Texas Tech is starting to put together its 2016 recruiting class which is now at 10 commitments. Of those 10 commitments 9 (that's right 9 out of 10) are offensive commits. We got our QB in Jett Duffey which many thought was a must-have this year, a pair of offensive linemen which is always nice, a stud TE, a very productive RB, and now 4 WRs. The Red Raiders past 3 commitments have been wide receiver recruits in Bryson Denley, DeQuan Bowman, and Derrick Willies. This week I will take a closer look at our last 3 commits.
Bryson Denley | 5'10", 175 lbs | Athlete (RB, WR)
Steele High School (Cibolo, TX)
24/7: 85 | Rivals: 3-Star | Scout: 3-Star
First things first, Denley plays running back at Cibolo Steele but it has been reported he will play inside receiver for the Red Raiders. Since I am neither on the Red Raiders coaching staff nor have immediate ties to a coach I cannot confirm this, but at 5'10" and 175 pounds it would make sense if Denley slides over to play the slot. While his HUDL videos are set to private I was able to find a highlight clip from Cibolo Steele's first round playoff game last year. Even though it is short you are able to see what Denley is capable of. When given the ball on an off-tackle run play or pitch he can out run defenders to outside or he can make a cut and turn it up field. The same goes for when he catches a swing pass in the screen game. Once he gets past the first wave of defenders he has great field vision and can see the openings in the field or who he can make miss. Denley will make for a great addition at the slot position.
DeQuan Bowman | 5'11", 180 lbs | Wide Receiver
Hutchinson Community College (Hutchinson, KS)
24/7: 85 | Rivals: NR | Scout: 3-Star
DeQuan Bowman was Texas Tech's first JUCO commitment of the week and at that time only 24/7 had him ranked. Scout now has him listed as a 3-star prospect as well. Last year at Hutchinson CC Bowman had 34 catches for 536 yards and 4 TDs. Along with his receiving stats Bowman compiled 31 punt returns for 231 yards and 2 kickoff returns for 65 yards. Bowman's frame (5'11", 180 pounds) projects him to play inside receiver. One of the main things I like about Bowman is his ability to take a hit. Whether he's settling in on a route amongst the linebackers or going up the middle on a deeper pass route, he can take a hit and hold on to the ball. A lot of the time receivers hear footsteps and try to catch the ball using "alligator arms" but with Bowman he doesn't shy away. Along with his bruiser mentality, Bowman has speed as well. On a lot of his deep routes he is seen getting a step or two on the defender but the QB under throws him. Bowman will also make for a good addition in the return game if Tech does end up using him there.
Derrick Willies | 6'4", 210 lbs | Wide Receiver
Trinity Valley Community College (Athens, TX)
24/7: 82 | Rivals: 3-Star | Scout: 3-Star
Derrick Willies is an interesting story. He was a part of Iowa's 2013 recruiting class which was the same class Texas Tech's transfer QB Nic Shimonek was in and was redshirted the 2013 season. Willies saw action in 5 games this past season but left the Hawkeyes in October and enrolled at Trinity Valley in January. Instead of transferring to a FBS program where he would have to sit out a year Willies went the JUCO route so he could continue playing this upcoming season. Willies size lets him play physical and gives him an advantage over smaller defensive backs. He high points the football and has great presence of mind to know where he is in regards to the boundary. You can also see in his film below, he is not afraid to lower his should and deliver blocks to clear the way for the ball carrier. This is a great quality to have in a receiver. Willies has speed and quickness as well that allows him to pick up valuable yards after the catch. He should fill in nicely to Tech's offense as an outside receiver.
Texas Tech now has 10 commitments for its 2016 class and as I mentioned, 9 of those are on the offensive side of the ball. We now have two inside receiver commits and two outside receiver commits, you would have to think that we are almost done bringing on WRs for this class. We could add 1-2 more though, it's not clear at this point. Our lone defensive commit is DB Neiman Armstrong and it would be nice to see us reel in some more defensive guys soon. Either way, it is nice to see our class coming together.
2016 Football Commits
Da'Leon Ward: Running Back, Skyline High School (Dallas, TX)
Donte Coleman: Tight End, West Mequite High School (Mesquite, TX)
Emoree Giddens: Offensive Line, Coronado High School (Lubbock, TX)
Gio Pancotti: Offensive Line, Episcopal High School (Bellaire, TX)
Neiman Armstrong: Cornerback, DeSoto High School (DeSoto, TX)
Antoine Cox-Wesley: Wide Receiver, Steele High School (Cibolo, TX)
Jett Duffey: Dual-Threat Quarterback, Lake Ridge High School (Mansfield, TX)
Bryson Denley: Athlete (RB, WR), Steele High School (Cibolo, TX)
DeQuan Bowman: Wide Receiver, Hutchinson CC (Hutchinson, KS)
Derrick Willies: Wide Receiver, Trinity Valley CC (Athens, TX)