We’ve had some discussion about how defensive end and defensive tackle are going to be high priorities in the 2016 class and We’ll be tracking this periodically to see if there are any new players being offered moving forward. I’m including the defensive ends because sometimes, they can be the size of tackles (sometimes, especially at the JUCO level) and I am using Wreck’Em 24/7 and RaiderPower as references for the offers.
My expectations for this class is that Texas Tech will take four or five defensive tackles and/or strongside defensive ends. That’s probably a conservative number and could even envision it being higher as Texas Tech will have some pretty dire needs moving forward.
There are a couple of things to consider here, which is that the JUCO guys usually get offered a bit late. There’s a lot of evaluation that goes on and I think that most staffs evaluate the high school kids and then check in on the JUCO players. There are exceptions to this rule, but this usually happens a bit later.
The other consideration is that I think there was a reason why Matt Brock was brought back as a graduate assistant. The Kansas JUCO’s are second to none and Brock is a Kansas guy and I think he’s going to be a point-person (not the main recruiter) for the Kansas area.
Amani Bledsoe (6-5/270) Lawrence HS (Lawrence, KS)
Xavier Kelly (6-5/225) East HS (Wichita, KS)
Brandon Bowen (6-6/230) Byron Nelson HS (Trophy Club, TX)
Mark Jackson (6-4/220) Steel HS (San Antonio, TX)
Levi Onwuzurike (6-3/230) Allen HS (Allen, TX)
Max Tupai (6-2.5/250) Murray HS (Murray, UT)
Kellen Diesch (6-7/265) Byron Nelson HS (Trophy Club, TX)
Michael Johnson (6-3/230) Hightower HS (Sugar Land, TX)
Pernell Jefferson (6-2/235) Warren Easton Charter HS (New Orleans, LA)
Austin DeShay (6-5/225) Hendrickson HS (Pflugerville, TX)
Alton Robinson (6-3/215) Judson HS (Converse, TX)
Most predictions have Bledsoe going to Oklahoma. Scratch that. Everyone thinks that he will go to Oklahoma. Bledsoe is one of the elite guys and has been offered by everyone from OU, Florida State Notre Dame, Nebraska, etc. You name it, he’s been offered. I think this is one of those offers that you throw out there and hope for the best, but probably isn’t realistic.
Kelly is already committed to Kansas State, which is pretty rare for KSU to be that out in front of a kid, but good for them. I think this seems like a longshot at this time.
I think the offers to the two Trophy Club area players are interesting. That’s a heck of a front line for a high school team. Other than Bowen and Diesch, Onwuzurkike is from the DFW area and then you’ve got Robinson and Johnson in the Houston area, while DeShay and Jackson are the San Antonio area. There’s only one Louisiana kid, which I’d guess will change (and don’t get your hopes up as I think he is a heavy LSU lean).
Ed Oliver (6-2/285) Westfield HS (Houston, TX)
Michael Williams (6-2/280) All Saints’ Episcopal (Ft. Worth, TX)
Rashard Lawrence (6-4/300) Neveille HS (Monroe, LA)
Chris Daniels (6-4/290) Trinity HS (Euless, TX)
Ivory Jackson (6-3/275) Amarillo (Amarillo, TX)
Stephon Taylor (6-6/275) McDonogh 35 Senior HS (New Orleans, LA)
This is where Texas Tech sits right now and it is generally high profile guys except for 24/7 has Jackson being offered and I really don’t want to lose an Amarillo kid so I want him more than any other player on this list. Texas Tech should own whatever players come out of West Texas.
Oliver, Williams, and Daniels are all very high profile, while Taylor is a bit under the radar, but he’s got an impressive offer list.
Just in terms of location, you’ve got two Louisiana guys in Oliver and Taylor, a couple of DFW players in Daniels and Williams and Oliver who is in the Houston area.