In 91 days, we will be exposed to a new era of Texas Tech football. One of the players that has clearly bought into the new era is Nelson Mbanasor, who will look to have a breakout season after announcing his intentions to bypass transferring and stay in Lubbock.
For about a month it looked like Nelson Mbanasor would be off the Texas Tech football team this season. The redshirt freshman at the time announced his intention to transfer via Twitter on November 15th (the tweet has since been deleted), however after meeting with Coach Wells and the new staff, the lineman from Pflugerville decided to stay on for his third season in Lubbock. Mbanasor is part of a promising defensive line, and looks like he could receive time both on the interior and the end positions.
Mbanasor was a three star DL coming out of Hendrickson high school. He was recruited as an end, but was redshirted in 2017 by Kingsbury’s staff in an effort to bulk up and eventually be available as a DT. With Joe Wallace being off the team at that point, it seemed like Mbanasor would be the interior lineman of the future for the Red Raiders, however Broderick Washington, Preston Gordon, and Nick McCann made playing time hard to come by.
Mbanasor totaled nine tackles in ten games (.5 TFL), and was responsible for one fumble recovery that occurred against Lamar. If I had to guess, Mbanasor will likely be rotated through the defensive line as a main reserve, as both Lonzell Gilmore (position change to a hybrid RUSH player) and Preston Gordon (graduation) are both no longer fighting Mbanasor directly for minutes.
Mbanasor will be a part of a defensive line that features two of the most underrated players in the Big 12 in Broderick Washington and Eli Howard. Having a third established playmaker on the line could greatly help the Red Raider defense, and Mbanasor has the versatility and physical tools to be that guy.