Maybe that’s the theme for the class. I think there is a contingent of fans that might think that this current class is a bit light on star-power, but lots of that grit that we have all come to love and adore. That’s probably a bit unfair, but I think after some of the things that happened last year, this team and this program needed lots of base hits and couldn’t afford to swing for the fences.
In looking back at the 2015 class, I think there were some definite attempts at hitting a home run. There were a handful of late season losses. Courtney Wallace, the defensive lineman from Louisiana, ended up staying at home in Louisiana. Texas Tech hoped for a commitment from Joseph Wicker and Darrion Daniels. Those were some really big fish that ended up not committing to Texas Tech. Consider how that class would have looked with the addition of Daniels and Wicker to go along with Fehoko. Heck, you may not even remember Dorance Armstrong, Jr., who was choosing between Texas Tech and Kansas, picked Kansas and had 4 tackles against your Red Raiders when they played earlier this year.
You completely change the entire outlook of the defensive line if you hit on some or all of those guys. But that’s exactly what happens when you attempt to go after some big fish. Heck, it’s also what happens when you have very little stability at the defensive coaching positions. Those things all tend to have an effect when a player is choosing a program. Still though, the idea is still the same . . . when you miss in recruiting, you almost always miss big because when the first Wednesday in February hits, you probably don’t have any options.
It appears that the 2016 class is different / knocks on wood and furiously rubs rabbit’s foot / . Different from the standpoint that Texas Tech was seemingly in very early and targeted various players, most of them from Texas and a whole slew of them trenched in the defensive line. I will say that Texas Tech could sell one thing that few other programs could sell, which is potential for playing time. Most of the time, position groups, at at the very least stacked with some experience, but that’s not the case with Texas Tech (unfortunately).
The interesting thing, at least to me, about all of this is that I’m not at all stating that these prospects aren’t whatever billing they are supposed to be, but when you deal with really high profile players, then you are also dealing with flips and de-commitments and last minute decisions where you simply cannot recover. This isn’t to say that National Signing Day won’t have any drama, because there’s always drama. As some terrific STP member has already stated, there’s a good chance that Neiman Armstrong and Austin Deshay don’t make their way to Texas Tech. Possible grade issues could likely be the culprit. This shouldn’t be devastating blows.
And that might open the door for other folks to step in, but this is why the Texas Tech class was pretty much solidified in the spring and summer and not with signing day about a week away. You can’t plan for everything, but by securing this class very early, the coaches should be on a mad rush to see all of the players and perhaps secure a few more commits, not to sway players to commit to Texas Tech or choose Texas Tech on National Signing Day. It also appears that the class can withstand some de-commits, if they happen. I’m not at all proposing that they will, but like last year, to miss on 3 defensive line prospects meant that what could have 6 or 7 defensive linemen (with only 3 committed at or near National Signing Day) was whittled down to 2 by National Signing Day. If things go according to plan, Texas Tech has already secured commitments for 8 defensive line with 1 player potentially being lost due to grade.
The main point with all of this is that Texas Tech looks to have secured a solid set of players and there’s a really good chance that they don’t strike out with any more than a few, which means that this might be the most boring National Signing Day that you’ve ever been a part of.