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Possible Red Raiders: A Weekly Recruiting Update - 4/1/2014

Red Raider recruits commit next year, A Tech recruit has a favorite, Spring Game visitors and could Texas Tech get another highly rated QB? Plus a look at recruits Kirk Merritt, Arthur McGinnis, and Brandon Scott.

Tom Pennington

Looks like Texas Tech had another successful Midland Practice as many people showed up to watch. With the team in Midland, it doesn't look like any football recruits visited over the weekend. I haven't reported any visitors in a while, but hopefully that will increase once we get to the Spring Game. I know I said I'll have a Spring Game visitor list this week, but I have been busy this week and haven't gotten around to it. I should be free this weekend and hopefully will remember to get it done.

Before we get into recruiting reviews, let's take a look at what Tech has done with recruiting in certain regions and ranks. Matt Clare recently put out some info on where the offers have gone too, and there are some interesting stats there. First off, of the 82 offers that Rivals has for Texas Tech, half of them (41 offers) go to Rivals250 players. Out of the 82 offers, 49 of them are going to the Top100 recruits in Texas. Tech is definitely more aggressive this time around, with a year under their belt and the hype surrounding the program. I believe that Tech has a chance to grab 3-4 of those recruits, as they are high on a lot of list. Out of the 82 offers, 29 of them are going to out of state players. If you break that number up, 9 are going to California, 7 to Louisiana and 3 to Hawaii. 'Big Money" has really helped with the California region, basically responsible for every recruit out there. Tech starting to become a common name with offers, which can only be good. Let's look at some recruits from Louisiana that could cross the border to play in Texas, including Kirk Merritt, Arthur McGinnis, and Brandon Scott.

Kirk Merritt - Running Back / Wide Receiver (Destrehan HS, Destrehan, LA)

Height Weight 40 time Shuttle Vertical Power Throw SPARQ
5'11" 200 lbs 4.59 4.10 45.8 43 138.84

Ratings: 94 by 247 / NR by ESPN / 5.7 by Rivals

Interest: Texas A&M (Warm), Texas Tech (Warm), LSU (Warm), Alabama (Warm)

Kirk Merritt is one of those guys where everybody is going after him. You could probably see why if you look above. The Vertical, Power Throw and SPARQ rating are the highest tested among everybody in the 2015 class. He has some ungodly talents. The only thing you could maybe put down is his 4.59 40 time, but if you look at his tape (which we will in a second), that won't really matter. His only unofficial listed on 247 is to A&M, but he likely also visited LSU at some point. I personally think it will be down to those two schools in the end (much like with Speedy Noil), but maybe if Tech can push hard enough, we can get him. Let's take a look at what Kirk Merritt can do on film. First off, it doesn't look like that 40 time listed above is very accurate. At times in his film, it looks like he's just blazing by opponents in the open space. When the opposition is near him, he uses his strength and mobile abilities to gain extra yards. He's hard to bring down with his ability to stiff arm and juke, but also when he doesn't have the ball, he's a great blocker. With Tech running four wide a lot, a WRs ability to guard to important. So not only would Tech be getting one of the most athletic recruits in this class, but also one that helps when he doesn't have the ball in his hand. That could be very useful for screen passing and running with faster RBs is White and Stockton. It'll be tough to grab Merritt, but hopefully he chooses to play his college career in Lubbock. Here's a shorter version of his highlight tape.

Arthur McGinnis - Linebacker (Warren Easton HS, New Orleans, LA)

Height Weight 40 time Vertical Power Throw SPARQ
6'2" 220 4.66 32.8 41.5 96.12

Ratings: 86 by 247 / 3-star by ESPN / 5.8 by Rivals

Interest: Texas A&M (Warmer), UCLA (Warmer), Mississippi State (Warm), Texas Tech (Warm)

Arthur McGinnis has some pretty impressive offers, coming from the teams above along with Tennessee, Mississippi, Nebraska and Georgia. He goes to Warren Easton HS, where fellow Texas Tech target Tyron Johnson goes to school. McGinnis to be leaning to A&M or UCLA according to 247. However, Tech doesn't have a lot of LBs targeted this class, so they will likely pursue him along with his teammate hard in the next year. The only two schools McGinnis has visited thus far are LSU and A&M, making multiple trips to College Station. He has yet to visit Tech, but hopefully he will come out with Tyron Johnson soon (maybe the Spring Game?). Hopefully Tech is able to grab him, as he's a terrific athlete for being a LB. Let's take a look at what McGinnis can do on film. Looking at his Junior film, it looks like McGinnis played mostly an Hybrid DE/OLB position in high school. He is able to get off the line quick and push his way through defenders to get to the ball carrier. Once he hits open space, he can quicker navigate his way to the runner to stop him. By looking at Dakota Allen and the LBs Tech is looking at this year, it seems that Mike Smith wants LBs that are bigger in size, but can still move easily. We'll see if McGinnis takes a visit to Texas Tech and if the Red Raiders can pull him in.

