Crazy doesn't describe this week in recruiting. Insane may be a better word. Last week's schedule started off with the hit game show "Where is Zaycoven Henderson", followed the next day by a new drama called "Nigel leaves Miami for Lubbock", and finally the talk show "Florida-Georgia Pipeline", which has no relations what-so-ever to the
country pop duo Florida-Georgia Line (Seth, I may need a lawyer on this). With National Signing Day on February 5th, 2014, which is only 3 weeks away, and the dead period ending tomorrow, you're about to coaching and official visits multiply like rabbits. Tech shoudn't play a huge role at this NSD, as they have 26 commits (one greyshirt) already and only have room for 3-5 more, depending on the fate of guys like Michael Brewer and others that could possibly transfer. These are the guys I believe Tech still has a shot at: Rika Levi, Demetrius Jackson, Brandon Thorpe, Dominique Robertson, Anthony Olobia, Vincent Jackson Jr, Michael Coley, Krondis Larry and Deltron Hopkins .
If you asked me how I felt about this class this time last month, I would say that the class was alright, but I expected more out the class, as Tech was ranked in the low 40's a missed out on several of our top recruits. However, since then, we have grabbed Josh Keys, Marcus Smith, Payton Hendrix, Devin Lauderdale (officially), Dontae Levingston and Nigel Bethel II to make us a top 40 class. Not only that, but targets Rika Levi, Demetrius Jackson, and Brandon Thorpe have been added to the Red Raiders radar since then. Now with the football season officially over with, the staff can focus solely on recruiting and focus on getting those top guys. Let's look at some top offensive linemen recruits for the 2015 season in Conner Dyer and Sam Hecklenburg.
Conner Dyer - Offensive Tackle (Horn HS, Mesquite, TX)
Height: 6"4" Weight: 275 lbs 40 time: 5.20 Vertical: 24.4 Power Throw: 34"
Interest: Texas A&M (Warm), Stanford (Warm), Texas Tech (Warm), TCU (Warm)
Texas Tech was the first to offer Conner Dyer back in May, soon followed by TCU, A&M and Stanford, which Conner has named his top 4 so far. Conner has attended camps for both Texas Tech and Stanford, while also attending an A&M game (was going to visit Tech, but couldn't this year). When Texas Tech visited Conner at his school back in May, they said they would love to have him come to Texas Tech and start early. They saw how much he grew from Freshman to Sophomore year and were impressed enough to offer him a scholarship. I believe that is the main reason why Conner has kept the Red Raiders in his top 4 so far. Let's take a look at Conner's film. Not only does Conner's big frame help him, but he also seems to have very good footwork. He keeps his feet active to gain momentum on the pass rushers and uses his strength to finish off his opponents. He also has some rushing play where he pulls out from his tackle spot and hits the lineman about to tackle the running back. His speed is only a 5.2, but he's an offensive tackle, so his speed shouldn't be moved much. If he can get in front of the running back in time and be able to hit someone before he catches up, he should do fine. Here is his hudl of his junior year, and his sophomore year is below.
Sam Tecklenburg - Offensive Tackle, Defensive Tackle, Defensive End, Tight End (Plano HS, Plano, TX)
Height: 6'4" Weight: 260 lbs 40 time: 5.36 Vertical: 23.8" Power Throw: 32"
Interest: Texas Tech (Warm), SMU (Cool), Tulsa (Cool), Kentucky* (Cool)
Some of you may recognize the name Tecklenburg. Sam's dad was Kerry Tecklenburg, a Red Raider linebacker who transferred over from North Texas and played two seasons for Tech. He said in an he would love his son to go to Tech, and that they have visited Lubbock many times in the past. Sam got a scholarship from Tech when he went to one of Tech's satellite camps, while also receiving offers from SMU and Tulsa, while getting a coaching visit from Kentucky. He plays Defensive Tackle and Tight End in high school, but Tech recruited him as an offensive tackle. His dad also could see him play more of a defensive end position. One thing is for sure, he can play a lot of different positions, so if Tech grabs Sam, they can put him at the spot that need most. Now on to his film. Tecklenburg's film has definitely improved from his sophomore season, getting stronger from one season to the next. He is good at getting down low for blocks on offense and defense and don't give up on the play. His biggest attribute I think his just his size. When he was able to stay put on both sides of the ball, no one could go through him. If he can get strong enough to resist other players at the next level, he will be very successful. Although not fast, if he can use his strength to his advantage, he'll do fine.
