With the 2017 National Signing Day in the books, the Staking The Plains staff discussed a handful of topics related to the 19 signees.
sethjungman: Alright. It’s time for an emergency roundtable. National Signing Day was today and it was incredibly unexciting because everyone that was committed signed and there were not surprise commits.
What are your general thoughts regarding the class?
kyle4073: It’s not an exciting class but it definitely addresses some of the teams most pressing issues. Feels like Kliff and Co have figured out what they’re looking for in each recruiting class. Love the JuCo players they pulled in on defense and the young offensive lineman should provide a good core for years to come.
michael: I heard on 97.3 FM this afternoon that this was the biggest offensive linemen signing group in years. That’s promising, for sure.
meestahrogers: I think boring about sums it up (not necessarily a bad thing). No drama. Tech inks those that were committed. It seems the Juco guys check out on paper, but it usually takes until their second year for them to show up. A lot of DBs, which you would hope helps shore up the back end of the defense
sethjungman: So yea, it seems like the class lacked sizzle, something that Kingsbury has somewhat been known for in the past. And he’s always been able to pull off one or two surprises.
What was the biggest positive about the class? Everyone agree with Michael that it was the offensive line? Could you make a better than decent argument for the secondary?
meestahrogers: With the secondary, every position is getting longer, which I’m hoping helps close the gap because Big 12 receivers are ridiculously talented. The offensive line is definitely something to build on, especially after all the departures from this past year.
kyle4073: Addressing the secondary is the biggest positive for me. When you have the worst D in the country anything you can do to get competitive quickly is huge. The offense will be fine and this line class makes things better but the biggest impact could be driven by these DBs.
sethjungman: If you can’t improve the pass rush, improve how long the secondary can cover receivers.
Who’s your MVP for the class? This is too easy? Jack Anderson?
meestahrogers: I think the pass rush may be improved by those who redshirted
MVP of the class I think may depend on when you judge it. I think for earliest contribution, it might be Allen, Morgan, Lane or Jones
Anderson may be the long term MVp
kyle4073: I agree. I think long term Anderson will be great but for immediate impact I think getting Dakota Allen back will be big.
michael: Allen is huge, as his talent comes with what I would imagine would be even more of a drive to prove himself to his coaches and teammates.
sethjungman: Okay, and before we get to some superlatives. What was the most disappointing thing about the class?
meestahrogers: Lack of DL, hands down. Not having a flashy super star is one thing, but missing on a whole position group is rough, even after a big take in a previous class
kyle4073: Outside of Mbanasor not taking another defensive lineman was disappointing.
sethjungman: And zero wide-outs is somewhat high on my list too.
michael: DL even seems more glaring with the recent transfer.
meestahrogers: Same with WR after Boyd
kyle4073: Kingsbury seemed confident that the 18 class would have plenty of good WR talent so I’m less worried about it than the DL.
sethjungman: You know, we really haven’t talked about Fehoko and I don’t really have any animosity towards Fehoko, but it sure did feel like he and his family just sorta bailed once there wasn’t a spot for his brother. Seemed like TTU went out of their way to take care of that family for a long time and just kinda got dumped.
michael: That’s what I’m hoping happened. I haven’t seen or read anything negative towards Tech or Kingsbury from the Fehoko family, so I hope it all ended as well as it could have. It sure doesn’t look good on paper, though, to see a guy whose family has bought in to the program for as long as they have part ways. (edited)
meestahrogers: Saw someone point out that the three younger Fehoko brothers all transferred or left their teams before their eligibility expired. Almost seemed inevitable when framed like that
kyle4073: Wonder if he was being pushed by some of the redshirt DL that are coming up. Fehoko wasn’t one of Gibbs’ recruits and he didn’t really flash much when you watched him in games. Schematically he might just be a bad fit and not working so he wanted to find a better situation.
sethjungman: Biggest sleeper of the class?
meestahrogers: I think I’m going to go with Deaton. Watching his and Andersons film, those two were great together and I think Deaton was overshadowed by Anderson, but was a huge part of their success
michael: I love the idea of a 6’2″ 240 lb runningback in Nisby. Maybe we could run a short yardage play up the middle that isn’t a QB sneak every now and then. (edited)
meestahrogers: Nisby might be my second choice
sethjungman: Had no idea that Nisby is 23 years old. He’s a grown man.
kyle4073: I like Riko Jefers, he’s 6-1 and already 235 and he plays with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. I’d like to see the LB group get a little more nasty and I think he brings a little of that.
meestahrogers: This group of LBs could be nasty
sethjungman: Most NFL potential?
meestahrogers: I’m going to take the easy out and say Anderson
sethjungman: I might go with Octavious Morgan.
kyle4073: I’m going with Anderson too. He’s got the height and frame. He’s a good run blocker already and I hope by the time he leaves he’ll be an excellent pass blocker.
michael: No one’s going with Panazzolo? He could be the next Pat McAfee!
sethjungman: Or the next Maury Buford?
michael: Full disclosure: I had to look him up. But, yes!
sethjungman: Panazzolo is from Adelaide, which when I do tell my month-in-Australia-after-graduating-from-Texas-Tech story, Adelaide plays a big part of it.
Biggest needs for 2018?
kyle4073: Defensive line or wide receiver. Ideally the recruiting classes will start to get more balance where they take a few recruits from each group instead of having huge hauls of 2 or 3 groups.
michael: 1. Seth needs to tell his Adelaide story.
2. I’m with Kyle. These groups have been neglected in the last few classes.
3. This is broad, and maybe a bit too cheesy, but we need guys who want to be here regardless of coaching staff. I don’t know what the future holds for football here at Tech if there is another 5 or 6 win season. It’s the elephant in the room.
meestahrogers: I tend to think that was the reason the staff went for Juco players instead of high school when addressing team needs. There’s always a win now mentality, but when you explicitly say you’re not going to recruit as many Juco guys only to go back on that after a rough year, it gives the impression the staff thinks they’re on thin ice and need improvement now
kyle4073: I agree that the coaching staff definitely needs to get results as quickly as possible and this recruiting class shows that. The redshirt d-lineman from last years class along with the transfers are really going to have to step up if the team is going to be better this year. I thought it was interesting that KK said they were holding open a few scholarships for potential grad transfers on either the O or D line. Looks like they’re still looking for a couple of starters with experience.