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Joel Filani

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 211 | College: Texas Tech
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Playing for a team that has featured a quartet of standout receivers that includes Jarrett Hicks, Robert Johnson and Doug Walker, Filani (pronounced fih-LAH-nee) emerged as one of the elite playmakers in the collegiate ranks during his senior season. When Hicks was sidelined earlier in the season due to academic issues, Filani seized the opportunity to take over the role as the team's go-to receiver inside the red zone -- his 13 touchdown catches tying for the most in the Big 12 in 2006.

The Paradise Valley High School product earned first-team All-Arizona honors and was selected to play in the Arizona High School All-Star Game after his senior year. He was a standout receiver that season, catching 40 passes for 653 yards (16.3 avg) and eight touchdowns. He also rushed for 559 yards and five scores on 62 attempts (9.0 avg) and gained 623 yards with four touchdowns on 16 kickoff returns (38.9 avg).

Recruited heavily by Washington State and Colorado State, Filani enrolled at Texas Tech in 2002, spending the season on the scout team. He was a little-used receiver in 2003, appearing in five games on offense and 13 total. Filani finished his redshirt season with a nine-yard catch, a pair of carries for seven yards and a solo tackle.

Filani started two of 12 games at flanker in 2004, ranking eighth on the team with 18 receptions for 310 yards (17.2 avg) and a pair of scores. He also gained 16 yards on six reverses (2.7 avg). He took over "Z" receiver duties in 2005, earning All-Big 12 Conference first-team honors. Filani finished third on the team with 65 catches for 1,048 yards (15.8 avg) and teamed with Cody Hodges to form one of the top five touchdown-producing (eight) QB/WR combos in NCAA Division 1-A. Filani also had two solo tackles with a fumble recovery and rushed six times for 54 yards (9.0 avg).

In 2006, Filani finished fourth in the Big 12 and tops among receivers with an average of 102.62 total yards per game. He led the team with a career-high 91 receptions, and finished second in the conference to Johnson with 7.00 receptions per game.

In 50 games (42 as a receiver) at Texas Tech, Filani started 25 times. He caught 175 passes for 2,667 yards (15.2 avg) and is second on the school's career record list with 23 touchdown receptions. He rushed eighteen times for 111 yards (6.2 avg) and recorded seven tackles (six solos) with one fumble recovery.


Positives: Has good overall muscle development with long arms, solid chest thickness, toned midsection, adequate lower body tone and fluid flexibility … Has the loose hips to plant, drive and maintain acceleration after the catch … Lacks blazing speed, but is a quick-twitch runner with above average balance and body control working in the short area … Normal stride runner who has the body adjustment agility to get to off-target throws … Has adequate change of direction agility and plays with good strength, showing the ability and hand placement to power through the jams and get back into his routes … Might not explode in his get-off, but can rock defensive backs on their heels and force them out of their backpedal early … Shows adequate quickness coming out of his breaks and has the hip wiggle and head fakes to force the defender to open his hips … Has the hand jolt to power through the chuck and adequate moves to elude … Very alert on the field and is rarely caught out of position … Alert to boundaries and sticks, showing decent quickness coming out of his breaks … Makes sharp open-field cuts thanks to his body control and balance, especially when used on bubble screens and controlled routes … Best when used underneath, as he runs with a fluid stride and uses his power well to sift through the crowd … Can react quickly to adjust to the ball in flight … Has soft hands and decent extension agility to snatch the ball away from his frame … Shows good reactionary quickness battling for jump balls … Uses his body well to shield defenders from the ball and presents a physical presence over the middle … Will assert himself to combat for the ball and can break down and power through the initial tackler to gain positive yardage after the catch.

Negatives: Has an athletic physique, but his frame can't carry any more bulk without it affecting his adequate timed speed … Has soft hands to field the ball, but is prone to looking to running before securing the ball, leading to a lot of missed opportunities to catch the ball (was benched for the 2006 SE Louisiana game after too many dropped balls in the SMU, UTEP and TCU games) … His exceptional leaping ability is sometimes negated when he fails to time his leaps … Needs to have room to build up his speed, lacking suddenness or a burst when coming off the line … More of a pester-type blocker, as he fails to use his power or maintain proper hand placement in attempts to sustain when blocking along the line of scrimmage … Best when asked to cross over zones and work underneath, as he does not have the pure speed to threaten the deep secondary … Has good hip shake to elude, but doesn't have the second gear needed to separate … Can track the ball in flight, but sometimes loses sight of the ball when he has a defender covering his outside shoulder (slow to get his head turned around).

