Throughout the summer, we will be taking a look inside the state of the Texas Tech football program. We will analyze each position as a whole and look at the players that have left the team, the current starting players, and how each position is set up for the future. This week, we look at the quarterbacks of the defense.
Tech linebackers have long been the unsung heroes of the team. Dating all the way back to AFL legend EJ Holub & NFL legend Zach Thomas, linebackers have made impacts for the Red Raiders. Players like Brian Duncan, Bront Bird, and Pete Roberson have only continued this trend. Last season was a season to forget for this group. Dakota Allen was dismissed from the program following his arrest, however that resulted in freshman Jordyn Brooks assuming his duties and leading the defense in tackles. Grad transfer Luke Stice filled in nicely and senior Malik Jenkins improved from his season before. However with Hinton battling injuries all year and the entire defense getting pushed around, this group found themselves making too many tackles after long gains.
On paper, this linebacking group is the strongest unit on the 2017 team. After spending a season with powerhouse East Mississippi Community College, Dakota Allen picked up where he left on during spring practices, and Jordyn Brooks showed how much he’s improved. Allen and Brooks have formed a dynamic duo that can wreck havoc on the Big 12 this season. Depth will not be a problem either as D’vonta “Hitman” Hinton will be eager to get back to being one of the tackles for loss leaders. Tony Jones, transfer from Butler Community College, will also see a lot of action as he has also been one of the juco transfers we saw make a big impact in the spring. The strength of this group is a big reason the defense beat the offense in the spring scrimmage series.
As strong as this lineup looks this season, not one of these players are juniors. Therefore we can expect an even more intimidating force in 2018. Not to mention there are a total of 8 freshmen and sophomores including Brooks and high profile recruit Riko Jeffers. This unit has the opportunity to be dominant for a while and can lead the new look Tech defense into a rejuvenated foundation.