Texas Tech Football: Post December 2018 Signing Day Wrap-Up

11 signed.

This is a non-transcript of the press conference from Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells (it’s everything between the two groups of stars). For those of you not familiar with a non-transcript, it is me typing as fast as I can as I listen to the press conference. These are not direct quotes, but general ideas of what Coach Wells is saying.

A good start to this signing class, more to come and some guys are waiting to sign in February that are committed to us, I think we signed 11 today, the thing I want to say that I appreciate, which are the 11 and the ones that are fully committed that will in February, I appreciate their willingness to open up their homes and their hearts to me and our staff and to listen to their story about why they enjoy and like Texas Tech, why they were previously committed, their vision of Texas Tech, it comes back to the passion of this place, we are going to continue to add to this team. This is a solid start, there’s more to come.

More to come in January and maybe an opportunity to keep a few scholarships for graduate transfers or late add JC’s. We’re going to be very creative on how we build this roster.

The thing that’s most important are the guys that are home that are already Red Raiders, that’s why we spent those first few days around those guys, we tried to wrap our arms around them and then get out on the road. It is a tremendous vibe with this Red Raider football program, the fans and moreso the Texas high school coaches, they have inspired me to see what is possible at Texas Tech.

We rekindled some relationships, this state produces some of the best high school football in the country. 10 of the 11 were from Texas, that’s how we’ll build this program. In the years to come that’s how we’ll build this program, inside out, inside out starts with West Texas, 3 guys start with this list.

Cameron Cantrell: Brother played here, 3rd Whitehouse player here. Dreamed about playing at Texas Tech. This guy will work extremely hard. He’s got a “why”. When you ask him his story, he’s got a passion for this place.

Tre Cleveland: Long and athletic and can run, big hands, solid high school program. I know Scott Peach at Arlington and it’s good to get a Colt be a Red Raider.

Simon Gonzalez: Somebody we knew, we were either his first or second offer, we’ve known Simon, this is the type of recruit we want at this program. He’s developmental, just wait two years until Coach Scholz gets a hold of him, he’s got a high upside and has a chance to play early in his career.

Alex Hogan: Speed. Athleticism. He’s taken kickoff returns and punts, special teams will be a big part of this program. Could contribute early. Long corner, very twitchy, coach Juice and Patterson are excited about him.

Gilbert Ibeneme: Was injured his junior year came back and had a really good senior year, a young guy that is going to be good to have around Coach Scholz.

Travis Koontz: We knew about at Utah State, we’ve got connections at that school, we loved him at Utah State, but we didn’t have enough juice to recruit him, he was committed to a big school at the time, and it came down to two big schools at the end. This is a guy that will compete for immediate playing time, to add two tight ends was extremely important to us, will be here this summer.

Tyrique Matthews: We go to the Houston Touchdown Club last Wednesday night and I heard from 3 different administrators that this young man is, the leader he is, he’s got a motor and a very instinctive linebacker.

Maverick McIvor: A lot of the reason he committed here was the offense and the relationships with the previous staff, I just asked him for a chance. Let us open up our hearts, just listen to what we’re going to do on offense and how we’re going to run the program. Coach Yost did a long in-home, he can talk, I think he wore him out, I got to go in the next week, it will be nice to see Rick in that scarlet and black, but they love his son. He’s a dual threat guy, can throw it, obviously had an injury, extremely athletic, he’ll fit in this offense very good.

Landon Peterson: First home I walked into Texas Tech, as the head coach of Texas Tech, I walk into Odessa Permian. How cool is that? I had Coach Farmer with me, that was a guy that had intentions of not going to Texas Tech, was quick to recommit to come here and he told another school no. First one to sign today, so he won that contest.

Trevor Roberson: Ginormous. I can’t wait to coach this guy, he’ll be here in a few weeks, mid-term. Great momma and support group. Two West Texas tackles with really good athleticism and the ability to bend.

Bryce Robinson: From Sachse. That’s where Riko is from. Our starting quarterback is from that school, we have some history in that school with Red and Barrons, was good to go into that high school again. Two great parents, two athletic parents, going to be in college hall of fames, but different sport. What a great family he was Red Raider from day one, the old staff did a nice job of recruiting and evaluating him. His dad played at Northwest Oklahoma State going into HOF this summer, mom went to Southern, her ticket is coming next summer. She tells me it’s coming.

