Unless you have been living under shell or away from the internet the past few days, you know by now that Texas Tech has secured a commitment from non other than 5-star LB Mike Mitchell. The former Ohio State Linebacker pulled the trigger Friday afternoon while visiting Texas Tech again. Seth and I figured there was a good chance he would commit once we found out Mitchell was going to visit again (he visited during the Spring Game). Sure enough, he did Friday afternoon. This caused another "What the heck is happening in Lubbock" frenzy, and likely many recruits took notice of the commitment, especially the defense. Even though none of the recruits really reacted to it on twitter (except for Fehoko, he was pumped), they probably still heard about it, from either the news or the coaching staff. If you haven't already read our stories about Mitchell, you can check out his recruiting profile here, his impact in recruiting here, and where he will play and what his eligibility is here. Now, on to basketball, where we look at PG Justin Jenifer, PF Esa Ahmad and SF Kaiser Gates
Justin Jenifer - Point Guard (Milford Mill Academy, Gwynn Oak, MD)
Interest: Cincinnati (Warm), Providence (Warm), Texas Tech (Warm), Louisville *(Cool)
Justin Jenifer just recently came up on our radar, along with the news that we were in Justin's top 3 along with Cincinnati and Providence. Justin has taken several unofficial visits throughout last year, including Xavier, Louisville, Cincinnati, and two visits to Georgetown. Louisville is only school out of the bunch that hasn't offered Justin, and an offer could change his status with them. Justin Jenifer will be taking an official visit to Cincinnati on June 6th, so with that news, it may mean that his recruiting might be coming to an end soon. I haven't really heard any other news on him, as I just found out who he was last week, but I'm sure we'll hear something about him in the near future. With that being said, let's take a look at what he can do. Playing as a point guard, Jenifer has great passing abilities, knowing where his teammates are and distributing the ball at correct moments. He does this is spectacular fashion too, catching the other team off guard with his passes. Not only that, but Justin is fearless when it comes to attacking the rim, despite his short frame. He knows how to get his way through defenders and put the ball in the rim with various moves and techniques. MidMajorhoopsReport said that Justin is "a craft lefty guard w/ great vision, good P&R instincts, can defend well and good mid range ability". Hopefully Justin will come out to Lubbock for an official visit. Maybe then will Tubby be able to reel him in.
Esa Ahmad - Power Forward (Shaker Heights, Cleveland, OH)
Interest: Ohio State (Warm), Maryland (Warm), West Virginia (Warm), Texas Tech (Cool)
Esa Ahmad arrived on the Red Raiders radar when we offered the Power Forward at the end of April. He has roughly 16 other offers, with other big schools showing interest, like Louisville and Michigan. Esa is also taking several visits throughout the process, ranging from West Virginia to Maryland to Ohio State (who offered when he visited). He has also planned a visit to Michigan and possibly Iowa State. According to HoopsIntel, Esa Ahmad is looking to narrow his list to 5 schools in July and commit somewhere in September. At this point, there is no news on weather or not he will visit Lubbock, but it seems like convincing Esa to wear the red and black seems unlikely. He is taking several visits however, so a visit to Texas Tech could happen. Now let's take a look at what Esa Ahmad can do. What I like about Esa the most is his ability to run the floor, even though he's a Power Forward. He doesn't quite have the speed to be at the 3 spot, but he has good ball handling abilities and can drive to the basket. Not only that, but he can hit a mid-range shot. When 4's stretch the floor, it gives the offense versatility and options. On the defensive end, he stays in front of his man and is able to get his hands on the ball, weather it's from stealing or blocking. Esa is athletic for his size and would a good addition to any team. Maybe Tubby Smith can get Esa to visit and see what Tech is like, but at this point, there is no visit in place.
