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Red Raider Gridiron: Da'Leon Ward Commits; Texas Tech & Under Armour Agree to Extension; Breiden Fehoko is One to Watch in 2015

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Skyline running back Da'Leon Ward commits to Texas Tech and is the third commit of the 2016 class. Texas Tech and Under Armour agree to an extension until 2020. True freshman Breiden Fehoko is one of the national true freshmen to watch in 2015.

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I'm running a bit behind lately, recruiting profiles, baseball series, basketball games.  There's a ton going on, plus we're working on some other things. It will all make sense in a week or so, but it will be fun.

Da'Leon Ward Commits. Skyline RB Da'Leon Ward has committed to Texas Tech and is the third commit of the 2016 class (via the DMN, but it was all over the internets).  Ward ran for nearly 1,800 yards as a junior with 20 touchdowns, which works out for an average of about 115 yards a game on just 12 carries a game.  I really enjoyed watching his film because he doesn't really exhibit that break-away speed, but he's continually grinding out significant chunks of yards and he's running between tackles.  At 5-11/190, he's already pretty big for a typical Texas Tech running back and he's got room to grow to be a pretty nice power back before it's all said and done.

Texas Tech and Under Armour Agree to Extension Until 2020. Yesterday it was announced that Texas Tech and Under Armour have come to an agreement to continue their relationship until 2020 so that Under Armour is the official clothing provider of Texas Tech.  It will be interesting when we get our hands on the contract (via an open records request) between Texas Tech and Under Armour, especially the money coming into the program.  I'd like to compare it to the previous contract.  Here's athletic director Kirby Hocutt on the new deal:

"Under Armour has been a tremendous partner with Texas Tech Athletics and we look forward to extending that relationship," Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt said. "Under Armour is one of the most innovative brands around the world and our student-athletes really enjoy the products they deliver to our teams. We sincerely appreciate all the attention and visibility that Under Armour has provided for our athletics program."

Pre-Spring Big 12 Linebacker Rankings. The ESPN Big 12 blog bros rank the linebackers in the Big 12 pre-spring and your Red Raiders rank #7:

7. Texas Tech: All eyes in Lubbock will be on Ohio State transfer Mike Mitchell, whom the Red Raiders are hoping will deliver big. The Plano, Texas, native was an ESPN 300 prospect before signing with the Buckeyes. He has the potential to be a difference-maker. Micah Awe was third on the team in tackles last season from the inside. Redshirt freshman Dakota Allen and incoming freshman D'Vonta Hinton could both step into the rotation.

Impact Freshmen. This is pretty cool, National Football Post's Dave Miller doesn't write that Texas Tech's DT Breiden Fehoko is one of the top 9 impact true freshmen heading into 2015, but does have Fehoko included in the others to consider category:

Texas Tech DT Breiden Fehoko: The Red Raiders fielded an atrocious defense last year, but the addition of new coordinator David Gibbs as well as Fehoko will help. The Hawaii native recorded 16 sacks and six forced fumbles during his senior year.

As an aside, does anyone have to think before typing Breiden's name that his name is NOT "i" before "e".

Moving Forward from Unacceptable. DMN's Chuck Carton writes that Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury knows that 4-8 is unacceptable, but that Kingsbury believes this team is headed in the right direction.

"I think we're heading in the right direction. Obviously, last year wasn't acceptable," Kingsbury said. "Being around it every day, you see the culture, the work ethic, the quality of player, the quality of character in these kids. I think as long as we keep making strides, we're right on pace."