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Possible Red Raiders: A Weekly Recruiting Update - 1/12/2015

Several new recruits get Tech offers, a big time athlete gets close to a decision, Tubby Smith travels up north and a few big targets look at Tech. Plus a look at Maurice Smitherman and Kavontae Turpin

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

As some of y'all know, there has been a dead period in effect since mid-December. Basically this meant that the football coaches couldn't visit or talk to recruits for a month, and could only talk to these recruits if they contacted the Red Raiders. Well starting Thursday, the dead period is over, and the contact period begins. This is when the coaches can travel across the state and country to visit and talk to recruits. This is when he learn who the Red Raider's final 2015 targets are and who will be highly recruited for the 2016 and 2017 class. So starting next week, you're going to see a reemergence of the NORAD Kliff Tracker and a lot of recruiting info.

Also, the Red Raiders will have a lot of visitors coming to Lubbock in the coming weeks, so I'll have an official list out Friday on who will be visiting this weekend.

Maurice Smitherman - Cornerback (Minor HS, Adamsville, AL)

Height Weight 40 yard Shuttle Vertical Bench Squat 100 m
5'9" 175 lbs 4.45 4.01 40" 300 lbs 520 lbs 10.56

Ratings: 87 by 247 / 78 by ESPN / 5.7 by Rivals / 3-star by Scout

Interest: Mississippi State (Committed), Florida State (Warm), Texas Tech *(Warm), South Carolina (Warm)

Maurice Smitherman has not been offered by Texas Tech, but apparently his recruiter convinced him to visit without an offer. He's been committed to Mississippi State since early June. He unofficially visited Alabama and South Carolina, but has stuck by his Mississippi State commitment. However, the defensive coordinator for the Bulldogs left to Florida, and got former Texas DC Manny Diaz. That may be the reason why Smitherman is looking around now. The two schools he's visiting are South Carolina (1/30) and Texas Tech (1/16).  When he visits the Red Raiders, it's very possible that he receives an offer from Texas Tech, so that's something to look out for. Tech currently has no Cornerbacks committed to the 2015 class, but they have two safeties (Christian Taylor and Darreon Jackson) already committed. Now let's look at what Smitherman can do on film. Maurice is an athletic cornerback that has a lot of physical ability. He's not very big, but he has a lot of speed, strength and jumping ability. When you have someone with that much ability, it gives him a lot of room to grow. I also like his ability as a playmaker. Smitherman made many plays on the ball that helped give his team opportunities. With new DC Gibbs being a big proponent of turnovers, that aspect should stand out to him. Finally, he's a physical CB. He's not very big, but he can press wideouts and is not afraid to tackle. Smitherman would be great addition fro the Red Raiders. Hopefully we can pull him in.

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KaVontae Turpin - Wide Receiver (Neville HS, Monroe, LA)

Height Weight 40 yard
5'9" 165 lbs 4.40

Ratings: 84 by 247 / NR by ESPN / 5.4 by Rivals / NR by Scout

Interest: Texas Tech (Warm), Louisiana Tech (Warm), Arkansas State (Warm), Central Arkansas (Warm)

Texas Tech offered KaVontae Turpin just a week ago, but they've probably heard about him for a while now. KaVontae is teammates with current commit Courtney Wallace and probably has been looked at by Kevin Curtis for a while, the main recruiter for Louisiana.  Tech's only inside option thus far seems to be Johnathan Giles, with KeKe Coutee looking like he could play inside and outside. So getting a receiver like Turpin could be big for the Red Raiders. Texas Tech is his only Power 5 offer, which could be a big benefit for the Red Raiders. There is currently no timetable on Turpin's commitment, and he doesn't have any planned visits yet. Now let's look at what KaVontae Turpin can do on the field. KaVontae's best attribute on the football field seems to be his killer speed. He may not be pretty big, but Turpin can accelerate fast and escape defenders quickly.  Not only that, but he also cuts quickly and uses a variety of moves to escape defenders. Also, KaVontae Turpin is isn't afraid to play physical. He matches up with cornerbacks and gets physical when trying to secure the catch. He won't allow someone bigger to dictate how he plays. He seems like he has the ability and fire that the Red Raiders would love to have. We'll see where he lands within a few weeks.

