This is the time of the year where the coaching staff begins to look towards the future. Tech’s next game is not until right before Christmas, the players are preparing for finals, and the hope of what could be has given way to the reality of what was. One of the benefits of keeping your coaching staff mostly intact is the ability to hit the recruiting trail really hard over the next few weeks. I would expect to see a lot of tweets with the coaching staff in recruits homes over the next two or three weeks. With an eye towards the future, now would be a great time to explore the needs we have over the next few years. Over the next few weeks, we will explore position by position, what recruits are coming in, which players are graduating, and what holes we might still need to fill. Today we will start with the most important position of all, quarterback.
There will not be a returning starter next year since Shimonek is graduating. Although McLane Carter has one start, by no means do I think this means he is a shoe-in for the job next year. There will be significant competition between Carter who will be a Junior and Jett Duffey who will be a Sophomore. Carter seems to be a quarterback who is mobile enough to pick up a few yards but is going to make his living by throwing the ball. Duffey, on the other hand, is the definition of a dual-threat quarterback. When he arrived on campus he was thought to be the heir apparent to Patrick Mahomes. The dark horse of this competition is incoming freshman Alan Bowman. Bowman is a 3-star recruit with a good frame and the ability to make all the throws, however he is strictly a pocket passer. In the end, I think Duffey will be the starting quarterback for the Red Raiders in the fall with his combination of running and throwing ability. This is a guy, coming out of high school, who won the Elite 11 competition, and will be able to make plays that Carter simply can’t make.
Here are a few players that were offered scholarships this week:
Dorian Gerald is a 6-3 260-pound defensive lineman from the Junior College ranks. His offer list is extensive and includes three teams in this years college football playoff (OU, Alabama, and Georgia). Until recently he was firmly projected to make his way to Tennessee but we all know the dumpster fire that has transpired there and now it seems we have a shot at landing him. He can definitely rush the passer and could be a great part of a rotation at DE.
Charles Cameron is another defensive line prospect who will be coming from Junior College. However, he is more of an interior lineman at 290 pounds. He announced that his decision will be between the fighting Lane Kiffin’s (aka Florida Atlantic) and Tech. Grabbing a few select guys who can contribute right away seems to be the game plan for this defensive staff. Last year we had an influx of defensive players from JUCO and will probably add a few this year. While it is hard to build a consistent defense on JUCO players alone if you grab a few each year it allows you the time to develop the high school recruits.
The final prospect is a name some Tech fans might be familiar with, Tristen Wallace. Wallace was a highly sought after recruit a few years ago out of DeSoto High School. Although Tech was in the running to get him on campus he ultimately decided to head to Oregon. Things did not turn out great for him there and he found his way to a junior college this past year. Coming out of high school he was a quarterback but he has made the transition to wide receiver now and he is huge. At 6-3 and 235 pounds, he would be the largest receiver on the roster. His body type would seem to be more like a Jace Amaro than a TJ Vasher and I wonder if his role would be as an inside receiver.