I said I didn’t want to step on his toes in terms of coaching the quarterback, we see eye-to-eye, I will coach the quarterback, but I will not step over him, he is absolutely the quarterback coach here, he had a huge hand in recruiting these offensive guys. He was in a couple of homes early, went back to Utah State and called plays in the bowl game and you saw what that offense did, that was a reflection of what we had done all year on offense, I am very proud of those players at Utah State, that was the right thing to do to send him back for a week and a half. He was on the phone with these guys, he drove 5 hours form Albuquerque right when the game was over, got in late Saturday night, met with every recruit on offense on Sunday morning. There will be more offensive guys to come in January.

You can’t do all of them equal, the best thing we could do is get around our players first before they take their finals and left. That was absolutely he priority, then next was the high school coaches and commitments. I’ll be in the community a lot, be visible and be seen. I’ll be drumming up support, the fans and the alumni, they’re going to breathe life and energy in the stadium. It’s got to be a we us and our program, it has to be our team, West Texas’ team, it’s not just me, it’s everybody. We’re going to give a tremendous amount of energy. We have to hire a few more staff guys, and hit the ground running as soon as the convention is over for 3 weeks to sign the rest of the class and add to this class in January.

We’re going to need in January is some DB’s some DB’s that are going to come in and compete right now. Some young DB’s to build depth, our spur, outside linebacker, drop-down safety, high safety, corners. Probably sign a couple of running backs, one maybe two. Another receiver or two.

My philosophy on grad transfer is does he fit Lubbock? Does he fit the program? Can he compete for a starting job ASAP? I’ve had really good success with grad transfers, I’ve had four, all four came in and started and contributed, two were All-Mountain West, have to find a spot where you need an immediate starter. Without a doubt we will entertain any and all grad transfers, I don’t think we’ll have that many.

Hire a special teams coordinator, d-line coach and either a linebacker or DB coach. would like to have them in next month, but if I need to wait through January, I’ll wait through January. I’d like to do it sooner rather than later.

The first thing is they love Texas Tech. Tell us why you like about it, the two things that come up, it’s the people, but it’s not just the fans, but the support people, the second thing is the atmosphere, and the facilities. Those are the things, “I’ve always wanted to be a Red Raider.” I think it is important to see and hear and feel your passion and energy, what is your plan for the program, be able to present what we do and how we do it. Some wanted to get very specific, like Maverick. The how you do it is what they have to know, core values, how we plan to win, how we invest in off-the-field leadership and accountability. They have to feel you, they have to see inside your heart, and you have to do a good job of painting that picture. The more guys want to be here, the more guys want to be here and have an investment, when the days come, they’ll be able to pull themselves out a little easier, they didn’t make the decision for someone else, they made the decision for them.

Simon and Trevor, mid-term enrollees.

About 30 in that room, THSCA, just about 15 minutes. Coach Rutledge, Coach West, when those guys invite you, then you clear your schedule. I moved a couple of recruiting appointments back, my brother Luke fixed it, we got into San Angelo, I’ve known a bunch of them, there are more that I need to meet. To let them know how much I respect high school coaches in the state of Texas. I have heard in many recruiting meetings, you sit in there and recruit a kid from Texas, and ask if that kid is “maxed out”. Coaches realize the amount of time and effort that is put into those kids, strength program, weight-training, accountability, toughness, passion, Friday night in Texas, all of that stuff, those college coaches are curious if those kids have reached that potential. They asked if those kids are maxed out or if they still have more in them.

I’ll like it better next year. You answer that question with your Texas Tech hat on. With this change, it was very difficult. We got a bunch of guys recommitted, got some new ones, got some that are committed that we know about that we can’t talk about, and get some new ones in January. I’m not sure this Wednesday is the best. It just comes up difficult in the coaching change. I’m not sure where it needs to sit.

Today is “the signing day”, even last year at Utah State, we just had 4 left.

I think the junior college, will be that same type of category, where do we need an immediate impact player, that’s the grad school market, I love to sign 3 for 3’s, 4 for 3 high school qualifies, there’s more investment in terms of strength and conditioning. You do it to fill depth to fill holes, I think you’ll see us sign some junior college players, some will be 2 for 3’s but the vast majority will be high school players.

I didn’t get a chance to watch the signing day special (some of us have to work) so this is part of it.

Since it took so long to do the non-transcript, I’ll try to get some thoughts up over the weekend. I think there’s some interesting things about some of the answers that Wells gave in his press conference.


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