We’re getting so close to college football kickoff, and we’re going to finish off our Top 10 most important football players for the 2019 season.
No. 3 Jack Anderson
Texas Tech football has always revolved around its offensive mindset on the field. So, it comes as no surprise to me that junior lineman Jack Anderson is almost at the very top of this list. Protecting the offense is such a crucial part to this game, and that’s why Anderson is so important to this 2019 roster.
His skill set may not be reflected in the box score, but Anderson is one heck of a lineman.
Over the past two seasons, this guy has definitely earned his spot at right guard. Anderson has competed in every game since stepping out of high school and becoming a Red Raider. As a freshman, he came in and made an instant impact. With his assistance on the line, he helped the Red Raider offense to rank No. 23 in scoring offense, No. 16 in total offense and No. 9 nationally in passing offense. He showed the nation what he was capable of, and the nation noticed by naming him a Freshman All-American.
He kept that same level of energy up in his sophomore season when Tech’s o-line led the Big 12 with only 25 sacks allowed in 535 total pass attempts. Anderson was again recognized for his achievements on the field by being named All-Texas offensive team and All-Big 12 first team.
This season feels like a fresh start for Texas Tech, which is great for fans who have seen this program at some pretty low points the past few years. The Red Raider offense has to have successful outings in each game this season; that’s where Anderson comes in.
His stature alone pretty much makes him the ideal lineman. Coming into his junior season, Anderson stands at 6’5 and weighs 320 Ibs. He is just too strong for the defenders when they go head-to head at the line. He’s basically a blockade that is almost impossible to get through.
Countdown to Camp: Top 10 Returning Players: #1 Jack Anderson— Ryan King (@Ryan_King_Now) August 1, 2019
We finish up our Countdown with the best returning player @JackAnderson_53, who was named a...
2017 Freshman All-American
2018 All-Big 12 Second Team
2019 Preseason All-Big 12 Team
And he's not done yet #WreckEm pic.twitter.com/sChxE7gAsU
Above all, this guy knows his role on the line, which is crucial to his growth on the field. He knows what he has to do, and he gets the job done. Anderson can help the run game, move the passing along and, most importantly, protect his quarterback.
As a veteran, he is the corner stone of not only the lineman, but the entire offense. Anderson knows his role and what he has to bring to the field every game. If I’m Matt Wells, I can rest easy knowing that my offense will always be protected with Anderson doing what he does best. He has the grit, knowledge and skill set to help lead these Red Raiders to a prosperous 2019 football season.
No. 2 Jordyn Brooks
Jordyn Brooks is one of my favorite players, and one of the most over shadowed. Dakota Allen snagged the headlines and had the better backstory. But Brooks was as good, and I would argue better, than Allen last season. He led the team in both total tackles, and solo tackles on his way to earning Big 12 Honorable Mention honors. He had several awe-inspiring performances as a Junior, especially in a critical showing by the defense against TCU when his interception in the end zone changed the course of the game.
Brooks also was active in the backfield, earning the most tackles for loss and coming second in quarterback hurries. With a new defense being installed, the Butkus watchlist stud needs to be even more dominant this season. Texas Tech’s secondary is thin as rice paper, and that means the front seven has to be especially dominant to give Tech a chance. Brooks will be the star of the show this season, the pulse of the defense now that Allen has moved on to better things. With a multiple scheme that is going to utilize 3 down linemen regularly Brooks must be even more a run stopper.
While the weakness of this defense will likely be in coverage, if teams are once again able to run against the Red Raiders with impunity a defense that needs to take a step forward could take a large leap back.If Brooks can seamlessly take on the leadership role Dakota has left for him, I seriously expect Brooks to be a top five linebacker this season. He has all the physical traits and the head for the game needed to just shut down offensive weapons. If Brooks gets banged up, or has a slump, this defense will once again let down the offense.
No. 1 Alan Bowman
Stop the press! QB1 earns top marks as Viva the Matador’s most important football player going into the season. Not only is Bowman’s presence on the field statistically better for the Red Raiders, but his commanding personality is an incredible boost to the team’s morale. Think when Tariq Owens came back on to the court during the Final Four. It inspired and gave his teammates an edge to dominate Michigan State throughout the remainder of the game. Alan Bowman is that guy for this football team - but with a whole lot more pressure on his shoulders.
Bowman is currently touting around a few preseason award lists such as the Davey O’Brien, Maxwell, and Earl Campbell Tyler Rose awards. All prestigious and all understandably populated with the Texas Tech starting quarterback. Last year Bowman utilized key wide receivers such as Antoine Wesley, Ja’Deion High, and T.J. Vasher to amass 2,638 yards and 17 touchdowns in eight games. That’s an average of 329.8 ypg; good enough for fourth nationally as well as leading all freshman quarterbacks. Bowman also broke the Big 12 and Texas Tech records for freshman single-game passing yards after putting up 605 yards through the air against Houston.
Although only a sophomore, Bowman is going to be a key in Texas Tech’s transition from Kingsbury to Wells. The adjusted offensive scheme accompanied with new coaches and new players certainly requires a lot of buy-in from leaders on the team. Bowman, even early on in the Wells tenure, stated that he is here for the University and will stay with the team he loves. No doubt the declaration solidified himself as one of the key units going forward. Without Bowman on the field this team would undoubtedly have to overcome seemingly insurmountable adversity, and it’s for that reason that Viva the Matadors confidently states: Alan Bowman is the most important Red Raider going into the 2019 season.