Things are really picking up as of late for the Red Raiders' 2016 recruiting class. Last week I took a look at our three previous commits which were all wide receivers and since then we have added JUCO DT Mychealon Thomas. Thomas played high school football at Skyline (Dallas, TX) but played JUCO ball after not qualifying. Thomas will be a great addition on the side of the ball that Tech desperately needs some help at. Along with Thomas, I will take a look at a few other recruits who the Red Raiders could reel in.
Mychealon Thomas | 6'2", 330 lbs | Defensive Tackle
Butler Community College (El Dorado, KS)
24/7: NR | Rivals: 2-Star | Scout: 3-Star
As I mentioned, Thomas played high school football at Skyline (Dallas, TX) and was a 2-3 star recruit coming out of high school. At the time Houston, SMU, and Texas Tech were keeping their eyes on Thomas' situation but since he didn't qualify he went the JUCO route and ended up at Butler CC in Kansas. Thomas is ending this semester with a 3.7 GPA, so it looks like once he gets to Tech we won't have to worry about any academic issues. The thing I like about Thomas is that he is an out-and-out defensive tackle. He isn't a hybrid type guy who will slide to DE, he's a DT and will play up the middle. At 330 pounds Thomas has some good size, he will be able to fill run lanes up the middle which we for sure need help at. While he might not be very fast, he uses his size by engaging the blocker and steering him towards the ball carrier. Thomas will make a great addition to the d-line and should really help in the run defense.
Jaylon Jones | 5'11", 180 lbs | Defensive Back
Allen High School (Allen, TX)
24/7: 89 | Rivals: 4-Star | Scout: 4-Star
Jaylon Jones may not be a name you're familiar with but we offered the standout cornerback in November 2014. Jones has a long list of offers including several SEC schools, Ohio State and Notre Dame. It would probably be safe to say that our chances of landing him might be slim, but you never know nowadays. Over the past two years Jones has had 219 tackles. That's saying a lot for a defensive back, he's not afraid to come up and make a tackle. Jones has great instinct, whether it be a run or pass. If it's a run he recognizes it and comes full speed downhill to make the tackle on the ball carrier. If it's a pass he can jam the wide receiver at the line, play right along the WR's side or read the quarterback's eyes. The nice thing about Jones is that he can line up about safety or cornerback. If the Red Raiders can land Jones he would be one of those guys who would be able to step in and contribute right away.
Dillon Stoner | 6'0", 180 lbs | Defensive Back
Jenks High School (Jenks, OK)
24/7: NR | Rivals: 2-Star | Scout: NR
The Red Raiders offered Oklahoma native Dillon Stoner yesterday. Both 24/7 and Scout have Stoner listed as a defensive back but don't have him ranked, yet Rivals has him listed as a wide receiver and a 2-star recruit. If it was up to me I would probably have to bet that Tech is recruiting him as a defensive back. Since we already have 4 wide receiver commits for the 2016 class I would just imagine they're pursuing him to play DB. At his size Stoner is bigger than an average cornerback which is what he does tend to line up at. His frame allows him to play up on the WR and put his hands on him. With his experience playing WR, Stoner has great ball skills. He can go up and high point the ball over the offensive player. As of now Stoner is flying under the radar, hopefully the Red Raider coaching staff can lure him to Lubbock before others start to catch on.
The 2016 recruiting class is really starting to come along and now is at 11 commitments. With 11 commitments before the start of summer I would say we're in a great position. Once summer hits and players are out school they usually start visiting schools and taking their recruiting process to the next step. I can see us landing another handful of recruits over the summer after visits to Lubbock and players attend some of the Red Raider satellite camps.
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)
Mychealon Thomas: Defensive Tackle, Butler CC (El Dorado, KS)