When Texas Tech picked up three JUCO commitments there were questions concerning where the JUCO commitments would be ranked or how talented they were. And just in case you weren’t aware, I’ve got a beautiful recruiting table and recruiting map set out on it’s own page at Staking The Plains, so make sure and check that out. There’s not a not a lot of film and not a lot of ratings about any of these players. But I come to you with some good news. The three Texas Tech commits, DT Mychealon Thomas, WR De’Quan Bowman and WR Derrick Willies all made ESPN’s top 50 JUCO players. There’s not any sort of ranking between the 50 for ESPN, but this does make me feel a bit better to see an independent service give an opinion.
The funny thing is that JUCO rankings are so subjective, probably the one ranking that there is not a ton of consensus . . . but . . .
According to 24/7 Sports all three of Texas Tech current JUCO commits also make the top fifty, with WR De’Quan Bowman at #32, DT Mychealon Thomas at #43 and WR Derrick Willies at #49.
I haven’t been able to find much, if anything from Rivals or Scout on their rankings thus far, but I’d imagine that they’ll be pretty close to these rankings.
I’d also add that there were a lot of rumblings, including me, where we just weren’t sure what Texas Tech had in some of these JUCO players. The best film I could find on Willies was from high school, where he looked completely dominant and then went to Iowa where offenses go to fade quietly into the night. Now Willies is at one of the most explosive JUCO teams in the nation at TVCC, along with Texas Tech signee J.F. Thomas, and he’s going to have a much different look once the season starts. I don’t know much about Bowman, but after being able to review his spring practice tape, he looks like a completely different player than the player from high school. That tends to happen over the course of two years.
The one player that I’m not sure about is Thomas, who I just haven’t seen any JUCO film and I’m very interested to see what that looks like, if any is even posted. What makes me feel better is the idea that Thomas is ranked in the top 50 for both services which gives me a bit of peace of mind in terms of what Texas Tech fans can expect from Thomas at defensive line. If Thomas is close to as talented as Bowman or Willies, then I think Texas Tech is getting one heck of a player.
It should be duly noted that it’s early, very early in the process, so things could change for the better or worse, but I guess the best way for me to think about this is that it does give me some confirmation bias in that I thought for sure that Willies and Bowman were pretty good prospects and now I tend to think that Thomas is going to be better than expected when we see some JUCO tape.