Recruiting on the . . . ; I Need a New Meme: Recruiting on the High Seas was obviously in reference to Captain Mike Leach, but since the powers that be decided that he didn't need to be charge of the football program, I feel like I need a new meme for Tommy Tuberville. I'm not really an idea sort of guy, but I'll take suggestions in the comments. And yes, at some point I'm going to change the DTN headline, but I'm being patient.
New Commits: I haven't had the time to do full write-ups on the two new commitments, but as always, I'll do my best to link to as much information as possible.
OL Aleon Calhoun
Per LAJ's Don Williams, Calhoun committed on Friday and he seems to have replaced the de-commitment of Denton Simek (more on that below). Calhoun has incredible size and in reviewing his film, the one thing that I noticed consistently was that Calhoun was a step slow getting off of the ball on almost every play. At first I thought that he couldn't go the entire film being a step slow, but that was the case. It's not a fatal flaw and you'd certainly rather have a guy with incredible size and pretty good athleticism, as getting off of the snap is something that's correctable. Calhoun is just dominating his high school counterparts and he appears to be athletic enough to keep with quicker defensive ends, so his film isn't too revealing. I will say that Calhoun appears to be quite strong physically.
QB/TE/LB Joe Carmical
Carmical's commitment comes as a bit of a surprise. LAJ's Don Williams reported that Carmical isn't sure how head coach Tommy Tuberville or defensive coordinator James Willis even found him. Carmical appeared to be sort of a jack-of-all-trades for his high school team, which won a state title last year. The only video I could find of Carmical was his interview after the championship game where he talks about running the triple-option, as the quarterback, and recruiting towards the end of the video. Apparently Carmical will play linebacker for Texas Tech:
“I was kind of a versatile player here, and part of the trouble seemed to be that when I went to camp they didn’t really know where to put me,’’ he said.
“I’m really excited about playing linebacker under coach Willis and coach Tuberville,’’ Carmical said. “Coach Tuberville coached linebackers for 19 years before he got in the head-coaching part, so this is exciting.’’
Carmical's commitment is a classic case of two sides of the recruiting argument. You'll have one side that will claim that Carmical is Wes Welker Part II and that just because he was over-looked by almost every major school doesn't mean a thing. The other argument would be that Tuberville is failing miserably as Texas Tech recently had de-commitments and now has the commitment of a player that hasn't even been rated by either Scout or ESPN. The truth is that there are players that are still over-looked, even in today's day and age. Carmical has the same measurables as LB Sam Fehoko coming out of high school. I would guess that Carmical has pretty good wheels as he played quarterback for a triple-option team. Again, Willis and Tuberville are banking on Carmical's potential and we'll just have to wait and see as to what this means.
Much, much more on recruiting, including the de-commitments and the current commitment list.
De-Commitment List: I think it might be a bit easier to start with the actual de-commitments rather than who's committed. When we last checked in on recruiting, Brazoswood DE Dartwan Bush committed to Texas Tech (which by the way, I think that Bush looks like a great fit for the 3-4). At that time, the Red Raiders had 25 commitments. Since Leach's termination, there have been a handful of de-commitments, some of which have actually been confirmed through the press and others by just using some logic and what available free information there is. In any event, here's the current group that I believe have actually de-committed:
RB Aaron Spikes
OL Denton Simek
DE Kedrick Dial
LB Fred Harvey
That list doesn't address the fact that I think Texas Tech still has some questions regarding some of current commits as they are still looking elsewhere, so put this group of players in the question marks list and hope like heck that they sign in two weeks:
WR Kadron Boone (looking at LSU and Georgia)
OL Javius Townsend (looking at Oklahoma St.)
DE Scott Smith (although he's signed his LOI, he apparently has not enrolled in classes)
DB Tre`Vante Porter (looking at Arizona)
As an aside, WR James Wright committed to LSU over the weekend, and this may narrow Boone's choices to either Georgia or Texas Tech. If I've missed anyone on either list, let me know, but I think for now, this is a pretty solid list of who's in and who's out.
I also wanted to update a few more notes around the interwebs in that Southlake Carroll DE Jackson Richards stated that he's committed to Texas Tech and that LB Zachary Winbush (more on Winbush below) is solid on Texas Tech, per the title to this Scout article.
