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The year of the Juco transfer

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Tech is going to need immediate help from these players

Baylor v Texas Tech Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Last Chance U has taken the Netflix viewing community by storm. Fans of the show have become infatuated with these players at East Mississippi Community College who have either needed to come to community college for two years to improve their Division 1 scholarship chances or rehabilitate their image after being removed from their initial university. The most satisfying part of each season is seeing where these players end up getting scholarships. Seeing DJ Law go to UAB, John Franklin III to Auburn, and Ronald Ollie to Nicholls State was very gratifying, however their stories do not end there.

Dakota Allen was one of the more polarizing figures on the documentary for season 2. Allen was booted off the Red Raiders in 2016 for a burglary charge, and spent his Sophomore season in Scooba, MS. Allen went on to lead the Lions in tackles last season and earn his scholarship back. Even though Allen originally signed his Tech LOI in 2014, make no bones about it, Allen is a Juco transfer.

Juco transfers have long been a staple for Tech recruiting. The Red Raiders have always been able to get quality Juco talent but this year it seemed to be of even greater importance. After a disappointing 5-7 season which resulted in having the worst defense in the nation. With the defense being so abysmal last year, the coaching staff couldn’t put the 2017 season on the backs of inexperienced underclassmen. Instead Tech went out and found an abundance of riches at the Juco level.

Joining Allen will be Octavious Morgan and Vaughntae Dorsey. All three will be immediate starters for a defense that desperately needs a boost. Dorsey was a rival of Allen’s last season as he was at Mississippi Gulf Coast, and was ranked the 8th best Juco safety in the country. Dorsey has been labeled an “eraser” by defensive coordinator David Gibbs for his ability to make tackles in the open field. Morgan has made an even bigger splash, as he’s become a leader in the secondary. ESPN ranked Morgan as the 16th best Juco player in the nation after his sophomore season at Butler CC which included 6 interceptions and two touchdowns.

Joining Morgan from Butler is Tony Jones, the 3rd best Juco LB according to 247sports. Jones will be Allen’s primary backup after amassing over 100 tackles last season.

With Last Chance U heading to Independence CC in Kansas, they will not get to see star corner Jaylon Lane as he will also be apart of the revamped Red Raider secondary. Lane will also come off the bench as he will look to back up both outside corner spots.

The defense isn’t the only side of the ball using Juco transfers. Carter Mclane took second team reps during the spring and will battle with Jett Duffey and Payne Sullins for that backup position during fall camp. Mclane threw for over 3200 yards and 30 TDs in nine games last season at Tyler JC and despite struggles during the Spring showed perseverance.

Special teams might receive the biggest Juco boost as Dom Panazzolo will take over primary punting duties. The Australian punter can punt both rugby style and traditionally. He will be a dangerous weapon who has launched 50 and even 60 yard punts at the Juco level.

All these Juco recruits will pay immediate dividends for a Texas Tech team that needs instant gratification. These players will either be able to plug holes while younger players mature or be thrown to the wayside.