Football never sleeps and while we are approaching the 2017 season, the Red Raiders are working hard to build a brighter future. Recruiting coordinator Zac Spavital and his staff landed 10 recruits in June, bringing the total of hard commits to 13.
In a series of articles that will be developed within the end of June, we will take a deeper look at these prospects in anticipation of their Texas Tech debuts. The order of the list will be in line with the commitment date.
Gabriel Douglas / 6’2”, 195 lbs / Wide Receiver
Ryan High School (Denton, TX)
24/7: **** / Rivals: *** / Scout: ****
We talked about him when he committed during his junior season, which turned out to be an astonishing campaign: Douglas caught 82 passes for 1,302 yards and 17 touchdowns and helped Ryan High School to a 14-1 record and an appearance into the Texas Class 5A Division I state semifinal. He also had offers from Indiana. Despite his length, he is a very fast player who can beat defenders on deep routes and creates separation in intermediate routes. There is a lot of hype around Gabriel Douglas and it’s well-deserved. He seemed unstoppable in many situations and could have an even bigger impact under the coaching and direction of Kliff Kingsbury.
Myron Mitchell / 6’1”, 175 lbs / Wide Receiver
Butler Community College (El Dorado, KS) / Jasper (Ala.) Walker High School
24/7: *** / Rivals: *** / Scout: **
After the 2017 season, the Red Raiders will face a massive loss of wide receivers: Dylan Cantrell, Cameron Batson and Derrick Willies are in their senior year and the offense will need a lot of players to replace them immediately.
Gabriel Douglas is an interesting name, but he will not be the only receiver to travel to Lubbock, because the Red Raiders paired him with Myron Mytchell: the native of Jasper, AL, attended Butler Community College in El Dorado, KS, where in his freshman season he made 17 receptions for 287 yards and one touchdown. In his senior season at Jasper Walker High School he caught 67 balls for 1,090 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is listed as the third JuCo wide receiver in the nation by 24/7 and chose the Red Raiders over Bowling Green. He will have three more years of eligibility and joins former Butler teammates Octavious Morgan and Tony Jones.
Mitchell is very effective on running deep routes, fast and able to create his own space to receive the ball, but at the same time he does not lack for athleticism: it is not unusual to see him being productive with slants, breaking or making the defender miss the first tackle and then run away. He also has great control of his body and great elevation. If we consider the departures in the receiving corps we mentioned above, he is expected to be an immediate contributor for the Red Raiders in 2018.
Corey Fulcher / 6’2”, 180 lbs / Wide Receiver
Lake Highlands High School (Dallas, TX)
24/7: *** / Rivals: *** / Scout: ***
Another product of The Lone Star State, Corey Fulcher is a versatile player who in high school played quarterback, running back and wide receiver but is expected to play as a wide receiver in college.
In 2016, as a junior, Fulcher gained 820 total yards and scored seven touchdowns, while Lake Highlands High School had a record of 3-8. He tallied 106 carries for 527 yards and seven touchdowns and 29 receptions for 293 yards. He also added a 32-yard TD pass. Fulcher chose the Red Raiders over Northwestern, Oklahoma State, and Stephen F. Austin. The 6’2 receiver is a very strong player who likes to begin the action in the backfield and then let his size and athleticism work for him. On the other side, he has poor receiving numbers and in the highlights we can see he works only with slants and designed screens and gains yards with his ability to make defenders miss. If he can improve his ability to run intermediate routes, he can become a good arrow for the bow of OC Eric Morris.
Mekhi Garner / 6’1”, 188 lbs / Safety
Ralph H. Poteet High School (Mesquite, TX)
24/7: *** / Rivals: *** / Scout: **
This is the first defensive recruit of the Red Raiders and it is a very notable piece: Mekhi Garner is a productive and physical safety with above average ball instincts and chose Texas Tech over 10 other schools including, among others, Navy, Army, North Texas and Texas-San Antonio.
He will join former high school teammate SS Kisean Allen and in 2016 helped Ralph H. Poteet High School to achieve a 11-4 season recording 39 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble, 2 interceptions and 6 passes deflected.
With the Texas Tech uniform, Garner will play as a cornerback. This emerged after one of the meetings with DB coach Karl Scott, and it can make sense because he has good size, speed (he ran an official 4.88 on the 40-yard dash), takes good tackling angles and can be paired to the most typologies of wide receivers. It is well-stated that he must still develop his technical abilities and he is still raw compared to others of his own age, but he is a big project that can develop into something important for the Red Raiders secondary.