So as y'all know, the Spring Game last Saturday. We had an estimated 19,500 people show up, and everyone had a blast getting a peak of the new Davis Webb and an upgraded Texas Tech Defense. But while everyone has chatted outside tailgating before the game, my under age drinking self went ahead and took a 3 row seat at the game to take a glance at who was on the sidelines. Right away I spotted the Fehokos (not like that was hard to do), but I was also able to spot Jarrett Stidham, Jakari Dillard, the Belton boys (Justin Murphy, Zach Shackelford and Sam Hussey), and another guy that turned out to be Mike Mitchell. There were other recruits there too, but I'll get to them later on. During my article last Friday, I mentioned that I thought Zach Abercrumbia and Jaelan Austin could possibly commit, and that Fehoko wouldn't commit soon. It ended up that I couldn't find both the recruits (they still could've been there, but I couldn't see them) and that Hinton and Fehoko ended up committing to Texas Tech. So I was a little off there. After spotting the recruits, I took a seat with Seth, LoneStar and later on DoubleTFaithful and watched some good Texas Tech football.
So a little bit about my reactions for each commit. On Sunday, I didn't realize that LB D'Vonta Hinton had committed until around 12:30. I finally found someone to go to church with, so I was at Palm Sunday mass (which is longer than most masses) until 12:30, which stinks a little bit. Luckily for me, Seth was able to jump right on it, so that was good. As for Fehoko, I got the privilege to meet the Fehoko family in person after the Spring Game. I originally wasn’t going to go to the Autograph session, but Seth C, LoneStarRedRaider and DoubleTFaithful convinced me to do so because I had nothing to do. While waiting in line to get Autographs from the Linebackers and Safeties, I was able to meet Sam and Papa Fehoko, and talked how many much I enjoyed watch them play. They were all very friendly with the crowd, talking to them, signing autographs and even making headbands (whatever they’re called). Then I met Breiden, and talked about how he was a beast in the middle, that I was a huge fan and mentioned that I wrote for VTM. I took a picture with him (which I posted on twitter, and he retweeted), got his autograph (right next to Sams and VJs) and wished him luck wherever he goes. Later on, some kids wanted to meet him, but were too nervous to talked to him. So Breiden graciously walked up to them, talked to them and signed something for them. What a great Family, and I was really hoping that he would commit here. His talent, energy and kindness is the reason why, something I hope to see in every Red Raider. I couldn’t have been more happy to see that he committed. Right now, let's take a look at who could be influenced by Fehoko's commitment in LB Mike Mitchell, DT Kahlil McKenzie and RB Charles West.
Mike Mitchell - Linebacker (Prestonwood Christian HS, Plano, TX)
Interest: Texas Tech (Warm), Texas A&M (Warm), Oklahoma (Warm)
If you look at the recruits for 2015, you won't find Mitchell at all. That's because Mike Mitchell was a 2013 LB, a former 5-star recruit that decided to take his talents to Ohio State at the Army All-American game. After Redshirting his first season (due to injury in fall camp), he decided he would transfer closer to home to be closer to his ailing father. This weekend, Mike was spotted on the sidelines at the Spring Game. Max Olson of ESPN first reported the news on twitter during the game. This would be a huge addition for Texas Tech, who is looking at add some LBs this class (VJ Fehoko and Sam Equavoen are seniors on the team). Also, because he transferring because of an ill parent, it's likely that Mitchell won't lose eligibility. During the game, he sat next to Jarrett Stidham and Breiden Fehoko, and according to an article on WreckEm247, Fehoko is trying to gain a good friendship with Mitchell is get him aboard. Let's take a look at what Mitchell can do on film. The first thing you notice about Mitchell is that he's extremely fast for a 6'3", 200 lb LB. He was listed 4.45 on 247 and ESPN, and a 4.39 on rivals. WRs and RBs in the Big XII would not be able to escape him. Another big thing is his ability to secure tackles. Some of the bigger linebackers will just hit the guy instead of following through, but Mike is able to wrap up and bring the runner to the ground with force. With his strength, he can also burst through lineman, which means he would be able to drop back into coverage or rush the Quarterback. This would be a huge addition if Mitchell decides to pick Texas Tech. That being said, I believe that he would likely visit Oklahoma and A&M, both in which he visited and were going hard after him. On the bright side, Mitchell went to Tech's Spring game instead of Oklahoma's, and A&M is not having a Spring Game. The addition of Mike Mitchell would be a huge one.
Kahlil McKenzie - Defensive Tackle (De La Salle, Concord, CA)
Interest: Tennessee (Warm), Oklahoma (Warm), Miami (Warm), Texas Tech (Cool)
There hasn't been a lot of information with Texas Tech and Kahlil McKenzie except when the Red Raiders offered McKenzie back in February. But after Fehoko committed to Texas Tech yesterday, he congratulated Fehoko on twitter, also saying that he and Fehoko could be beast in the middle for Tech. I know that our Cali connection Darrin Chiaverini is the recruiting him, and hopefully we will be able to get him aboard. However, that won't be easy. Kahlil has already visited Wisconsin, USC, Duke, Oklahoma, Miami and Florida. He has yet to visit Texas Tech, but maybe the coaching staff can get him to visit some time during the summer. He has yet to have an offer from USC, and an offer from them could change his recruitment. Let's take a look at what McKenzie can do on film. The first you notice when you watch Kahlil's film is that fact that he's just huge. When he plays in college, he'll be bigger than a lot of the centers and guard he'll be playing. That right there is already a huge advantage. Plus, it doesn't help that he can drive back linemen like the best of them. Your basically going to have to double team Kahlil if you want to stop him. While he doesn't have the agility that Fehoko has, he can has enough speed under him to be able to catch QBs when they are scrambling out of the pocket. Getting McKenzie may be hard to do, but if Tech can somehow bring him in, Tech will have a DL you don't want to mess with.