Kaiser Gates - Small Forward (St. Francis, Alpharetta, GA)
Interest: Missouri (Warm), Vanderbilt (Warm), LSU (Warm), Texas Tech (Warm)
Kaiser Gates has been a name we've known for a while now. Texas Tech offered the duo of Gates and Kobi Simmons back in December when the season began, and recently offered another teammate in Malik Beasley. Esposito has been in Georgia since we offered, likely visiting the trio of athletes. Kaiser hasn't really taken any visits yet (other than one to Georgia State), but he has had coaching visits from both LSU and Vanderbilt. It's not really clear who is in the lead for Gates, as not a lot of info has been out on him, but 247sports list Missouri at the top of his list, with 8 crystal ball predictions pointing to Mizzou. Let's take a look at what Kaiser can do on the court. Kaiser is a small forward who plays with pure athleticism. He's strong, quick and is active on both ends of the court. What I like about Kaiser Gates is his ability to create his own shot. He can go into the paint and score, sink jumpers on the elbow and make a few quick moves to either throw up a shot or distribute the ball to a teammate. Not only that, but he runs the floor well. Texas Tech will likely need to find a pure scorer somewhere in this class, and Gates may be the way to go. Personally, I am a big fan of what he can do, and believe that he would be a big pick-up for the Red Raiders.
Here are some more updates:
- Kyler Murray, 96 rated QB, committed to Texas A&M on Wednesday. While the decision was down the Oregon and A&M, the commitment to the Aggies doesn't help the Red Raiders. Multiple targets who may be looking at both schools (like Malik Jefferson or Tyron Johnson) could look more into A&M with the commit. One target of both has already choose A&M.
- Kemah Siverand, 92 rated WR, released his Top 12 list on Wednesday, with Texas Tech coming up at #3. After hearing that Kyler Murray committed, he announced he would commit the following day, choosing Texas A&M.
- Tyron Johnson, 98 rated WR, has named Texas Tech his leader according to JC Shurburtt of 247sports. Rivals also said that a Top 10 list will be released soon. Johnson was intrigued by the Murray commitment, but said the Red Raiders were on top. Kevin Curtis (responsible for Nigel Bethel) is Johnson's recruiter.
- Darrion Daniels, 88 rated DT, visited Texas Tech over the weekend with former Red Raider Tony Daniels and Tech signee Peyton Hendrix. It's refreshing hearing some news about Daniels, as we haven't heard about him for a while now.
- Kahlil McKenzie, 98 rated DT, recently talked with Coach Kingsbury, and seemed to enjoy his conversation. Fehoko has been talking it up with the DT too.
- Clay Johnston, 80 rated OLB, visited Texas Tech and received an offer from the Red Raiders. I talked about Clay last week, and was wondering why it took so long for Tech to offer him. Now he finally has an offer.
- Jaelan Austin, 84 rated WR, responded to a Texas Tech tweet by Tyron Johnson by saying Guns Up. Not really news, but haven't heard from Austin since he called off his commitment announcement.
- Malik Jefferson, 98 rated LB, said on Sunday that he was going to release his Top 10 list. Later in the day, he said that he never said he was going to reveal it, trolling us all. My guess would be that Tech is on the list, but closer to the bottom.
- DeAndre McNeal, 86 rated LB, was also going to do the same, but didn't release his Top 10 either. McNeal was recently gotten offers from Texas, Alabama and Ohio State.
- Corey Dauphine, 84 rated RB, recently was featured in this article. Good read about our RB commit.
- James Lockhart IV, 93 rated DE, recently named a Top 6, and Texas Tech made the list along with Baylor, Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State and A&M. We really haven't heard about Lockhart since around the bowl game, so knowing we are still in it for him is refreshing.
- Billy Ray McCrary III, 84 rated RB, has committed to SMU. He RB from Leander said SMU has recruited him and most when he committed.
- Mickey Mitchell, 96 rated SF, plans to remain committed to Ohio State, despite his brother committing to Texas Tech. There was a thought that Mickey could switch his commitment with Mike leaving, but that doesn't seem to be the case. It is something to keep an eye on though.
- JP Urquidez, 90 rated 2016 OT, received his 10th offer from Texas Tech this week. Some other schools to offer are Baylor, West Virginia and Nebraska.
- Sidney Murray, NR 2016 DE/OLB, will take visits to Texas Tech and TCU this summer. Tech has been recruiting Murray well lately.
- McKinley Mitchell, NR 2016 OLB/s, visited Texas Tech with Mike Mitchell this weekend. There is speculation that the Red Raiders likely will get McKinley with Mike choosing the Red Raiders. His only offers so far are from Baylor, SMU and A&M.
- Jack Anderson, NR 2017 C, has received his first offer from Texas Tech. He referred to Tech as his dream school at one point and visited Tech with teammate and 2015 commit Trace Ellison