Texas Tech’s 2017 national signing day seems a bit anti-climatic. Some of this is my fault. I didn’t realize that Texas Tech would have such a huge haul in December that the addition of eight additional players in January is almost secondary to what happened in December.
I write that it’s my fault because I don’t know that I made a big enough deal out of what happened in December. In addition to the actual players being added, it means 15 additional practices for these guys and it also means an offseason with Rusty Whitt in addition to the summer workouts.
Texas Tech added two nearly 4-star junior college cornerbacks in Octavious Morgan and Jaylon Lane, something I don’t think I can remember adding before. And they both committed within hours of each other which means that they knew what this was the plan and they wanted to play and compete together on a day-in-day out basis. And the surprise of the defensive back groups was Vaughnte Dorsey, one of the few defensive gacks on the team (Morgan is one too) that
The addition of a JUCO quarterback in McLane Carter that could come in and play right away if necessary, something that this team needed with the deparrture of other quarterbacks. Plus the addition of a potential game-changing quarterback in Xavier Martin, a type of player this team and program hasn’t seen.
Three grown-ass men in Jack Anderson, Dawson Deaton and Will Farrar. I’m not at all saying that these guys could possibly redshirt, but these aren’t your typical freshmen offensive linemen. All three of these linemen were in every top 100 for the state of Texas. Jacob Hines is a throw-in and provides depth, but he’s not on the level of Anderson Deaton and Farrar. We’ve talked about having the offensive linemen being the core and the strenght of team and that was addressed in December.
The addition of Tony Jones is one that provides a starter, depth at the least, at weakside linebacker. Texas Tech was forced, forced, to play freshmen linebackers last year because there was pretty much no depth on the team that was capable of lining up and playing linebacker that was an upper-classman other than Malik Jenkins, and he played well.
Texas Tech added a grown-ass man at defensive end with Nelson Mbanasor. Name me the last time that Texas Tech added a 6’3″ and 270 high school defensive end? You probably can’t because I can’t remember one in recent years. I do think that at some point Mbanasor plays defensive tackle, but Texas Tech very well could have never had a 270 pound high school defensive end in it’s recruiting history.
I’m not at all knocking the eight players that are schedule to sign on Wednesday (there could be more), Texas Tech desperately needs those high school secondary players in Zaquincius Addison, Adrian Frye and John Davis. We’ve talked about those young linebackers and I’m ready for a good redemption story in Dakota Allen and a new young linebacker in Riko Jeffers. I’m also ready to add an athletic tackle in Casey Verhulst, something that this team desperately needs. I’m ready for the goal-line and big-back that is Desmond Nisby. And I’m ready for that Aussie-son-of-a-gun in Dominic Panazzolo to rugby kick the hell out of the ball.
I can’t guarantee that the players that were added in December are going to excel, but the coaching staff did everything humanly possible to ensure that the 2017 version of the Texas Tech team that will take the field (short of recruiting a couple of defensive tackles, but you’ve got to let some stuff go) is as well-practiced and ready to go as any team that Texas Tech has fielded in quite some time.