Compares To: ERIC MOULDS-Houston-Filani is not as fast as Moulds, but both use their hands very well to power through the chuck and get into their routes. Filani runs very precise routes and except for a few concentration lapses per game, is generally reliable in securing the ball before breaking tackles to gain positive yardage.

Career Notes

Filani's 13 touchdown catches in 2006 tied the single-season school record first set by Jarrett Hicks in 2003 … Second in Texas Tech history with 23 career touchdown receptions, behind Hicks (30, 2003-2006) … His 23 scoring grabs rank fifth in Big 12 Conference annals behind Rashaun Woods of Oklahoma State (42, 2000-03), Roy Williams of Texas (36, 2000-03), Mark Clayton of Oklahoma (31, 2001-04) and Hicks … His 175 catches rank eighth in school history, surpassed only by Taurean Henderson (302, 2002-05), Wes Welker (259, 2000-03), Nehemiah Glover (223, 2001-04), Carlos Francis (216, 2000-03), Hicks (198), Mickey Peters (196, 2000-03) and Lloyd Hill (189, 1990-93).

2006 Season

All-Big 12 Conference first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report … Started nine of the team's first ten games at the "Z" (flanker) position, coming off the bench in the Southeastern Louisiana clash … He helped the team rank third in the nation in passing, with an average of 375.5 yards per game … Joel ranks sixth in the NCAA Division 1-A ranks and second in the conference with an average of 98.0 yards per game receiving and is fifth nationally and second in the Big 12 with an average of 7.0 receptions per game … His twelve touchdown catches are the most of any Division 1-A receiver, except for Jarett Dillard of Rice (13) … Leads the team with a career-high 70 catches for 980 yards (14.0 avg) and gained 34 yards on four carries (8.5 avg.) … Also recorded two tackles (one solo) … Of the 108 passes targeted to Filani, 14 were deflected by the opposition … Turned the ball over twice on fumbles and was penalized four times … 48 of his 70 receptions resulted in first downs, as he converted 6-of-18 third-down plays and 4-of-6 fourth-down plays … He caught 8-of-11 passes thrown to him inside the red zone, including three on goal-line plays … Thirteen of his grabs were for 20 yards or longer … Had big catches that set up eighteen touchdown drives and two others that ended with field goals … Had multiple touchdown performances vs. Southeastern Louisiana (2), Iowa state (3) and Baylor (3) games … Gained over 100 yards receiving in each of the Texas-El Paso, Texas A&M, Missouri and Baylor contests … Served as offensive team co-captain.

2006 Game Analysis

Southern Methodist … Joel had four catches for 54 yards, as Filani's first touchdown of the young 2006 season put Tech ahead 34-3 with 6:33 left to play in the fourth quarter. Filani's eleventh career touchdown reception was his first since October 22, 2005 when he hauled in a six-yard score against Texas … Late in the first quarter, he set up Graham Harrell's 8-yard scoring strike to Todd Walker by grabbing a third-&-10 pass for a 36-yard gain two plays earlier … His 3-yard touchdown grab in the fourth quarter capped an 11-play, 72-yard drive … Head to Head Competition-CB#3-Devin Lowery-Two solo tackles (also stopped Filani from getting to three other passes).

Texas-El Paso … Filani exploded for 169 yards, as all ten of his catches resulted in first downs, including three that converted third-down plays in a 38-35 decision. Four of his receptions were for longer than 20 yards, but he also failed to get to six other throws (one deflected) … He had a 28-yarder, followed by a 7-yard gain on a third-&-5 toss from Graham Harrell to set up a Tech 25-yard field goal in the first quarter … His 20-yarder set up his own 5-yard scoring catch, which came on a third-&-2 throw from Graham Harrell that ended a 56-yard, 5-play drive with 2:43 left in the first half … At the start of the third quarter, Joel snatched a 34-yarder to the UTEP 19 and two plays later, Harrell threw a 15-yard touch-down to Robert Johnson to finish an 8-play, 80-yard drive … Filani set up another score (9-yard run by Shannon Woods) with a 28-yard reception midway through the fourth quarter … He was later penalized ten yards for holding on a second-&-5 play at the UTEP 28 during overtime … Head to Head Competition-CB#2-Josh Ferguson-Seven tackles (4 solos-also stopped Joel from catching six other passes).