Brandon Scott - Safety (Destrehan HS, Destrehan, LA)

Height Weight
6'0" 180 lbs

Ratings: 88 by 247 / NR by ESPN / NR by Rivals

Interest: Texas Tech (Warm), Iowa (Warm), Louisiana Tech (Warm), Tennessee *(Cool)

Brandon Scott is not a well known name in recruiting right now. Probably the only reason Tech discovered and offered him was because of Kirk Merritt, much like we found 2015 commit Corey Dauphine through Kameron Martin. He only has two BCS offers right now, with Tennessee and Mississippi State looking on. ESPN and Rivals haven't even rated him yet. So to some things up, there isn't much to say about him. However, I do know that he has all-district last year in Louisana's 4A, which caused him to be rated a high 3-star recruit by 247. Maybe we can convince the two recruits from Destrehan to visit Texas Tech. Let's take a look at what he can do on film. On his hudl, he's listed as a free safety, which basically means that he's he center fielder of that defense. What I like the most about Scott is the ability to disguise within the defense and make plays on the ball when they head his direction. Not only that, but Scott lays hard hits on offensive players, sometimes causing them to drop the ball from the impact of the hit. He reminds me a lot of Jaylon Lane. I spoke of him back in October, saying how good I thought he was and was wondering why he didn't have any offers. Now Jaylon Lane is an 86 rated DB with about 20 offers in the last month. Hopefully Tech is able to get Scott comfortable with Tech before all these teams start jumping on him.

Here are some more updates:

Basketball 2014:

  • Abdoulaye Gueye, 83 rated PF, visited Texas Tech this past weekend. It looks like he will visit one more school and then decide where he will go. Most likely it will be between Minnesota and Texas Tech. Look for that recruiting battle throughout next season.

Football 2015:

  • James Proche, 87 rated WR, will be visiting Texas Tech soon. The WR has gained interest in Texas Tech since the commitment of Jarrett Stidham. Has heavy interest in a lot of schools, but only has two BCS offers in SMU and TCU
  • Trace Ellison, NR OT, committed to Texas Tech Monday afternoon. This gives Tech it's 2nd OT this class. Tech has been really the only BCS school showing major interest in Ellison.
  • Breiden Fehoko, 97 rated DT, got a follow from Wes Welker on twitter, if that means anything at all. Welker needs to watch what he's doing, as he almost got in trouble talking to a recruit on twitter last summer.
  • Joshua Jones, 88 rated OT, was offered by the Red Raiders on Friday. Shortly after that, he went to the Friday Night Lights Event at A&M. Holds offers from also Houston and North Texas.
  • Rawleigh Williams III, 89 rated RB Ole Miss commit, will be visiting Texas Tech this Spring according to 247sports. Tech and Arkansas are going after Williams, even though he's been committed to Ole Miss for about a year now.
  • Mason Walter, 88 rated OT form Cali, was offered by the Red Raiders on Friday. Walter has gotten offers from several BCS teams across the country. Arizona State looks to be in the lead right now.
  • Tyron Johnson, 97 rated WR, recently told 247sports his top three, and Landon Wright indicates that Texas Tech has some "good news" in the story. If you at the comments in the story, LSU seems to be in there, but more surprisingly, A&M is not. Wonder what that 3rd team is.
  • JaMycal Hasty, 93 rated RB, has committed to Baylor. Baylor is has a very impressive class thus far, bringing in the 13th ranked class with 6 commits, 4 of which are 4-stars. Luckily for Tech, RB is not a dire need.
  • Kyler Murray, 98 rated QB, has said that A&M, Oregon and Texas Tech remain high on his list. The reason why is his strong relationship with Kliff Kingsbury. This is very surprising considering that Stidham is committed to the program. That bring up the question of what would we do with two of the nation's top QB's. He's not a Red Raider, so I'm not going to answer that. Thanks to RonRanger for the find.
  • Jaylon Guyton, 87 rated WR, has committed to Notre Dame. Jaylon played at Allen with targets Murray and Greg Little and was likely discovered while looking at them.

Basketball 2015+:

  • Hunter Shelton, 2015 3-star SF, has listed Texas Tech as his favorite right now. Texas Tech has visited him a couple times in Louisville to watch him play.
  • Igor Ibaka, 2015 JUCO PF, looks to be getting attention from the Red Raiders. Red Raiders Sports mentioned Tech was going after a player with NBA ties, and all signs point to Ibaka. I mentioned a few weeks ago that Tech could be looking at him in the NJCAA National Championships, and it looks like they did take a look at him.
  • Nick Billingsley, 2015 JUCO G, looks like he'll be attending a Texas Tech camp this summer. He is from New Mexico JC, where Robert Turner played and former Tech target Jeff Newberry played. They also played in the NJCAA National Championships.
  • Kevin Allen, 2015 NR JUCO PF, has received an offer from Texas Tech. He played in the NJCAA Championships, and received attention Texas Tech, Houston and Kansas State after scoring 31 and rebounding 17.
Some of you may know about this, but in High School track, there is this event called the Texas Relays. It is held at UT every year, and it's where the State's top track teams compete. Now the only bad thing about this is that a lot of these top track teams have highly rated recruits on them. So they all get a view UT and explore the campus. Not only that, but all the state championships go through UT also, namely basketball and track. I'm sure this doesn't affect UT recruiting too much, but it kinda stinks that all these great players to go to Austin and experience the campus and fans. What do you guys think about this?

On a women's basketball note, Sophomore Forward Kellyn Schneider is transferring from Texas Tech to go to Lubbock Christian University. That leaves a spot open on the roster for next season. Well, Candace Whitaker has already found a replacement for her in JUCO F Jocelyn Mousty. Mousty was a recruit in the class of 2012 and committed to Indiana. After redshirting her first year, she transferred to a Junior College in Florida. I believe she will come in as a Sophomore, which gives Tech the same scholarship as before. Another interesting note, basically the whole basketball team was at the baseball game Saturday. Was a little curious why there were a bunch of tall girls sitting around me, until I saw coach Whitaker. Gotcher, Tapsoba and Lambert were also at the game.