This was a surprise, probably for a lot of folks, but it makes sense, at least to me. Nguema is a 2011 commit that committed a couple of months after National Signing Day. He's not a bad prospect, so I find it odd that Nguema doesn't receive any offers other than Villanova, which makes me think that Nguema was or is a grade risk, and perhaps by this time, he knows he's going to qualify and be on the team. Or maybe this is a case where the staff now knows that guys like Javess Blue or Otis Wright may not qualify and want some more depth at defensive back with the 2011 class where there was only one true defensive back, Jeremy Reynolds.
More after the jump.
The Player Speaks: We have a couple of articles here, including the LAJ's Don Williams that doesn't have much, but he does have Nguema's statistics from last year, which don't jump out at you:
As a senior last season, he was credited with 41 tackles, made two interceptions and caused a fumble. He returned 12 kickoffs for a 30.8-yard average. The team finished 4-6.
DMN's Mike Graham had quotes from RRS.com (he works for both publications) had this from Nguema's head coach:
He's one of those players, and there's one every year, that is missed," Nguema's guardian and assistant high school football coach Mark Dye told RedRaiderSports.com. "It's unfortunate, I mean there are 120 Division I schools and they can't see everybody. It just turned out he was one of those guys that was missed."
Dye also said the Red Raiders have landed a steal.
"I wouldn't call him a diamond in the rough, I'd call him more of a sleeper," Dye told RedRaiderSports.com. "In terms of recruiting, he's definitely one of the top corners in Southern California and I think he possesses a lot of things you can't teach. The hips, the quick feet, some of the things that you have to be built with. You throw that together with some quality coaching he will receive at Texas Tech and that's going to take him a long way quickly."
I don't know how to decipher this. He's one of the best cornerbacks in Southern California, but he only had 1 offer from a college that is on the other end of the U.S.? That's strange.
The other thing that I took from this is that his assistant coach is also his legal guardian, which means to me that perhaps Nguema has had a rough up-bringing and that may have scared off some programs. Also take note that DC Chad Glasgow and DL coach Robert Prunty are the ones that recruited Nguema. I think this is a two-part process and I think this works on a number of levels for Texas Tech. Prunty is the father-figure for a lot of these athletes and I I think he truly excels in that role. Glasgow obviously identified Nguema as a player that can play in his system and I think his film proves that out.
Video: So film doesn't lie and so there's some good things to take from Nguema's video.
Thierry Nguema (via utrhighlightvideos)
Scouting Report: The thing I take away from this is that Nguema is the kind of cornerback that Glasgow is going to want at Texas Tech. He's not a burner and I think that his 4.42 40-yard dash time is close to being accurate, but that's pretty darned fast. Maybe a 4.5 to a 4.6. In any event, Nguema has good instincts when it comes to zone coverage, seems fairly adept at playing off the receiver and makes up ground relatively quickly. He's also not afraid to hit. I think that's huge for a cornerback in Glasgow's system.
The 2011 Class: No time to put it together this morning, but you can always go to the 2011 Recruiting Page.