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Possible Red Raiders: A Weekly Recruiting Update - 4/29/14

Tech offers a highly ranked OT, A new basketball offer in a familiar place, along with another installment of the NORAD Kliff Tracker and The Esposito Express. Plus a look at Courtney Wallace, Denver Johnson and Connor Williams

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

Courtney Wallace - Defensive Tackle (Neville HS, Monroe, LA)

Height Weight 20 yard Shuffle Power Throw
6'2" 290 lbs 4.99 secs 34

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

Interest: Texas Tech (Warm), Louisiana Tech (Warm), Louisiana-Lafayette (Warm), Southern Miss (Warm)

Courtney Wallace isn't a very well known recruit, yet the Red Raiders have noticed him and seeked him out. Texas Tech is the only BCS school to offer, with Louisiana Tech, LA-Lafayette and Southern Miss being a few of Wallace's 8 total offers. If he commits to Tech or receives more interest, the recruiting sites will likely start to rate him. Both WreckEm247 and Rivals have recently talked with Courtney (both behind paywall), which usually means that Texas Tech is taking a serious look at the recruit and vice versa. Texas Tech was unable to pick up a high school defensive lineman last class, so it's important that Tech gets multiple high school defensive linemen this class. Recently he talked with 247, saying that TTU was his biggest offer and was impressed by them. He will camp at LSU and maybe a few others in the summer, but won't take a visit to Texas Tech until the fall for an official visit. Let's take a look at what Wallace can do. The first thing I noticed when watching Wallace's film is his hands. Courtney knows how to use his hands to maneuver his way through the line and get to the ball carrier, weather it's a bull rush, swim move or simply pushing the linemen out of the way. Another aspect I like is how he explodes off the line. There were a few plays where Wallace gets a great jump and is able to get the ball carrier right away. He also has good size when he does play at the next level. Wallace is definitely an player Red Raider fans should keep an eye on for the next few months.

Denver Johnson - Wide Receiver (Casady HS, Oklahoma City, OK)

Height Weight 40 yard Vertical Bench Squat
6'3" 212 lbs 4.60 35" 225 lbs 405 lbs

Ratings: 82 by 247 / NR by ESPN / 5.4 by Rivals

Interest: Oklahoma *(Cool), Texas *(Cool), TCU *(Cool), Texas Tech *(Cool)

Denver Johnson is a prospect from Oklahoma City that is receiving interest from many programs, but has yet to have an offer from one. He visited schools like Texas, TCU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Arkansas State. He also received major interest from Penn State, Purdue and others. He also recently tweeted out that Penn State, Purdue, K-State and Texas Tech should be visiting Casady soon. Denver is another big wide receiver that Tech is looking at, similar to that of Carlos Strickland and Jaelan Austin. He competed at Dallas's NFTC and did very well at the event. Even though most sites have rated him low, I expect schools to offer Denver soon. Let's take a look at Johnson's film now. Like most big receivers, Johnson has the ability to out jump defensive backs for the ball. Plus it doesn't help that he has a 35" vertical. Not only is Johnson is tall, strong receiver, but also his hands are strong. He's able to grab balls in front, behind or beneath him and haul them in. That could be very key when a team is trying to get a first down or doesn't have anywhere else to go. One reason why Johnson may not be rated so high is because he only runs a 4.60. While this isn't a huge deal with big receivers, teams usually like their receivers fast to be able to create separation. However, I think with Johnson's size, that shouldn't be a problem. Plus Tech has dealt with a few 4.60 guys before. The intention for Johnson is there, and it should be a matter of time before Johnson gets offers.

Connor Williams - Center (Coppell HS, Coppell, TX)

Height Weight 40 time Shuffle Vertical Bench Squat
6'5" 275 lbs 5.1 4.56 29" 315 lbs 435 lbs

Ratings: 81 by 247 / NR by ESPN / NR by Rivals

Interest: Oklahoma (Warm), Texas Tech (Warm), Texas *(Warm), Arkansas *(Warm)

Connor Williams is another recruit that has gained a lot of attention lately. Texas Tech offered Williams two weeks ago, followed an Oklahoma offer last week. He has visited spring games like Texas and Arkansas, and has gained a lot of interest from them. While Williams may not be rated high by recruiting services, the fact that he's a center helps his recruiting. Tech is in need of a center, as Kaster is already a junior and Morales is so as well. That is why Tech is looking at recruits like Williams and 4-star center Fred Ulu-Perry. However, Williams is currently playing tight end in high school and not center. That being said, there are a lot of skills that he uses at the tight end that could help him play center at the next level. Connor isn't the only recruit from Coppell that is receiving interest from Tech, as RB Charles West (who named Tech a favorite) and Tech legacy Chris Biggurs also hail from Coppell. Something to keep an eye on in the future. Now let's take a look at what Williams can do on film. Even though Williams played Tight End, he has a lot of strength. He's constantly pushing and shoving defensive ends. He plays 5A also, so these are pretty good players. The reason I think the transition from TE to C could happen is because he's quick off the line and is able to immediately disrupt the rusher. Hopefully Williams will visit Tech at some point in the process and see what we're building in Lubbock.