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Here are some more updates:

Football 2015:

  • Chris Warren III, 96 rated ATH, talked to Wescott Eberts of SBNation about his recruitment. He said that Tech's 1,000 yard rusher stood out to him. He likes the increase in the running game that has really caught his attention. He will visit Tech the 23rd.
  • Arden Key, 95 rated DE, has decommitted from South Carolina. However, Tech doesn't have an official visit scheduled and won't visit Tech unless it's during the week.
  • Semisi Uluave, 91 rated OT, will visit Texas Tech the 16th and UCLA the 23rd, along with a possible visit to Cal on the 30th. He has already visited Oregon, and TTU, UCLA and the Ducks are currently in the Top 3.
  • Carlos Strickland, 90 rated WR, decommitted from Texas Tech on Friday. He is officially visiting UCLA and Texas soon. He could still end up in Lubbock, but it's doubtful at this point.
  • Antoine Stephens, 89 rated CB, was offered by Texas Tech last Monday. He also received offers from Oklahoma, Louisville and Washington State that day. He will be taking an official to Tech on the 23rd, with officials scheduled to Oklahoma and Washington State too.
  • KeKe Coutee, 87 rated ATH, committed to Texas Tech on Thursday, becoming the 16th commitment and 2nd Athlete in the 2015 class. KeKe has elite speed and is poised to be a playmaker for the Red Raiders. Also, his real name is really Key'Vantanie Coutee. What a name.
  • Dwaine Thomas, 86 rated LB, received an offer from the Red Raiders this past week. He committed to Louisiana Lafayette in September, but could head elsewhere.
  • Henry Black, 85 rated CB, received his 11th offer from Texas Tech on Friday. Tech looked at Black last month while scouting in Shreveport
  • Arico Evans, 83 rated ATH, will visit Texas Tech the week of the 16th. TCU is getting a visit from the Kansas commit the 23rd, and Arkansas is getting a visit the 30th. Evans has a chance to flip schools after committing last month.
  • Riley Daniel, 81 rated OT, will visit Texas Tech the 16th and Baylor the 30th. The Houston decommit listed Tech his favorite a while back, and appears to be down to those two schools.
  • Tate Leavitt, NR JUCO OT, received an offer from Texas Tech this past week. The JUCO originally committed to Ohio out of High School, but is now at Hutchinson CC.
  • With the hire of David Gibbs, two players Texas Tech fans should keep an eye on are Tyrell Thompson, 80 rated DE, and Lenoy Jones Jr., 78 rated LB. Neither have a Tech scholarship, but with Gibbs getting hired at Tech, Houston's Top 2 defensive commits could be heading to Lubbock.

Basketball 2015:

  • Ronnie Suggs, 86 rated SG, was visited by Tubby Smith this past week. Tech doesn't look like they have an scholarships open, but if someone transfers out, Suggs could join the class.

Football 2016+:

  • D'Eriq King, 90 rated 2016 ATH, was supposed to commit last week, but hasn't done so yet. It's likely between Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech
  • Jack Anderson, 90 rated 2017 C, talked to the whole coaching staff this week. Jack is no longer against committing early, and could choose the Red Raiders (he's a legacy). The 2015 recruiting class were telling him to commit to Tech already via Twitter
  • Tahj Capehart, NR 2017 WR, received his 6th offer from Texas Tech this past week. The WR from Virginia is also receiving heavy interest from in-state schools.
  • Dontavios Jackson, 94 rated ILB, said via Twitter that he would love to play behind someone like Breiden Fehoko. Texas Tech is one of the schools standing out to Jackson the most.

Basketball 2016+:

  • The Basketball Coaching staff have been in Minnesota and Connecticut this past week on the recruiting trail. This coaching staff has been recruiting Minnesota a lot and recently in Connecticut.
  • Steffon Mitchell, NR 2016 SF, was looked at by Texas Tech this week. His two offers thus far are Central Michigan and Furman.
  • Bruce Brown, 93 rated 2016 SG, was visited by Texas Tech this week. He is teammates with Ronnie Suggs and currently holds a Tech offer.
  • Tyrique Jones, 87 rated 2016 PF, was also visited by Texas Tech this week. He currently doesn't hold a Tech offer, but one could be heading his way in the near future.