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Early signing period commits: offensive linemen

Lots of big bodies will be joining the offense

Kansas State v Texas Tech Photo by John Weast/Getty Images

Depth is the key word in recruiting this position group. There hasn’t been any position that’s experienced more attrition throughout the Kingsbury era than the offensive line. That’s why offensive line has been a huge focus over the past two classes.

Last year, the Red Raiders signed three high school commits and one JUCO commit. This year, they’ve signed five high school lineman. It’s not expected that any will step in and start next year since all five starters will be returning from a unit that really improved as the season wore on. However, main contribution they will make early in their careers will be to provide great depth and some competition at each position. Let’s take a look at the five players that signed today.

Hakeem White

White is the highest-rated prospect in this position group. He is rated a 3-star commit and is ranked as the 54 best guard in the nation. White is from Waco Midway and the Raiders were able to go into another programs territory and take a player they coveted. At 6’3 and 280 pounds, he has the look of an interior lineman. His strength allows him to punish whoever is put in his path. Whether he is run blocking or pass protecting his defender usually ends up on the ground. Most of his film is of his team running the ball so he may have a little bit of a learning curve with the Air Raid offense. It is easy to imagine a line anchored by him and Jack Anderson for years to come.

Clayton Franks

Franks is a 3-star 6’5, 270 pound offensive line commit out of Mansfield. He received interest from a lot of schools including Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, and Oklahoma. He has a great frame and looks like he could easily add 20-30 more pounds on and still be able to move very well. He moves his feet really well and easily reaches the second level of defenders. Depending on how much bulk he adds over the next few years he could project to either a guard or a tackle. Once he latches on to a defender he becomes a brick wall the defender is not getting past.

Demarcus Marshall

Marshall’s list of offers is extensive and spans the country. He had offers from Houston, Missouri, Kansas State, Illinois, and Syracuse. He is the largest of all the lineman in this class at 6’3 and 333 pounds. At this size, I would expect him to spend the entirety of his career in the red and black at guard. This kid is nasty in all the ways that you want an offensive lineman to be nasty. When the ball is snapped he is not looking to get in front of a defender but instead he is looking to put a defender on his back. Speed is definitely not his strongest suit and he will need to work on getting proper technique but there is no doubt I would rather have this guy on my side of the field than on the opposing side.

Weston Wright

He is another 3-star commit who stands at 6’6 290 pounds. Wright comes from one of the all-time great mascot schools in Texas, the Unicorns of New Braunfels High School. His length is the thing that really makes him stand out from the other prospects. He makes great use of his long arms in both run and pass blocking. He has the type of body that could handle over 300 pounds and still not have his foot speed be an issue. When pass protecting he has a quick first step and is able to get himself in a great position to block. I suspect his future will be at one of the tackle spots and this might mean it could take a few years before he is ready to compete for a starting job.

Troy Bradshaw

Bradshaw is the final commit to round out this position group and he is a lifelong Red Raider fan who will be living out a dream to play in Lubbock. Talking to Don Williams earlier this year he said, “I’ve always dreamed of having the opportunity to play for Texas Tech, it’s a dream come true.” At 6’7, 260 pounds he looks a lot more like an NBA power forward than an offensive lineman but we have seen lots of players out of high school with his frame add a lot of weight fairly easily. His highlights make it apparent that he is not just a big body but an athlete that played both football and basketball in High School. He reminds me of Travis Bruffy when he first got to campus.

The heart of the offense looks to be locked up for years to come. Wreck’Em