Current Commitment List: I typically like looking at recruiting lists in terms of position rather than stars or some other method of ranking. If you need more information on any of these players, then feel free to check out the sidebar on the left of the DTN home page for Rivals, Scout and ESPN profiles. Typically, the ESPN profiles have free video of each of these players so that may be a good place to start. In any event, as of right now, this is a pretty good class and most, if not all of these players, sans the question marks listed above, has re-confirmed their commitment to Texas Tech.
|QB||Scotty Young (6-3/185)|
|RB||Delans Griffin (5-10/180)|
Shawn Corker (6-1/189)
Kadron Boone (6-1/197)
Ben McRoy (5-9/165)
|OL||Beau Carpenter (6-7/260)
James Polk (6-7/290)
Javius Townsend (6-2/300)
Eric Lawson (6-6/320)
|DL||Jackson Richards (6-4/240)
Coby Coleman (6-3/280)
Lawrence Rumph (6-4/270)
Donald Langley (6-2/295)
Scott Smith (6-7/275)
Dartwan Bush (6-1/245)
|LB||Zac Winbush (6-2/200)
Joe Carmical (6-2/225)
|DB||Desmond Martin (6-0/173)
Russell Polk (5-11/200)
Brandon Smith (6-1/175)
Urell Johnson (6-0/180)
Tre'Vante Porter (6-1/185)
What's Next: These are just guesses, but assuming that this group actually commits to Texas Tech, I think it's safe to assume that there's still going to be some work to get done. Namely, if Tuberville wants to continue his switch to the 3-4 defense, then I think he's got to get some more linebackers. Tuberville apparently makes a living getting faster players on defense, which means that you could see some of these players switching positions once they arrive on campus.
As an aside, and I wasn't real sure where to put this note, but it appears that California RB/ATH Lucky Radley (5-9/185) (Rivals, ESPN and Scout) will be taking a visit to Texas Tech after he was offered a scholarship on Saturday night. Radley is listed from a position standpoint from running back, to safety to linebacker, which perhaps bolsters the thought that Tuberville wants projectable athletes that he can mold into various positions.
The candidates for a position switch, at least in my mind are Russell Polk and the aforementioned Dartwan Bush. Polk looks to have some pretty good size, already at 200 pounds. With 4.5 speed in the 40, he seems like a natural fit to lose a little bit of 40 time to pack on a good 10 to 15 pounds to be able to play linebacker. Polk will redshirt and I think that will give the staff plenty of time to make a decision on what to do with Polk. Regarding Bush, I absolutely love his production. He's got issues regarding his measurables (i.e. he's not tall enough) he produces on the field. With the switch to a 3-4 defense, Bush seems like the perfect outside linebacker.
If those two players can play some sort of linebacker position in the future, then I'm less worried that Winbush is the only linebacker commitment (other than the newly committed Carmical). I don't think it's any secret that recruiting along the defensive line is the toughest position to recruit, and there a quite a few projectable athletes that could prove to be good players in the future. I think it's much easier to find an athlete and convert said athlete to a linebacker spot, but it's more difficult to find players with size and convert that player to defensive tackle or defensive end.
Immediate Needs: The situation involving Scott Smith, who signed his letter of intent, but has not enrolled in classes is a bit disconcerting. Smith has perfect size to play defensive end in the 3-4 and the defensive end position is a position of true need with this team. With that being said, it was thought that Smith would be with the team for spring practice, but now that's not the case. If Smith decides to play somewhere else, he either has to appeal to the NCAA to retract the LOI he signed or transfer, sit out all of next year, and then have one year of eligibility left. It doesn't make sense for Smith to go the second route, but I've been plenty wrong before.
Langley and Rumph are two additional JUCO players who I suppose could play somewhere along the defensive line. Again, I have no idea as to how quick they actually are and if they played defensive tackle of defensive end at their respective JUCO's, but again, this team is fairly desperate for some defensive ends with size, and other than Pearlie Graves, there may not be many options. Keep in mind that typical 3-4 defensive ends are pretty darned big, for example, the Dallas Cowboys defensive ends, Igor Olshansky and Marcus Spears are in the 6-4/300 range, and the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive ends, Travis Kirschke and Brett Keisel, are also in that range. I know it's a tough comparison between the NFL and college, but I think at the very least, you're talking about players that are bigger than the typical college 4-3 defensive end, a best example are this past year's defensive ends, Brandon Sharpe and Daniel Howard, both around 6-3/240. I think it would be safe to assume the the starting defensive ends next year will be closer to 270 rather than 240.