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Texas Tech Recruiting Roundup: Upcoming Defensive & Special Teams Needs

This week I look at what defensive and special team needs the Red Raiders will have in the next few years.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

Last week I looked towards the future and what Texas Tech's upcoming offensive needs will be. This week I check out what the needs on the other side of the ball will be along with special teams. Either way, our 2016 recruiting class is pretty balanced and we will be looking pretty good along the defensive line. Again, freshmen include both walk-ons and redshirts for the 2015 season

Defensive Backs

Defensive Backs 2015 2016 2017 2018
Seniors 3 5 4 7
Juniors 5 4 7 NA
Sophomores 4 NA NA NA
Freshmen 7 NA NA NA

As you can see, the secondary has a pretty balanced amount of experience. Not too many seniors and not too many youngsters. One thing that is good is that the starters are pretty young which will only allow for them to grow and become better. I expect the coaching staff to continue the trend of adding around 5 guys each class and continue to keep a steady flow of players coming in and out of the secondary group.

Defensive Line

Defensive Line 2015 2016 2017 2018
Seniors 7 1 4 NA
Juniors 1 4 3 NA
Sophomores 4 3 NA NA
Freshmen 3 NA NA NA

If Texas Tech didn't have 8 defensive linemen committed for the 2016 class I wold be nervous, but since we do I think we'll be fine. Hopefully this year the younger guys will get to play in some rotations and gain that essential game experience. Breiden Fehoko will be a guy who will make an impact all 4 years he's on campus. I imagine the coaching staff tries to add 4-5 defensive linemen in each of the next few recruiting cycles.

Linebackers

Linebackers 2015 2016 2017 2018
Seniors 5 2 4 3
Juniors 2 4 3 NA
Sophomores 4 3 NA NA
Freshmen 3 NA NA NA

The linebacker group is also pretty well balanced when it comes to years of experience. The 5 seniors this year will make way for 6 juniors and sophomores next season. D'Vonta Hinton will get some valuable experience this year and will likely be competing for a starting spot next year. It's always nice to have a multi-year starter at positions versus having to plug in a new player each year. When it comes to linebackers I see the Red Raiders getting 3-4 commits in each of the upcoming classes.

Punter/Place Kicker

Punter/Place Kicker 2015 2016 2017 2018
Seniors 1 NA NA 3
Juniors NA NA 3 NA
Sophomores NA 3 NA NA
Freshmen 3 NA NA NA

Taylor Symmank is the lone senior when it comes to the kicking unit. He's one of the best at what he does and after he's gone we'll be pretty young. Symmank has the punter position all to himself and may even handle some kicking duties. One good thing about having young talent is that they can only get better. I look for Texas Tech to have some kicking competition on their hands for the next few years. Maybe the coaching staff will target a highly talented place kicker in one of the upcoming recruiting cycles.

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)

Brayden Stringer: Linebacker, Cypress Ranch High School (Cypress, TX)

Ivory Jackson: Defensive Tackle, Amarillo High School (Amarillo, TX)

T.J. Vasher: Wide Receiver, Rider High School (Wichita Falls, TX)

DaMarcus Fields: Cornerback, Taylor High School (Taylor, TX)

Johnathan Picone: Linebacker, Mandeville High School (Mandeville, LA)

Houston Miller: Defensive End, Keller High School (Keller, TX)

Noah Jones: Defensive End, Southmoore High School (Moore, OK)

Jordyn Brooks: Linebacker, Stratford High School (Houston, TX)

Nick McCann: Defensive Tackle, Arkansas High School (Texarkana, AR)

Austin Deshay: Defensive End, Hendrickson High School (Pflugerville, TX)

Travis Bruffy: Offensive Tackle, Ridge Point High School (Missouri City, TX)

Zach Adams: Offensive Tackle, Riverbend High School (Fredericksburg, VA)

Clarence Henderson: Defensive End, Skyline High School (Dallas, TX)

Joe Wallace: Defensive Tackle, Skyline High School (Dallas, TX)