This series of articles will break down the Red Raiders roster approaching the 2017 season. Staff members selected their top-15 players currently on the roster and for each one of them, there will be a profile with basic information, videos, and expectations.
Weight: 240 pounds
Hometown: Houston, Texas
In a season that was extremely frustrating, it was a pleasure seeing a young player rise in such a disruptive way. Jordyn Brooks emerged as one of the best true freshmen in the nation in 2016 but his performance could not avoid another season of troubles for the Texas Tech defense.
In high school, he was a well-known prospect and he became a two-time District 19-5A first team selection and earned an All-Greater Houston Chronicle honorable mention selection. This drew interest from many schools but Brooks picked Texas Tech over, among others, Arkansas, Colorado State, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, Utah State, and Washington.
Brooks came to Lubbock and immediately began to climb the depth chart, and when the season started he was already one of the most impactful linebackers. In Week 2 he recorded 10 tackles and two tackles for a loss against Arizona State and had another game with double-digit tackles against TCU. Brooks saved his best for the last game of the season, in the win against Baylor, where he recorded 12 solo and 6 assisted tackles, one tackle for a loss, and a forced fumble.
He finished the season as the leading tackler on the team and fifth in the NCAA rankings for solo tackles per game, with 5.1. He won many awards, as he was named to the All-Big 12 Freshmen first team by Athlon Sports and to the True Freshman All-America Team by 24/7 Sports.
Brooks has great game instincts and reads how the action will develop quickly. Consequently, he can react and tackle the runner with good technique. He has a very fast first step and can break into the backfield with efficiency.
Jordyn’s most impressive skill is his strength, as in the moment in which the runner or the receiver collides with him, he just bounces back and doesn’t gain an inch anymore.
Being a true freshman means that you have plenty of improvements and the coaching staff of the Red Raiders can work a lot on Brooks. He showed great ability stopping the running game while he still can improve against the passing game. In fact, we must consider that Defensive Coordinator David Gibbs runs many nickel formations, so linebackers are not requested to cover receivers very much.
Theoretically, the linebackers’ unit will be deeper than in 2016, with the addition of JuCo transfer Tony Jones and the return of Dakota Allen, so Brooks will have more quality players around him.
There are only two more players that have to appear on the list! Who will earn the first prize and who will settle in second place? You won't have to wait much longer…