Here are some more updates:

Basketball 2014:

  • Justin Gray, 85 rated SG, will be wearing #5 next year for Tech. The last player to wear that number was Josh Gray.
  • Kevin Punter, NR JUCO SG, has decommitted from Missouri and will visit SMU this weekend. He also has interest in Tennessee, Rhode Island, Cincy, Pitt and Texas Tech.

Football 2015:

  • Drew Richmond, 94 rated OT, was offered by the Red Raiders this past Tuesday. 247sports has Richmond either going to Tennessee or Ohio State right now. Not sure of Tech's interest in Richmond.
  • Jaelan Austin, 84 rated WR, says that Texas Tech is still on top according to teaser in a recent Rivals interview. He also went from an 88 to an 84 on 247sports, which puzzles me
  • Du'Vonta Lampkin, 90 rated DT, decommitted from Oklahoma on Wednesday, and picked up a Texas Tech offer later in the day. Would be a huge get for the defensive line.
  • Madison Akamnonu, 93 rated OT, has increased to a 4-star OT. While the Red Raiders are one of the teams in the lead, OU and UT have yet to offer and are in the race for the Arlington product. Rivals did mention that Madison has Lubbock ties.
  • Willie Williams, NR OG, has gotten recent attention from Tech. With the lack of tackles last class, Tech looks like they're trying to add a guard or two this class.
  • Jozie Milton, 87 rated DT, will be looked at Texas Tech sometime in the next month. So far he has gotten visits from TCU, South Carolina and West Virginia.
  • Corey Dauphine, 84 rated RB commit, has picked up 7 more offers since he committed, including Houston, Arizona State, Utah and TCU. Dauphine has a rare combination of speed and power that will be deadly at the next level. A&M and Baylor have also been talking with Dauphine

Basketball 2015:

  • Ladarien Griffin, NR SF, has an offer from the Red Raiders. There isn't much on him I could find, except for this highlight.
  • Malik Beasley, 84 rated SG, has received an offer from the Red Raiders. This is the 3rd player Tech has offered from St. Francis School in Alpharetta, GA, along with 2015 4* SF Kaiser Gates and 2016 4* PG Kobi Simmons. Also told Wreck'em247 that he would visit soon. Wouldn't be a bad pipeline to start.
  • Austin Grandstaff, 96 rated SG, has been offered by the Red Raiders. Austin is from Rockwall, which Tubby and Esposito have been, and looks to be leaning towards Florida or OU right now
NORAD Kliff Tracker & The Esposito Express

Looks like we are going to have enough visiting info this week to continue the NORAD Kliff Tracker and Esposito Express. While Kliff isn't really out on the road recruiting, the assistants are full speed ahead trying to get the best players available on board. For basketball, all the coaches are out on the road trying to find the best talent. Let's now take a look at where everyone was this past week.
  • April 22nd, 2014: Tubby was spotted in South Grand Prairie according to twitter (picture proof too). Tubby has been in the DFW area looking at guys. One guy that Rivals has from SGP is Forward Jalon Anderson
  • April 22nd, 2014: Tubby was spotted in Carrollton, TX looking at SG Tyler Williams. Apparently Stidham knows Tyler, asking people to follow him on twitter.
  • April 21st, 2014: Eric Morris took at visit to North Little Rock to take a look at 94 rated WR K.J. Hill and 78 rated RB D.J. Brown. Hill is looking to visit Tech during the Summer. Arky and Auburn are on top, with Alabama and OKST right behind them.
  • April 21st, 2014: WreckEm247 has reported that Eric Morris visited 94 rated TE Will Gragg last week also. With Chris Clark seeming to be out of the picture and Josh Moore has received interest elsewhere, there are not a lot of TEs left for Texas Tech
  • April 22nd, 2014: Eric Morris was in Grand Prairie watching Jaelan Austin. Many other teams have visited him too, including OU, A&M, Iowa, Mizzou and Arizona State.
  • April 24th, 2014: Texas Tech visited Richmond to scout 81 rated OT Joshua Jones this Thursday along with Oklahoma. Has also received interest from A&M and Texas.
  • April 25th, 2014: Mike Jinks visited Missouri City on Friday to look at some recruits. While there, he probably looked at 98 rated CB Kendall Sheffield, 95 rated ATH J.W. Ketchum III and 88 rated RB Davon Crookshank.
  • April 25th, 2014: Joe Esposito tweeted out that he would be in Lubbock, DFW, Washington DC, Pittsburgh and California this weekend. He could've been visiting Hunter Shelton right outside of Pittsburgh, and two DC stars in PF Sam Miller and PG Bryant Crawford
  • April 27th, 2014: Eric Morris was back in DFW on Sunday, but it is unclear who he was looking at.
  • April 28th, 2014: Darrin Chiaverini was spotted in LaMirada, CA to look at some recruits. While there, he most likely looked at NR OT Anthony Cerillo and 82 rated WR Tony Brown.
  • April 28th, 2014: Darrin Chiaverini was spotted in Long Beach taking a look at some recruits. Some recruits he could've look at are Iman Marshall, 98 rated CB, Joseph Wicker, 91 rated DT, Colin Samuel, 89 rated CB and Jeremy Calhoun, 84 rated RB