As most of y'all know, National Signing Day for JUCOs is tomorrow. What that means is this is the first date a JUCO player can sign their NOI to play at the next level. They can sign NOI's all the way to January 15th, be most will do so tomorrow. This is only required for mid-year transfer JUCOs, but basically every JUCO is a mid-year so they can learn the system. Anyway, later on I'll have my predictions on what I think will happen tomorrow. But for now, let's look at 2014 recruits, JUCO OG Dontae Levingston and S Peyton Hendrix.
Dontae Levingston - Offensive Guard/ Tackle (Santa Monica CC, Santa Monica, CA)
Height: 6'5" Weight: 285 lbs
Ratings: 81 by 247 (87 in HS) / 70 by ESPN (78 in HS) / 5.5 by Rivals (5.7 by HS)
Interest: Texas Tech (Warm), Kansas (Warm), Kansas State (Cool)
Dontae was a high 3-star recruit that picked SMU over schools like USC, UCLA and Florida. He transferred after deaths in his family moved him closer to home in California. He was going to spend a semester there and try to go to a PAC-12 school, but that was in early 2012. He has taken 3 official visits, on November 22 to Kansas State, December 3 to Kansas and last weekend to Texas Tech. On his twitter account, he announced that his final two schools are Tech and Kansas, and will decide either today or tomorrow. It looks like he's expanable on the line, as Rivals and ESPN have him listed as a tackle and 247 have him listed as a guard. Here is his hudl film, and while at Santa Monica CC he played the tackle position. Some positives from the video is that he keeps his guy in the front of him. He doesn't have to step back much and keep the defensive player from running around him to the runningback or quarterback. He also uses his arms and legs well, with his good body frame and weight. Now he wasn't exactly dominating any defensive players (see Dominiquie Robertson), but he keeps the defensive player a non factor. This makes me believe that he's a primarily a pass rusher. He's one Tech could likely get as long as Kliff Kingsbury stops calling him. Although, he recently sent a Kansas commit on twitter that "he will like his descion". That was before the Texas Tech visit however.
Payton Hendrix - Safety (Bishop Dunne Catholic, Dallas, TX)
Height: 6'2" Weight: 190 lbs 40 time: 4.5
Ratings: 85 by 247 / 79 by ESPN / 5.5 by Rivals
Interest: Arkansas (Warm), Texas Tech (Warm), Notre Dame (Warm)
The offer list for Payton Hendrix is pretty substantial, consisting of teams like Nebraska, Arizona State and Stanford. However, he has listed his top 3 recently as Notre Dame, Arkansas and Texas Tech, and has taken official visits to all of them, Arkansas most recently (also has unofficially visited there). He's a bigger Safety, which seems to be the norm nowadays, luckily Tech already has two 6ft safeties this class (Josh Keys and Conner Wilson). Arkansas is probably going hard after Payton after their top DB target picked the good guys. Now on to his film (below). The thing I like most about Payton Hendrix is his play recognition and knowledge on the field. He seems to know where to be when certain receivers run their routes, and can tell when the QB is passing, rushing, or handing it off. I believe that he could be a good get in this secondary. He 40 time is listed as a 4.5 on rivals, but I believe that he's a little slower then what they say, which might be why he's not a CB. Texas Tech already has 7 DBs this class, so I don't know if they really need Hendrix.
Here are some more updates:
- Josh Keys, 89 rated JUCO DB, committed to Texas Tech on Sunday. With an official visit in October, and a recent official and coach visit by Nebraska, it was thought he would go elsewhere. Huge get by the Red Raiders.
- Marcus Smith, 80 rated JUCO DT, also committed to Texas Tech on Sunday. This makes it the 2nd DT and 3rd DL this class. He also has a teammate in Brandon Thorpe, who also DT and has a similar rating.
- Haniteli Lousi, 90 rated JUCO OG, listed Texas Tech and Oregon in his top 2, and then committed to Oregon. He was part of the Cali Trio that visited, and ultimately picked Oregon. Not a lot of options left at OL for Texas Tech.
- Sam Atoe, 82 rated JUCO LB, had a top 3 in Tech, TCU and Cal and committed to Cal on Sunday. He was another one of the Cali Trio. The only LB in the class so far is Dakota Allen.
- Sebastian Tretola, 90 rated JUCO OT, has named his top 3, Oklahoma, TCU and Arkansas. Texas Tech is no longer an option and no matter where he goes, he will play Tech every year.
- Kenny Iloka, 87 rated JUCO S, also has a top 2 in TCU and Texas, and has ruled out Texas Tech. There is not a lot of JUCO options left for Tech, as in the only realistic recruits left are Dominique Robertson, Dontae Levingston, Brandon Thorpe, Rika Levi and Anothony Olobia.
- Trevor Kelly, 77 rated JUCO DT, committed to Cal this Sunday. He is teammates with the Cali Trio, including Sam Atoe who committed to Cal also on Sunday.
- Deionte Noel, 83 rated OL, was told that he would be Greyshirted next year and is looking at other options. Still committed to Texas Tech, Noel will visit Houston 1/18 and see if he rather go there instead.
- Anthony Olobia, 87 rated JUCO DE, visited Auburn during the Iron Bowl and Kansas last weekend. He was an early Red Raider target that doesn't look like he's headed our way.
- Vincent Jackson, 83 rated LB, will announce his top 4 on December 28th, then decide in January. However, someone asked him where Tech was and he said Top 3, then deleted the tweet and put up his official announcement, so it looks like Tech is in his top 4 (other 3 probably Miami, Oregon and Alabama).
- Dominique Robertson, 85 rated JUCO OT, officially visited Kansas State this weekend. His only official visits so far are Texas Tech and Kansas State, with WVU and Arizona State also players
- Jeremy Miller, 76 rated DT, just got done visiting Missouri State. It looks like Texas Tech never offered him, so it doesn't look like he'll be headed here.
- Two Rockwall-Heath recruits, 94 rated OT Trevor Elbert and NR S Deshon Elliott, visited a Texas Tech practice and enjoyed their visit. Deshon doesn't any other interest so far other than Oklahoma, and Elbert is getting looked at by major programs like Alabama and Texas.
- Tubby Smith visited St Francis HS in Alpharetta, Ga to offer two recruits in 2015 SF Kaiser Gates and Kobi Simmons. Both have a lot of interest, which Gates having no major suitors and Simmons having a lead so far in Kentucky.
Junior College National Signing Day:
Texas Tech has realistically about 6 recruits left that could possibly go to Texas Tech (I may miss some, but these are the bigger names). Here is where I think each one will go:
Dominique Robertson - Kansas State
Anthony Olobia - Auburn
Dontae Levingston - Kansas
Rika Levi - Texas Tech
Brandon Thorpe - West Virginia
Here are some other Texas Tech targets that are no longer considering Tech:
Sebastian Tretola - Arkansas
Kenny Iloka - Texas
Jeremy Miller - Missouri State
UPDATE: Brian Peavy, 80 rated CB, committed to Iowa State. He was a Tech target for a long time and looked like he would be a Red Raider but never committed here. Good luck to him at Iowa State
UPDATE #2: Brandon Thorpe, 82 composite DT, has his top 2 at TTU and WVU