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Taking a Breath :: Looking Ahead to the Texas Tech Defense of 2010

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THE DEFENSE

With the football bye week, DTN is taking this opportunity to look at Texas Tech's offense and defense in 2010.  Up today is a look at the 2-deep, the talented players who are on the roster, but have not contributed much this year, the 2010 defensive recruiting class and a look back at the past 5 years recruits and the washout rate of players who were recruited by Texas Tech.

Who Returns (2010 Projected 2-Deep)

POSITION PLAYER STATS YEAR
DE Ryan Haliburton 6-4/245 SO
Aundrey Barr 6-3/238 RS FR
Christopher Knighton 6-3/240 RS FR
Kerry Hyder 6-3/255 RS FR
DT Colby Whitlock 6-2/287 SR
Chris Perry 6-4/300 JR
Pearlie Graves 6-1/278 RS FR
Myles Wade 6-2/340 JR
LB Bront Bird 6-3/240 SR
Brian Duncan 6-1/240
Tyrone Sonier 6-2/225 JR
Sam Fehoko 5-11/220 JR
Brandon Mahoney 6-2/203 RS FR
Dion Chidozie 6-1/194 RS FR
CB LaRon Moore 5-9/200 SR
Taylor Charbonnet 5-10/175 JR
D.J. Johnson 6-0/170 SO
Yashua Williams 6-3/181 RS FR
S Franklin Mitchem 6-2/198 SR
Cody Davis 6-2/200 SO
Brett Dewhurst 6-0/193 JR
Will Ford 6-1/186 SO

 

If it's not incredibly clear, the weakness of this team will be at defensive end. I've mentioned this a couple of times and for 2 years straight, Texas Tech is losing quite a bit of production from the defensive end position. The key to all of this is that no one has seen any of these guys play on the collegiate level, other than Haliburton, who has done reasonably well in some spot duty early in the season and filling in for Howard, Sharpe and Henley during the early part of the season when there were so many injuries.

The strength of the defense will be up front with the return of Whitlock and Perry, who should form a formidable front and I think there's plenty of talent behind them in Graves and Wade. Much like Jacob Karam, Graves travels with the team and that's an indication that his personality in infectious and reading the tea leaves, he is going to be a player next year. I'd also mention that I do not see any of these tackles moving to defensive end. Perhaps that changes during the spring, but for the time being, I think this is your 2-deep.

Linebacker also returns 2 of the 3 starters from this year. Marlon Williams has been servicable, but he's been virtually non-existent for the better part of conference play, this past weekend's game excluded. You can expect Sonier to fill Williams spot at WLB. I'm also intrigued by Mahoney and Chidozie, who perhaps represent a change in the type of linebacker that Ruffin McNeill wants, which are projectable athletes who can run. If you see a change in philosophy, I think it starts at linebacker and continues to the secondary.

Jamar Wall will be the only player that needs replacement in the secondary next year and Johnson will have to step up his game during the offseason. I think the staff is enamored with his athletic ability, but you saw against TAMU how athletic ability can only carry you so far, he's got to be better from a technique standpoint as well. Ford should also take a step in the right direction this offseason and I may be in the minority, but I'd like to see more Charbonnet and expect Y. Williams to get some time next year as well. All in all, a pretty experienced group returning next year.

Lots more after the jump.

Don't Sleep On

DT: Britton Barbee (6-2/296; SR) and David Neill (6-5/280; JR)
DE: Jonathan Brydon (6-3/220; SR)
LB: None
CB: Jarvis Phillips (6-0/189; RS FR)
S: Jared Flannel (5-11/167; JR); Aaron Charbonnet (5-11/201; RS FR); Andre McCorkle (6-2/204; JR); Daniel Cobb (6-1/211; RS FR) and Terrance Bullitt (6-3/182; RS FR)

I think the only guys that I'm comfortable stating could make an impact from this group is Cobb and Bullitt, although I like Barbee and Neill from a depth perspective

Recruiting

POSITION PLAYER STATS RR STARS
DE Kedrick Dial 6-5/215 5.6 3
DE Jackson Richards 6-4/245 5.8 4
DT Coby Coleman 6-3/290 5.7 3
DT Lawrence Rumph 6-4/270 5.7 3
LB Zac Winbush 6-2/200 5.5 3
DB Urell Johnson 6-1/185 5.6 3
DB Desmond Martin 6-0/173 5.6 3
DB Russell Polk 5-11/200 5.6 3
DB Tre'Vante Porter 6-0/185 5.7 3
DB Brandon Smith 6-1/175 5.6 3
AVERAGE 5.63 3.09

 

If additional recruits are added, I think it's on the defensive side of the ball, namely at defensive end or linebacker. The one guy that I think could get some burn next year is Rumph, especially with the lack of defensive end. Keep in mind that Rumph was luke-warm when he committed to Texas Tech, so I would not count on his commitment until he's actually signed. I think you could also see Richards make an impact next year and Dial is another player who might make a difference next year.  Richards is one of the more higher rated players of the class, he's a mature player and already has the size to play defensive end on the collegiate level. At this point, I'd imagine that it's about technique more than anything else. The sleeper of this group might be Martin, who was highly impressive in his film and possibly Porter.

Recruit Trending

YEAR AVG. RR AVG. STARS WASHOUT RATE
2010 5.63 3.09 -
2009 5.57 3.00 2/15 = 13.33%
2008 5.63 3.13 5/8 = 62.50%
2007 5.47 2.70 2/10 = 20.00%
2006 5.53 2.89 7/19 = 36.84%

 

Disclaimer:  I'm using the Rivals recruiting rankings and each player is assigned an RR number and a star. 

To explain again, the Washout Rate are players who either never made it on campus or played only 1 year. As you'll note, the 2008 class was small, only 16 recruits total (keep in mind that there will be some classes that are smaller than others and a staff is typically limited to a certain number of scholarships in relation to the number of players on scholarship) but you had guys like Joey Fowler, McKinner Dixon, Broderick Marshall, Brandon Sesay and Brandon Reid (who could return to Texas Tech after a stint at JUCO) that all never made it at Texas Tech. This was Ruffin's first class officially, but this was also the same year that he replaced Setencich. If you wanted to take a look at the year that McNeill was in place early as the defensive coordinator then it's really the 2009 class that's his first class from start of the recruiting season to signing day. In that 2009 class you only had Romario Cathey who never made it on campus and James Scott, another guy who has gone the JUCO route but has a good chance of returning to Lubbock.