the past. Whittington has yet to play a full season for the Longhorns to date.

The second reason why I believe that Milton will see an uptick in targets this fall has to do with how elusive he can be once he does get the ball in his hands. And if you had any questions pertaining to how Milton looks in camp, he’s apparently making one of the strongest impressions on the offensive staff thanks to the speed and elusiveness he’s put on display.

If Texas is able to get the ball in Milton’s hands in space, he’s going to put those tools to use and make good things happen. Milton averaged more than 15 yards per catch roughly eight yards after the catch per reception during his time with the Cyclones, proving how effective he can be when he does get the ball in his hands.

This leaves the question of what type of season Milton could be looking at this fall in this potent Texas offense if he is targeted frequently in the passing game.

Let’s assume that Milton does get 30 targets in the passing game this fall and he keeps to his career trendline in terms of reception percentage (73.0) and yards per catch (15.5). That projects Milton to reel in 22 catches for 341 receiving yards while picking up more than 175 yards after the catch.

If we also take into account Milton’s reception/touchdown ratio from his time at Iowa State (one touchdown per 14 receptions), that would peg him to reel in around two touchdown catches this fall.

All in all, if Milton was able to put together a season where he registers nearly 350 receiving yards and more than 175 yards after the catch for the Longhorns in 2022, that would be considered a success for him. That would also Milton his most productive season since 2019.

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Milton should have a sizable impact on this Texas offense this fall, and he will definitely be someone to watch for the Longhorns faithful at the skill positions coming out of camp. He will get his first shot wearing the burnt orange to make an impact in live-game situations when Texas opens up the regular season slate on Sep. 3 at home against Louisiana-Monroe.