Texas Christian … While Filani snared eight passes for 55 yards and three first downs, he had two other passes deflected and missed or dropped five other throws in a 12-3 loss … He had a 21-yarder late in the first quarter to help set up the team's only score, a 27-yard field goal by Alex Trlica … He killed three other drives when he was tackled for a 2-yard loss on a third-&-5 pass late in the second quarter and then had a third-&-3 pass deflected, followed by a drop of a fourth-&-3 throw early in the third quarter … Later in that stanza, he dropped a third-&-5 pass, forcing the team to punt on the next play, but the kicked was blocked and recovered by TCU … Head to Head Competition-CB#20-Nick Sanders-No tackles (stopped Filani from catching five passes and two others were deflected by TCU defenders).

Southeastern Louisiana … The TCU loss knocked the Red Raiders out of the Top 25 and Tech coach Mike Leach promised to make changes for what he called the "sorriest

offensive effort" he'd ever seen. For the first few plays, he kept receivers Joel Filani, Robert Johnson and Todd Walker on the sideline. Once he got in, though, Joel made his

presence known, catching two touchdown passes … He capped a 5-play, 60-yard drive with a 5-yard scoring grab in the first quarter and ended a 61-yard, 10-play drive in the second quarter with a 7-yard touchdown catch … Joel talked about his benching after the game, saying, "It is what it is. Coach Leach does things to get us motivated. It worked out, we got a lot more guys in to get a lot more reps." … Head to Head Competition-CB#4-Colin McChriston-Three tackles (2 solos).

Texas A&M … Joel continued to respond positively to his benching two weeks ago, as he caught ten of the twelve passes thrown to him (two were deflected) for 156 yards and a score in a 31-27 decision … Filani regained the lead for Texas Tech in the final seconds of the first quarter when he scored on a 54-yard touchdown pass from Graham Harrell. The 54-yard pass marked the second longest offensive play for Tech this season and is the longest scoring play of the year. The 54-yard pass also marked the longest offensive play given up by the Texas A&M defense this year … He had earlier set up a 33-yard field goal with catches of 11 yards and an 8-yarder that came on a third-&-4 pass … He turned the ball over when he fumbled a second-&-goal pass from Graham Harrell at the TAMU 2 and the ball was recovered by the Aggies, killing a 9-play, 76-yard drive during the opening quarter … He made up for that miscue with 19 & 16-yard receptions that set up Harrell's 5-yard scoring lob to Rob Johnson that ended a 5-play, 68-yard drive with 0:09 left in the first half … Head to Head Competition-CB#4-Danny Gorrer-Two solo tackles.

Missouri … Filani added 114 yards and a touchdowns while catching eleven of fourteen passes thrown to him (two were deflected). Eight of his grabs resulted in first downs and he snatched both throws targeted to him inside the red zone … He killed a late first quarter drive when he was out-jumped by David Overstreet on a third-&-9 toss from Graham Harrell, but kept a second quarter drive alive with a 14-yard gain on a third-&-6 deep pass from Chris Todd … Filani also converted a fourth-&-2 slant pass from Harrell into a 5-yard pickup on the team's next drive … On a first-&-goal with 1:23 left in the first half, Harrell found Joel with a 6-yard touchdown strike … He then caught a fourth-&-3 slant from Harrell for 4 yards, followed by a 20-yarder that set up Harrell's 23-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola in the third quarter … Playing on special teams, Filani tackled Earl Goldsmith on a third quarter 22-yard kickoff return … Head to Head Competition-CB#3-Darnel Terrell-Twelve tackles (7 solos).

Colorado … Filani was held to 40 yards as he grabbed four of six balls thrown to him, turning two into first downs … Late in the fourth quarter, he converted a fourth-&-10 screen pass from Graham Harrell into a 10-yard gain … Head to Head Competition-CB#26-Terrence Wheatley-Seven tackles (3 solos), two pass deflections, 2-yard sack.

Iowa State … Joel caught three touchdown passes and finished with 89 yards on seven grabs. He also gained 12 yards on a pair of reverses. Five of his receptions produced first downs, but he was penalized for roughing the kicker on a third quarter punt and ISU would use that added field position to score on a 5-yard run by Jason Scales … On the team's game-opening drive, Joel ran for 9 yards and a first down, followed by a 30-yard touch-down catch … He snared a first-&-goal pass from Graham Harrell for a 7-yard score later in the first quarter … Late in the fourth quarter, Filani caught a screen pass, followed a group of blockers down field and broke right for a 16-yard touchdown with 1:28 left on the clock to seal the 42-26 triumph … Record Watch-Joel's three scoring receptions are one short of the school game-record of four by Derek Dorris vs. Kansas in 2000 … Head to Head Competition-CB#23-Steve Johnson-Six tackles (4 solos-stopped Filani from catching two other passes).

