Recruiting on the High Plains :: The Dallas Recruiting Review Review

 

A Lot of Folks

Last night was my very first recruiting review and I was pleasantly surprised at the number of Red Raiders that were attending this event, an announced crowd of 800 attendees.  Lots and lots of Red Raiders and I have a few photos, but I don't have time to post them this morning, more than likely I'll post them over the weekend or on Monday.

In any event, there were a lot of folks there but the crew I was with were sitting right next to one of two media tables and the table next to us was completely empty, except for one person who looked like he couldn't find a seat anywhere else.  I even have photographic evidence to prove that at the end of the night only one place setting had been touched.  The only downside to the entire event was that each beer was $7.50, and that was for the cheap stuff.  I know that sometimes people pay a premium for certain items, but $7.50 a beer?  I know the price of just about everything goes up in Dallas, but the High Life's I had on the way to the Recruiting Review weren't $7.50 per beer.  Someone needs to do something about that.

One other side note, Brian Jensen was the emcee for the event and introduced AD Gerald Myers.  Some of you would be happy to know that he was booed by a few folks in the room, and it was audible enough for everyone to hear.

Let's get to the coaches.

Tommy Tuberville, Head Coach

He is everything that you've heard.  He's very polished and well-spoken.  Wants to emphasize to the players that it's not his team, it's their team and he wants his players to be a blue-collar group.   He also wants his players to have prosperous lives after graduating from Texas Tech and he wants them to be successful.  Tuberville made it clear that he's still looking for the right team chaplain and feels that although this will probably be his last hire, it may be his most important hire.  He believes that a team chaplain will be someone that the players will be able to talk to with their problems.

He introduced some guy that is going to be running some website for Tuberville and for Texas Tech.  I'm guessing that Tuberville may have lost my resume.

The last thing that Tuberville mentioned before introducing offensive coordinator Neal Brown was that he does not intend on changing the offense.

After the coordinators talked, Tuberville again mentioned that he wants to recruit Texas, that all of his coaches will be assigned an area in Texas and they are all going to recruit Texas.  Tuberville then took questions from the crowd and someone asked if the offense was going to continue throwing screens (I didn't ask this question) and the answer was yes.

The laugh-out-loud moment of the night was some woman asked what Tuberville thought about QB's Steven Sheffield and Taylor Potts, where he had a hard time hearing the question, and the woman clarified her question in that she stated/asked if he really liked Sheffield and he said that he did.

I can't remember the question, but he talked about how he finds speed and said that he does this by getting players on campus.  He said he really wants to make a big effort to get as many high school players on campus as possible with high school summer camps.

Also mentioned that his non-conference preference was to play at least one BCS non-conference opponent.

My Impression:  Tuberville does have a magnetic personality and he is certainly different that Leach.  Tuberville does want to continue to reach out to various Red Raider Clubs across the state of Texas and help sell the program.  Some of you will see that as a knock, but I do think that he's genuinely interested in visiting lots of folks and generating some excitement about the program.

Neal Brown, Offensive Coordinator

Brown said that he is very proud to be the person who has been given the keys to this offense.  Mentioned that he is very proud of two things that the former staff did, which was a great offense and graduate players.  He made it clear that he understands the pressure that he's under at Texas Tech because of what Leach did, but he's not backing down from any sort of challenge.  Brown also said again that he's keeping the same offense, including the same wide-splits for the offensive linemen and he wants to play fast and get the ball to players in space.  The only thing that Brown mentioned that he'd like to change is he'd also like to hand the ball off to RB Baron Batch a little more.

Wants to recruit the state of Texas aggressively starting next year.

My Impression:  Seems very likable and he seems confident in his abilities.  I like people who are confident and both Brown and Willis fit the bill.  Brown has stated more than once that he's not intent on changing the offense and he made it clear last night that he doesn't believe that most fans will notice the change.  For those of you who don't believe Brown, that's understandable, but he's been pretty consistent on what he's said he wants to do at Texas Tech since he was hired.

James Willis, Defensive Coordinator

Wants to change the face of the defense with speed all across the defense and wants to attack the opposing quarterback.  He doesn't want the offense to know where the pressure will be coming from.  He talked about the best part about winning a national championship at Alabama was all of the hard work leading up to that game.  He wants his players to work hard every day. 

Compared LB Bront Bird to new commit DE Jackson Richards.  Was very complimentary of Richards (Richards' parents also attended last night) who said that when Willis had a chance to talk with him, he asked Willis what he could do to make the program better.   That's what Willis is looking for in players that want to come to Texas Tech.

My Impression:  Much like Brown, Willis seems quietly confident in what he brings to the table as defensive coordinator.  I do believe that Willis has a distinct plan about what he wants to implement and it starts with having speed on the field and getting pressure on the quarterback.

News, Notes and Links

Signing Day Specials:  KAMC and David Collier has a pretty good review of signing day, including video from DB Tre Porter S Desmond Martin . . . I haven't had time to watch this quite yet, but Fox34 always has a lengthy show with Chris Level and Robert Giovannetti and you can find all of the

Tuberville Energized:  DMN's Chuck Carlton (warning, automatic video player, so turn down your speakers) writes that Tuberville is energized at Texas Tech and he believes that Tuberville took the right job for him:

"People ask me, 'Do you think you took a job too quick?' No, I took the job that was perfect for me," Tuberville said Thursday in an interview in Dallas.

"It's a different conference. I get a chance to coach against different coaches in different stadiums. It's kind of like a shot of adrenalin in the arm."

Tuberville was all about Texas Tech, crisscrossing the state to explain his defense-heavy signing class and his vision for the Red Raiders. (Think: a Mike Leach-style spread offense with an SEC defense rolled into a blue-collar package).

Houston Recruiting Review:  KHOU.com and myfoxhouston.com both had stories on the Houston recruiting review.  The KHOU.com link has video, which gives you a taste of

Recruiting Capsules:  ESPN's Tim Griffin has a recruiting capsule up for Texas Tech and you can find the rest of the conference here . . . FWSW had Randy Rogers on to talk about Texas Tech's recruiting class, which lasted for a good 20 seconds, and then Rogers starts plugging his website . . .

Miscellaneous Links:  FWST's Dwain Price insinuates that Ruffin McNeill was never really a candidate for the head coaching job at Texas Tech because he didn't have any head coaching experience . . . a complimentary article to TallMike's FanShot on Louisiana DB Brandon Smith from the Daily Comet's Teddy Renois and Smith wants to thank whoever put up his highlight video:

"I still want to thank whoever put my video up on YouTube. I don't know who it is and I don't know if the person even knows me," Smith said. "(Texas Tech) offered me a scholarship after my junior year and there were other schools on me. But, Texas Tech kept coming to visit me at one point they were coming every week. It gave me a good vibe."

. . . The Ledger details the eight Lakeland High players that signed national letters of intent, including WR/RB Benjamin McRoy:

McRoy and his brother Javares, a junior receiver, committed to Texas Tech before the school fired coach Mike Leach. Ben McRoy said he and his brother considered changing their commitment until new coach Tommy Tuberville assured them he would still run the school's trademark spread offense.

"After we heard they were going to keep the same offense, then we knew we were going to stay," McRoy said.

He said he plans to gray shirt, meaning he won't enroll until next spring to preserve a year of eligibility. But he said it was possible he could enroll in the fall if any scholarships for this year's class open up.

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