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Recruiting on the South Plains | OL Connor Grooms

Position: OL
Ht: 6'4" | Wt: 280 lbs | Forty: 5.00
High School: Robert E. Lee (Tyler, TX)
DTN Profile
Video: Clip 1
Rivals | Scout | ESPN | 24/7 Sports
Cumulative Ranking: 67.2
Rivals | , 5.5 Rivals Rating
Scout |
ESPN | | 79 Grade
24/7 Sports | | 81 24/7 Sports Rating

This is actually a pretty nice pick-up for Texas Tech, and as this has been widely reported, Connor Grooms will be attending Texas Tech as a preferred walk-on, with the possibility of receiving a scholarship should he be able to make a contribution on the two-deep or get onto the field sooner rather than later.

The reason why I think this is actually a pretty good deal for Texas Tech is that Texas Tech had two offensive linemen de-commit, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who flipped to TCU and Christian Okafor, who flipped to California. Per Rivals, Vaitai was rated as a 3-star player with a Rivals Rating (RR) of 5.7 and Okafor was rated as a 3-star player with a RR of 5.6.

There's no doubt that Vaitai and Okafor are more highly rated players with bigger offer lists, which is usually a good indicator of what other colleges thing about a player, but Grooms isn't that far off in terms of overall ranking or overall talent evaluation and for now, Grooms doesn't take up a scholarship spot. Add to that a Grooms' family of Red Raiders and I like this quite a bit.

The Player Speaks

Both and both has stories on Grooms and he essentially said that he has a ton of family that's previously attended Texas Tech:

"Both of my dad's parents, both of my parents and one of my brothers have graduated from there, and then I have one brother who's a freshman there right now," Grooms said. "It kind of runs in the family. It feels like home, I've been going out there forever. It's really been my dream (to play for Tech)."

Grooms said that he still had offers from Houston, Memphis, Kansas, Louisiana Tech and took an official visit to La.Tech, but decided that it wasn't Texas Tech:

"They really wanted me to come there," he said. "I went on an official visit. It wasn't Texas Tech, it didn't feel like home."

Scouting Report

The Scout profile actually has a bit of a profile on Grooms and says this about his game:

Solid sized, needs to fill out some more though. Also needs to add strength. Moves well and can make blocks away from the line. Needs to complete the blocks and put his man in the dirt.

From the film in the video link (I could only find it on ESPN) I think that's probably a fair assessment. I thought that Grooms was fairly athletic, he moved his feet well, especially since he probably doesn't project as a left tackle, but played there in high school. He seemed capable of just running some speed rushers out of the play, although there wasn't much form to that. I found it interesting that Grooms was named as part of the 2010 All-Smoaky team:

Tackle: Conner Grooms, Tyler Lee, 6-4, 280, Jr., Never graded below 80% in any game, 88% for the season, 12-pancake blocks

However, I didn't see where he made that team in 2011. Not sure what happened.

In 2010, Dave Campbell's said that Grooms was one of the top tight ends in the state and had his weight at 245 so I'm thinking that although the 280 weight is being widely reported (all four scouting services) it wouldn't surprise me if it was some where in between. I also haven't been able to find any receiving numbers from his junior year. In 2011, Dave Campbell's did say that Grooms was part of the state's top 300 players.

Connor, welcome to Texas Tech and Git Your Guns Up!

The recruiting table is after the jump.

The 2012 Class

Position Commitment Ht/Wt School/State Cumulative Ranking
QB CLAYTON NICHOLAS 6-3/205 Cooper (Abilene, TX) 74.3
RB QUINTON WHITE 5-8/180 A&M Consolidated (College Station, TX) 69.8
WR REGINALD DAVIS 6-1/185 Tenaha (Tenaha, TX) 83.9
WR DOMINIQUE WHEELER 6-2/178 Crockett (Crockett, TX) 84.8
WR SADALE FOSTER 5-8/185 Riverside C.C. (Riverside, CA) 62.4
WR JAVON BELL 5-8/185 Gulf Coast C.C. (Perkinston, MX) 81.7
C JARED KASTER 6-4/268 Rice (Altair, TX) 71.7
OL TREY KEENAN 6-5/270 Argyle (Argyle, TX) 74.5
OL RASHAD FORTENBERRY 6-5/285 Gulf Coast C.C. (Perkinston, MS) 67.0
OL CONNOR GROOMS 6-4/280 Robert E. Lee (Tyler, TX) 67.2
DL J.J. BYNUM 6-3/275 A&M Consolidated (College Station, TX) 71.1
DL MICHAEL STARTS 6-5/285 La Vega (Waco, TX) 84.2
DL ANTHONY SMITH 6-0/291 Westfield (Houston, TX) 70.5
DL CHASE ROBISON 6-4/225 Christian Brothers (Memphis, TN) 63.6
DL LEE ADAMS 6-3/265 Riverside C.C. (Riverside, CA) 67.2
LB KRIS WILLIAMS 6-2/200 Bryan Adams (Dallas, TX) 69.6
LB RYAN FLANNIGAN 6-1/200 Marshall (Missouri City, TX) 71.0
LB WILL SMITH 6-3/220 Riverside C.C. (Riverside, CA) 69.2
LB CHRIS PAYNE 5-11/215 Gulf Coast C.C. (Perkinston, MS) 61.4
DB LA'DARIUS NEWBOLD 6-1/180 Lancaster (Lancaster, TX) 70.1
DB MICAH AWE 6-0/210 Mansfield Summit (Mansfield, TX) 67.5
DB THIERRY NGUEMA 6-0/175 Santiago (Corona, CA) 60.4
DB AUSTIN STEWART 6-2/200 Pierce C.C. (Woodland Hills, CA) 61.6
DB BRUCE JONES 5-9/175 Riverside C.C. (Riverside, CA) 63.4
ATH KEENON WARD 5-9/176 Snyder (Snyder, TX) 70.7
Averages 70.1