Texas … Of the thirteen passes thrown to Joel, he caught six for 79 yards and had two other tosses deflected by the Longhorns. Filani also gained 8 yards on a reverse … Three of his catches were good for first downs, but he failed to convert three third-down plays … He was penalized ten yards for holding on Tech's game-opening drive and turned the ball over on a fumble late in the second quarter. Texas capitalized on that turnover (45-yard touchdown catch by Limas Sweed) … Filani exacted some revenge when cornerback Aaron Ross was flagged for pass interference on a toss from Graham Harrell to Joel, setting up Harrell's 30-yard touchdown pass to Jarrett Hicks with 0:24 left in the first half … Early in the fourth quarter, Filani gained 12 yards on a post pattern and then tackled Ryan Palmer after the defender intercepted a Graham Harrell pass and returned the ball 29 yards before he was stopped by Joel at the UT 21 … Head to Head Competition-CB#31-Aaron Ross-Four tackles (2 solos), 5-yard return on a fumble recovery, three pass deflections (also prevented Filani from getting to five other passes).

Baylor … Graham Harrell threw for four touchdowns -- three of them to Filani ? and 483 yards to lead Texas Tech to a 55-21 win. Harrell threw to ten different Tech receivers, but

Filani was by far his favorite target. He caught eight passes for a season-high 212 yards, as seven of those grabs produced first downs and five of his catches were for 20 yards or longer. He also had touchdowns of 4, 32 and 76 yards. He had 120 of those yards in the first half … On the game's first play from scrimmage, Filani snatched a 20-yard deep pass from Harrell … He ran for 14 yards on a reverse in the second quarter to set up a 34-yard scoring run by Shannon Woods … Harrell then tossed a deep out pass to Joel for 32 yards, setting up a second-&-goal lob that Filani cornered for a 4-yard touchdown with 4:14 left in the first half … With 0:31 remaining in the second quarter, Joel out-leaped several defenders to haul in a 32-yard touchdown pass that ended a 7-play, 95-yard drive, but excessive celebration in the end zone saw the receiver get hit with an unsportsmanlike penalty that tacked on 15 yards to the ensuing kickoff … Not content with his performance so far, he put the "icing on the cake" when he burst up the middle to grab a 76-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter … Record Watch-Filani became the fifth player in the Mike Leach era to catch 10-plus touchdowns in a single season. Jarrett Hicks was the last player to catch 10-plus TD's when he caught 13 (school record) back in 2004 … Filani has caught three touchdowns three different times in his career (Nebraska in 2005, Iowa State earlier this season and today against Baylor) … His 212 yards marked the first time in school history that a Tech player gained over 200 yards receiving twice in a career (holds the school game-record with 255 yards vs. Kansas State in 2005) … Head to Head Competition-CB#6-Anthony Arline-Two solo tackles (stopped Filani from catching two other passes).

2005 Season

All-Big 12 Conference first-team selection … Ranked fourth in the Big 12 with an average of 5.42 receptions per game and led the league while ranking 29th nationally with an average of 87.33 yards per game receiving … Filani started every game, except vs. Baylor, at the "Z" receiver position … Ranked third on the squad with 65 receptions for a career-high 1,048 yards (15.5 avg) and eight touchdowns … His 1,048 yards rank seventh on Tech's annual record list, surpassed only by Lloyd Hill (1,261 yards in 1992), Carlos Francis (1,177 in 2003), Jarrett Hicks (1,177 in 2004), Wes Welker (1,099 in 2003 and 1,054 in 2002) and Nehemiah Glover (1,081 in 2003) … Had twelve catches for 25 yards or longer, including five in the Kansas State game … Gained over 100 yards receiving in each of the Nebraska and Kansas State contests … His 255 yards vs. Kansas State set a school game-record … Joel also totaled 54 yards on six carries (9.0 avg).

2005 Game Analysis

Florida International … Filani opened the season as the team's starting "Z" receiver, catching four passes for 78 yards and a long of 27 … Also gained 4 yards on a reverse … Head to Head Competition-CB#22-Lion Singleton.

Sam Houston State … Followed with three receptions for 63 yards and a pair of 11-yard touchdowns … Also set up another score with a 41-yard grab … Head to Head Competition-CB#3-Greg Brown.

