Ed. Note: The black box next to a player is a full year of eligibility remaining and the grey box means that they had a redshirt available. For example, Breiden Fehoko played as a true freshman, but he still has a redshirt year available to him, much like Dylan Cantrell took this year.
|Broderick Washington||Redshirt Freshman||6-3/308|
|Lonzell Gilmore||Redshirt Freshman||6-3/217|
This should look a bit better on the defensive tackle side of things after signing day. At the very least, Texas Tech should have available to them Mychealon Thomas, who is at the very least a junior and should be part of the rotation. I don’t know how much we’ll be able to count on the other freshmen, but of the freshmen, Nick McCann is my favorite, but I’d love for any of them to surprise me.
As far as the rotation is concerned, obviously, I think we’ll continue to see a ton of Fehoko manning the middle and he should be improved as long as he gains some strength. Not too worried about the weight, but the strength is important. I’m really not sure about the rest, other than I think the staff loves Washington. I could honestly see the pairing of Fehoko and Washington unless Thomas turns out to be special. With Pipkins, he has struggled with his weight and he didn’t do a ton while at Michigan.
Poet Thomas is the one wild-card. As an incoming freshmen, he had some terrific film at defensive tackle at high school, but he was playing at a prep school and the competition wasn’t great. Plus, P. Thomas has been at offensive line and never really broken the two deep. Maybe he’ll have better luck here.
This is where things get tricky. I’m not sure I see a viable strongside defensive end on the roster. It makes the most sense that it it could be Moore since he has filled in for Branden Jackson before. My other hope is that Hill is able to gain some size and strength as well and maybe he could fill that spot. I’d also admit I’ve never considered Nunez to be an option, but maybe I’ll be wrong about that at some point.
At the weakside, I suppose that Barnes and Gilmore are your best bets, but that still seems way too light for a defensive end. Gilmore should still be bigger after a redshirt year, just seems crazy to think that either one of these guys would give up 80 pounds to the opposing offensive tackle.
If anything, the incoming freshmen could provide some much needed impact out of necessity than anything else.