Charles West - Runningback (Coppell HS, Coppell, TX)
Interest: Texas Tech (Favorite), Arkansas State (Warm), Texas *(Cool), Alabama *(Cool)
I haven't written much on Charles West, mostly because there hasn't been a lot of info on him. Plus with the early commit of Corey Dauphine, I was thinking Kliff and Co would try going after a 4-star RB to fill the 2nd RB spot. However, it does look like Texas Tech is recruiting West pretty hard. No one else seems to really be going after West, as his only other offer is from Arkansas State. Him and Tech legacy Chris Buggers both went together to the Spring Game this weekend (I didn't know they were attending) and looked to have enjoyed their visit. Later on, West told Landon Wright of WreckEm247 that he had named Texas Tech his favorite. Let's take a look at what West can do on film. Charles looks to have a good deal of balance when he runs. When players attempt to hit or tackle West, he can maintain his balance and keep on going with the run. Gaining those few extra yards are always key with Running Backs. Another thing I liked about West was his ability to catch out of the backfield. Kingsbury likes his running backs to catch out of the backfield, which is why White didn't get much action last year. Finally, West has the ability to use his upper body strength for stiff arms and shaking off defenders. While this usually won't work for DLs and LBs, if West were to run on the outside, a CB would have a harder time tackling him. Texas Tech is in great position with Charles West at this point, with only two schools seeming to be interested. Another D-1 program showing interest could change that though.
Here are some more updates:
- D'Vonte Hinton, 82 rated LB, committed to Texas Tech this Sunday. Hinton is the first LB to commit to the class. What I like the most about him is his ability to tackle and make bone crushing hits, despise his size. Can't quite understand how an All-State LB at junior only gets an 82 ratings. But who cares, he's ours.
- Jaelan Austin, 88 rated WR, has stated that he wants offers from Oregon and USC, and will visit Alabama next weekend. It looks like Jaelan is trying to get more offers and see what is all out there.
- Spencer Choka, NR ILB, visited Texas Tech during the Spring Game with his coach. Apparently the visit went very well.
- Ryan Newsome, 91 rated ATH, talked with SBNation about his recruiting after the NFTC. He also did an interview with 247. He seemed to forget his visit to Texas Tech, but did mention we are recruiting him the hardest. He says his list is pretty wide open right now.
- Shaquille Richmond, NR CB, visited Texas Tech this past weekend. No much info, but he did tweet Austin saying Tech was talking about him.
- Jarrett Stidham, 96 rated QB commit, talked with SBNation about his expectations, what got him to pick Tech and who is help recruiting. SBNation mentioned Ryan Newsome, James Porche III and Breiden Fehoko. One down, two to go. Also, in an interview with ESPN, he mentioned that he enjoyed throwing against Kyler Murray. Tech could end up with both QBs
- Kyler Murray, 98 rated QB, visited Oregon this past weekend, and said it couldn't have gone any better. He has also visited A&M and Texas Tech.
- Jaylen Waters, NR ILB, visited Texas Tech this weekend. His only offer thus far is from Texas State.
- Johnathon Permenter, NR CB, visited Texas Tech last weekend. Couldn't find a profile on him.
- Jalen Bates, NR DE, got an offer from Texas Tech last week according to Louisiana Tech writer Johnathan Ford. He's getting a lot of interest from big time programs and should be getting a lot of offers coming soon. Has raw potential.
- Bryce Wilds, NR OT, visited Texas Tech for their Spring Game. He 247composite rating is an 83 and he has no offers thus far. He is 6'6" and weighs 300 lbs.
- James Lockhart IV, 93 rated DE, and James Proche III, 87 rated WR, both wished they could be at the Texas Tech game this weekend. Lockhart has connection with Malik Jenkins and Ja'Shawn Johnson, while Proche likes Tech a lot, but has no offer thus far.
- Caleb Potter, NR JUCO LB, will release his Top 5 on May 1st, then commit somewhere on May 5th. He listed Tech around #3 in his last Top 10. Has major interest in Ole Miss and Washington State.
- Chris Biggurs, 83 rated DE, visited Texas Tech with Coppell teammate Charles West this weekend. He's a Tech legacy and his lone offer is from Rice.
- Vincent Testaverde JR, NR 2014 QB, has decided that he will sign with Texas Tech to play QB (walk-on). He is the son of former NFL QB Vinnie Testaverde.
- Fred Ulu Perry, 92 rated C, talked with Wreck'Em247 about this recruitment and what he plans to do. He says since Fehoko committed, he's been talking up Tech to him. Perry will camp on the western coast during the summer and could visit Tech officially at some time. Stidham is another reason he's looking at Tech
- Mickey Mitchell's, 97 rated SF OSU commit, brother visited Tech last weekend, and it could impact Mickey's decision. One reason Mickey picked Ohio State was because he brother was there, but if Mike ends up at Tech, it could impact Mitchell's commitment, and could possibly flip him over to Tech.
- Zach Shackelford, NR 2016 OG, visited Texas Tech this weekend with Justin Murphy. Really enjoyed his visit.
- Sidney Murray, NR 2016 DE/OLB, stated on twitter that he would like to visit Texas Tech in the future.
- Shemar Smith, NR 2016 RB, was not able to attend the Spring Game. RB at Whitehouse HS, home of Patrick Mahomes and Dylan Cantrell.