Indiana State … Joel added four catches for 46 yards and a 7-yard score in the second quarter … Head to Head Competition-CB#32-English Malone.

Kansas … Filani totaled 53 yards on five receptions and gained 5 yards on a reverse … Head to Head Competition-CB#17-Ronnie Amadi.

Nebraska … Joel was named Big 12 Player of the Week after he hauled in eleven passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns … He had 14 & 19-yard scoring grabs in the second quarter … Filani added a 10-yard touchdown catch with 1:01 left in the game to give Tech a 34-31 decision … Head to Head Competition-CB#2-Cortney Grixby.

Kansas State … It was hard to imagine a player eclipsing Filani's Nebraska performance, but he surpassed those totals, gaining a school game-record 255 yards on ten catches, including a 3-yard touchdown … Joel added 11 yards on a reverse and had five receptions for 25 yards or longer (62, 47, 30, 26 & 25) … Record Watch-His 255 yards receiving set a school game-record, topping the previous mark of 251 yards by Rodney Blackshear vs. Houston (1991) … That 255 yards also broke the old Big 12 Conference game-record of 241 yards by Donnie Hart of Texas Tech vs. Texas in 1996 (note-Tech played in the South-west Conference in 1991) … Head to Head Competition-CB#3-Bryan Baldwin.

Texas … Filani continued his torrid pace, snatching nine passes for 82 yards and a 6-yard touchdown that capped a 15-play, 80-yard drive in the third quarter … Over his last three games, Joel snared 30 passes for 500 yards and five touchdowns … Head to Head Competition-CB#8-Cedric Griffin.

Baylor … Joel registered two solo tackles and made four catches for 50 yards, including a long of 29 … Head to Head Competition-CB#3-C.J. Wilson.

Texas A&M … Tech's flanker gained 11 yards on a reverse and 57 yards on three catches … Head to Head Competition-CB#13-Todd Pegram.

Oklahoma State … Joel was held to two catches for 52 yards, with a long of 36 … Head to Head Competition-CB#7-Marte Van Zant.

Oklahoma … Filani picked up 82 yards on six receptions, but was tackled for a 3-yard loss on a reverse … Head to Head Competition-CB#22-Chidi Onyenegecha.

Alabama (Cotton Bowl) … Joel closed out his first season as a full-time starter with a 26-yard gain on a reverse and four receptions for 67 yards … Head to Head Competition-CB#1-Ramzee Robinson.

2004 Season

Joel played in twelve games, starting the first two contests vs. Southern Methodist and New Mexico at flanker … He finished eighth on the team with eighteen receptions for 310 yards (17.2 avg) and two touchdowns, adding 16 yards on six carries (2.7 avg).

2004 Game Analysis

Southern Methodist … In his first career start, Joel grabbed three passes for 34 yards and a 15-yard touchdown.

New Mexico … Managed one catch for 15 yards and gained 5 yards on a reverse.

Nebraska … Added 13 yards on a pair of reverses and 7 yards on two catches.

Kansa State … His only reception was good for a 40-yard gain.

California (Holiday Bowl) … Filani served notice on good things to come over his next two seasons, as he enjoyed his first 100-yard performance … Caught five passes for 144 yards and a 60-yard touchdown in a 45-31 victory.

2003 Season

Filani appeared in thirteen games, including five on offense … His only reception was a 9-yarder vs. Texas A&M, adding 5 yards on a reverse vs. the Aggies … He also carried once for a 2-yard gain vs. Baylor.

2002 Season

Redshirted as a freshman.

Injury Report

No injuries reported.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.71 in the 40-yard dash … 335-pound bench press … 500-pound squat … 243-pound hang clean … 38-inch vertical jump … 9'4" broad jump … 33 3/8-inch arm length … 9 1/4-inch hands … Right-handed … Wears contacts … 13/22 Wonderlic score.

High School

Attended Paradise Valley (Az.) High School, playing football for head coach Donny Yantis … Earned first-team All-Arizona honors and was selected to play in the Arizona High School All-Star Game after his senior year … Was a standout receiver that season, catching 40 passes for 653 yards (16.3 avg) and eight touchdowns … Also rushed for 559 yards and five scores on 62 attempts (9.0 avg) and gained 623 yards with four touchdowns on sixteen kickoff returns (38.9 avg).


Business Finance major … Son of Esther and David Filani … Born Joel O. Filani on 12/08/83 in Tempe, Arizona … Resides in Phoenix, Arizona.


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