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Red Raider Gridiron: Recruiting Reviews in Midland and Amarillo; Pre-Spring Big 12 Defensive Line Rankings

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The Texas Tech football staff was in Midland last night and Amarillo on Friday to discuss Texas Tech's new signing class. ESPN ranks the defensive lines in the Big 12.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Kingsbury and Texas Tech in Midland. The Texas Tech Recruiting Reviews continue and last night, the staff was in Midland and OA Online's Adam Zuvanich writes that head coach Kliff Kingsbury talked about fan favorite, WR Bradley Marquez:

Kingsbury said Marquez, who was drafted by the New York Mets out of high school and played outfield in their minor league organization during the summers of 2012 and 2013, hasn't completed his football career. Kingsbury said Marquez has been working out in the San Diego area with the hopes of catching on with an NFL team, even though he was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine that starts this week in Indianapolis.

"He's a fan favorite, a coach favorite, a player favorite, just an all-around great human being. So we really hope he does well," Kingsbury said. "I think he'll get a shot. I think he'll test well at his pro day. I hope he reaches every dream he's ever had, because he's that type of young man."

The Recruiting Review was in Amarillo on Saturday and also checking in is the Globe-News Lance Lahnert who writes about new defensive coordinator David Gibbs:

Gibbs said the upcoming Tech spring drills will be critical to build a foundation for the fall but "every day the players come into our offices and let us coach them and be around them is a way to help them understand what we are tying to do to make us a better defense."

Gibbs is obviously obcessed with defense, He can chat Xs and Os all day long if that's your thing. He also has his idea of what it will take for Tech to build a defense that can avoid a 2-7 Big 12 record like last year.

"This is how I see this thing," Gibbs said. "You aren't going to go out there and stop them every time. It's just not going to happen. You can make them execute. All coaches say that. And it's the truth. Hopefully, it happens sooner rather than later. But it's not a magical fix where you can go out there and say, ‘Hey, we are going play great defense.'

"My personal opinion is I always want to give our offense the football in the fourth quarter with a chance to win the game. No matter if the score is 20-17 or 45-44."

Pre-Spring Defensive Line Rankings. The ESPN Big 12 blogging bros are ranking every position and this week they start with the defense, in particular the defensive line:

8. Texas Tech: The Red Raiders finally have a chance to hold their own. Pete Robertson is a big reason why, having led the Big 12 with 13 sacks last year. Branden Jackson is a two-year starter on the other side of the line and a solid player. To combat what was a disastrous run defense in 2014, Tech is hopeful that former juco transfers Rika Levi and Keland McElrath will be more effective in their second seasons. The "X" factor will be incoming freshman Breiden Fehoko, who was the No. 51 overall recruit in the country. If Fehoko can give the Red Raiders something early, they will instantly be better.

Miscellaneous. The family of Dirk West is hoping to raise $300,000 to put a statue of Raider Red on campus (hat-tip KCBD).  They have a new site RaiderRed.com and are asking for donations . . . SB Nation's Ian Boyd writes that the pop-pass will survive despite the new possible rule change of offensive linemen not being able to go down field more than a year . . .