Byrce Balous - Safety (McKinney North, McKinney, TX)
|Height||Weight||40 time||Shuttle||Vertical||Power Throw||SPARQ|
Ratings: 82 by 247 / 72 by ESPN / 5.4 by Rivals / 3-star by Scout
Interest: Iowa (Warmer), Kansas State (Warmer), Nevada (Cool), Texas Tech (Cool)
We first learned about Byrce Balous when the Red Raiders offered the Safety out of McKinnley this past week. This is only his 5th offer, along with the leaders in Iowa, Kansas State, Nevada and Arkansas State. This actually surprises me a little bit, seeing his high SPARQ score and all the intangibles he posses. Anyway, he named Iowa his leaders back in July, but then almost committed to the Wildcats in August according to 247sports (behind a paywall). He then visited K-State last month according to Rivals, but still hasn't committed to either program. I'm not sure if he hasn't made up his mind between the two or is looking for some more options. Tech offered Balous this past week likely because of the fact that no secondary players have committed thus far. Even though they added a bunch of secondary players last class (even though two are already off the team), they still would like to add a few secondary players. Now let's take a look at what Byrce Balous can do on film. One attribute I like about Byrce his speed and power. Byrce has elite speed and is able to chase down anyone on the field to bring them down. He chased down a couple a running backs on his highlight film and returned kicks far due to his speed. Since he is so fast, he hits harder too, causing helmets to go flying and balls to pop lose. Tech has had so much trouble defending the run lately, a hard hitter safety could help them. I also like Byrce's return game. He uses his speed to run by defenders and get to the outside to burst free. Now there are plays on his film where he reads the offense wrong or has to run back to catch an offensive player, but that's something that can be looked at. He has all the skills to become a great player, he just needs to improve as a defender in my opinion. If the coaches teach him right, he has the potential to be one of the Top Safeties in the Big XII.
Arden Key - Defensive End (Hapeville Charter, Lithonia, GA)
|6'5"||230 lbs||4.75||11.7||245 lbs||405 lbs|
Ratings: 95 by 247 (120th overall) / 86 by ESPN (54th overall) / 5.8 by Rivals / 4-star by Scout (106th overall)
Interest: South Carolina (Committed), Georgia (Cool), LSU (Cool), Texas Tech (Cool)
Arden Key hasn't really been on my radar, so I'm not really sure when they offered him or how close Texas Tech has been talking with Key. They likely discovered Key late in the 2013 class when they were recruiting three players in Lithonia to fill out their class (DJ Polite Brady, Jacarthy Mack and Joshua Outlaw). They probably started scouting him around that time and offered him in sometime in late 2013 or early 2014. That's just a guess though. Key took visits to Alabama, South Carolina and Miami before committing to the Game Cocks in early June. However, it looks like he wants to take his official visits, and apparently one of them will be Texas Tech. I don't know who serious Key's committment to South Carolina is, but hopefully he's seriously considering TTU. Tech still would like to add another D-linemen or two this class. Now let's see what Arden Key can do. What I like about Arden is length and size. He has ginormous arms that can break off blocks easily and gives him a chance to make a play on the ball. This also gives the ability to slow down or tackle a player from farther away. I also like Arden speed. He is able to chase down the opposition and bring them down in the backfield before they can make a play. Texas Tech had trouble containing QBs and outside runners this year, so having a speed guy on the outside could help Texas Tech. Finally, Key has a lot of strength. Even though it says his bench is only 245 lbs (I bet it's wrong), he is able to bring down offensive players with one hand and can blow up tackles. Arden Key has a lot of potential, and we would be lucky if he came to Texas Tech.
Here are some more updates:
- Tyron Johnson, 98 rated WR, said that he enjoyed his time in Lubbock and will be back. Should be noted that teammate Arthur McGinnis has scheduled an official visit to Texas Tech. Mike Farrell, one of the main writers on Rivals, believes that Texas Tech is currently in the lead for Johnson.
- Xavier Lewis, 94 rated CB, was offered by Texas Tech this past week. Doesn't it seem ironic that Tech offers Lewis shortly after Johnson mentioned possibly wanting to play with him on twitter.
- Trent Irwin, 95 rated WR, stated that Texas Tech was in his Top 5 last week. Arizona State and UCLA are still in the lead, but the Red Raiders are still in the hunt for Irwin. His rating also increased from a 92 to a 95.
- DeDe Westbrook, 89 rated JUCO WR, named Texas Tech in his Top 4 according to 247sports and will be visiting in December according to Matt Clare of Rivals. Tech only has one receiver committed so far this class and are looking to add 2 or 3 more.
- Tipa Galeai, 84 rated DE, received an offer from Texas Tech this past weekend. Tech doesn't have a DE yet this class (Fehoko could be a DE if needed) and are looking to add one.
- Josh Kiser, a long snapper, visited Texas Tech this weekend. Not much more to say about him.
- Eli Howard, 75 rated DE, visited this Texas Tech this past weekend. He currently doesn't have a TTU offer and resides in San Angelo, TX.
- Damion Ratley, 82 rated JUCO WR, was offered by Texas Tech this past week. He is the 3rd Blinn College WR to be offered by Texas Tech. He is currently committed to UTSA
- CJ Williamson, 87 rated PG/SF, committed to Texas Tech during his official visit this weekend. He originally was supposed to commit after visiting Virginia Tech, but decided then that Tech was the place for him. He attended to Showtime event his past Friday and appeared to enjoy the event (I spotted him there). That fills out the rest of the recruiting with Jackson and Williamson as the commits. The 2016 class has three scholarships to use.
- Kaiser Gates, 93 rated SF, committed to Xavier on Thursday. He was going to choose between Xavier or Texas Tech likely soon and choose Xavier.
- Tyler Vaughns, 94 rated 2016 WR, was offered by Texas Tech last Tuesday. He is a Top 100 player and currently has USC in the lead.
- Daniel Juarez, 84 rated 2016 OT, received an offer from the Red Raiders this past week. This is Juarez's first offer. He is an offensive tackle from California.
- Jack Jones, 87 composite rated 2016 WR, received an offer from Texas Tech this past week. He also has offers from UCLA and USC
- Bravvion Roy, 87 rated 2016 DT, was likely looked at by John Scott this past week. He visited Spring HS, where the 2016 DT resides.
- Dontavious Jackson, 94 rated 2014 ILB, received an offer from Texas Tech this past week. This is his 7th offer thus far, and 2nd Big XII offer.
- Deonte Williams, 87 rated 2016 OLB, visited Texas Tech last weekend. He also had 2018 ATH Verone McKinley III with him
How did the 2014 class do?
|Justin Stockton||3 rushes||34 yards||1 TD|
|2 catches||14 yards||1 KO for 11 yards|
|Ian Sadler||4 catches||68 yards||1 TD|
|Cameron Batson||4 Punt returns||-3 yards|
|Nigel Bethel II||4 tackles||2 solo, 2 assist|
|Rika Levi||3 tackles (.5 for loss)||.5 sacks|
|Keland McElrath||3 tackles (1.5 for loss)||.5 sacks|
|Marcus Smith||1 tackle||1 solo|
|Brandon Thorpe||1 tackle||1 solo|
How did the 2015 class do?
|Jarrett Stidham||16-23||245 yards||3 TDs|
|10 rushes||97 yards||2 TDs|
|Corey Dauphine||22 rushes||196 yards||1 TD|
|Jonathan Giles||11-25||121 yards||1 TD & 1 INT|
|16 rushes||18 yards||1 TD|
|Breiden Fehoko||5 tackles||2 sacks|