Here are some more updates:
- Nigel Bethel II, 88 rated CB, committed to the Red Raiders on Thrusday. He was a Miami commit, but was never solid with them, and Curtis talked with Nigel long enough to switch him. Also has 3 teammates interested in Texas Tech.
- If you weren't on VTM Wednesday, you might have missed the Zaycoven Henderson news. He decommitted from Texas, thinking Texas Tech, then committed back to Texas, and finally switched to A&M. To dumb it down, nothing happened to Tech.
- Vincent Jackson Jr, 83 rated OLB, is having a home visit from Mizzou, then visiting USF this weekend followed by Mizzou and next. Also,Chris Rumph left 'Bama, someone Jackson really liked. He's been on the Mizzou hype latel, and if I had to guess, it's a 50/50 shot for Tech and Mizzou.
- Dominique Robertson, 85 rated JUCO OL, will be visiting WSU this weekend. Already having visited K-State, and a snow storm keeping him from visiting Tech, Robertson is close a decision. Don't expect it to be Tech.
- Demetrius Jackson, 90 rated DE, will visit Miami this weekend, Tech next weekend and Arkansas after that. Jackson is a Miami commit that Nigel Bethel said "is seriously considering Tech". A position of need for the Red Raiders.
- Brandon Thorpe, 84 rated JUCO DE, will be visiting Tech this weekend and UCF the next. Only other visit is to WVU, and could decide his choice after the UCF visit.
- Michael Coley, NR WR out of Irving, will be visiting Tech this weekend. Hasn't had much interest during the process, but is a big receiver. Speed isn't great however.
- Jah'Shawn Johnson, 85 rated DB Commit, received a Texas offer yesterday and will visit them this weekend. It is very possible that Johnson leaves for Texas , however, Tech is prepared with 8 DBs signed this class.
- Cameron Baston, 85 rated WR Commit, is getting a lot of attention from a Pac-12 school as of late (most likely WSU, could also be Arizona State). However, he tweeted he's still completely committed to Tech and is visiting Tech on 1/24 (same week as a lot of recruits).
- Marcus Smith, 79 rated JUCO DT Commit, is being looked at by other programs. I'm not sure who they are at this time, but an interesting thing to watch, as Tech does not have a lot of DTs.
- LJ Collier, 81 rated DE Commit, is rumored to be Grey-shirted next year. He might be looking elsewhere with the news. Joseph Clark is already going to be grey-shirted and Deionte Noel was asked to do the same. Noel will be taking an official to Houston this weekend.
- Dakota Allen, 86 rated LB Commit, will be visiting Lubbock again this weekend. No news of other teams interested in Allen.
- Apparently Tubby Smith offered a player who was drafted by the Texas Rangers. I looked it up, but I couldn't find any Ranger's draftees that weren't already on a D-1 program. I finally figured out it was 2009 draftee Justin Jamison, who played baseball for a few years, then went back to college in 2012 at Missouri State-West Plains as a Power Forward. He went back to college to play ball and is currently 23. He is 6'9" and a whooping 260 pounds.
- Trevor Elbert, 2015 94 rated OT, will be attending A&M's junior day, and could commit in the near future. He visited a Texas Tech practice in early December, but it looks to be he'll commit to A&M or Alabama very soon.
- Ryan Newsome, 2015 90 rated WR, is also attending A&M's junior day. He released a Top 10 on Friday, which includes Texas Tech, along with all the Big XII schools (except both Kansas's and Iowa State) along with Clemons, Tennessee and UCLA.
- Demarkus Lodge, 2015 95 rated WR, has released a top 10, in which Tech is not on it. He won the 5A Div 2 State Championship with Cedar Hill this past year.
- Texas Tech is recruiting an 8th grader from the Houston area. I'm not sure it is, but his older brother (E.J Hackett) tweeted it out this week. Start them off while they're young.