Big 12 Snapshot: Texas Tech Red Raiders

Good morning. I’m introducing a new series intended to take a look at each team in the new Big 12. I’m not sure how many I’ll get done each week, but the only way for me to really know about these teams is to actually do the research so I can be relatively informed when the season hits. So I spent time doing the research this weekend. There are links to everything below so if there isn’t a link, then I didn’t write it, but I always link back to the originator of the content. I wanted to take a quick look at the team: get a feel for the best players; look into their portal class consisted and how they ranked overall; a look at the 2024 recruiting class; and ending on the graphic from Sharp College Football.

Previous Snapshots: Arizona | Arizona State | Baylor | BYU | Cincinnati | Colorado | Houston | Iowa State | Kansas | Kansas State | Oklahoma State | TCU

Snapshot: So much hinges on quarterback Behren Morton’s shoulder and the legs of running back Tahj Brooks. I have more confidence in Brooks churning out yards and I am a fan of Morton. I think he has the goods as long as he’s healthy. There are obvious questions at the offensive line, moving Caleb Rogers to guard after being at tackle is something that I wonder about. They all seem confident that this will work and I think the pieces are in place for a better interior line, but am admittedly nervous about the tackles. There’s a saying, that running backs don’t win you games, offensive lines do. The other big advantage is that Clay McGuire has put together college offensive lines before and knows Josh Kelly is a difference maker and I don’t know the last time that I’ve been able to say that about a receiver. C.J. Baskerville is the lone returner in the defensive backfield and replacing 4 players back there will be tough, but the staff did get a lot of these guys playing time last year. The biggest worry on the defense is at tackle and replacing Hutchings and Bradford. It will need to be by committee I think, but I hope there are pieces in place.

Do the Red Raiders play Texas Tech? Unpossible.

Returning Starters: Offensive returning starters – 5 (54% of offensive production); Defensive returning starters – 4 (50% of defensive production).

Transfer Portal Arrivals: 17. This is really 16 as McCarty was in Lubbock a year ago. Offensive line and defensive backs are the biggest areas of need as well as tight end. The thing that I take for granted is that I sort of know who will step in and start for Texas Tech, but don’t know this for other teams so I understand the importance of these transfers. I think you have to know these teams significantly better.
QB Cameran Brown (from West Georgia)
WR Caleb Douglas (from Florida)
WR Josh Kelly (from Washington State)
TE Jalin Conyers (from Arizona State)
TE Johncarlos Miller II (from Elon)
TE Jason Llewellyn (from Oklahoma)
OL Vinny Sciury (from Toledo)
OL Jaxon Hughes (from South Carolina)
OL Sterling Porcher (from Middle Tennessee)
OL Davion Carter (from Memphis)
DL De’Braylon Carroll (from Rice)
DL James Hansen (from Nevada)
DB Jovon Jackson (from Fairmont State)
DB A.J. McCarty (from Baylor – waiver was denied for ’23)
DB Devynn Cromwell (University of Guelph)
DB Javeon Wilcox (from TCU)
P Jack Burgess (from Weber State)

On3 Transfer Index Score: +12 (Big 12 high is +68 with Colorado and low is -30 with Houston)

Spring Portal Grades: N/A
Key additions: None

Key subtractions: None

Outlook: Texas Tech didn’t have a portal addition this spring but didn’t see any key departures either.

Pac 12 2024 Recruiting & Big 12 2024 Recruiting: Back-to-back winning seasons for coach Joey McGuire plus an active recruiting approach has helped Texas Tech to the third-best class in the Big 12. There might not be a bigger offensive game-changer in the conference than five-star receiver Micah Hudson, who favored the Red Raiders for a long time in his recruitment.

Four-star QB Will Hammond put up huge numbers and could excel in Lubbock. On defense four-stars LB Cheta Ofili and DB Peyton Morgan stand out.

Grade: A-

Sharp College Football Beta Rank Deep Dive: The offense wasn’t as good as it should have been. I’ve discussed my thoughts on the offense in previous posts when the offseason started, but I think it needs to be better passing the ball, which will then turn the running game up a notch. The defense ended up being very good and considering DeRuyter’s history, this shouldn’t be a surprise. Very good against the pass, but most of those guys graduated so we’ll see how he does in replacing those guys.

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