Reviewing the Texas Tech 2016 recruiting class
With only weeks left until National Signing Day (Feb. 3rd), it's time to look at the Texas Tech 2016 recruiting class and take an inventory of what the coaches have built over the past year.
There are a total of 26 commitments in the Red Raiders' 2016 recruiting class, four commitments are graduating early and enrolling at Texas Tech for the spring semester, leaving another 22 commitments set to graduate in May and arrive on campus for the first summer session.
OFFENSE: (11 commitments)
QB (1): Mansfield (TX) Lake Ridge QB Jett Duffey*
RB (1): Dallas (TX) Skyline RB Da'Leon Ward
WR (5): Cibolo (TX) Steele WR Antoine Cox-Wesley, Trinity Valley (TX) C.C. WR Derrick Willies*, Wichita Falls (TX) WR T.J. Vasher, Hutchinson (KS) C.C. WR DeQuan Bowman*, and Cibolo (TX) Steele WR Bryson Denley.
* = enrolling early
Surprisingly enough, this class has remained intact through some attrition on the coaching staff with both the running backs coach (Jinks) and outside receivers coach (Chiaverini) leaving the program for new opportunities.
With essentially a full class on the offensive side, the coaches are playing with house money and can be very selective with any additional 2016 prospects they decide to add. The positions to watch for potential additions over the next few weeks will be wide receiver and offensive line.
DEFENSE (15 commitments)
* = enrolling early
There are not very many years where the amount of defensive commitments outweigh the amount of offensive commitments for the Texas Tech program. New defensive coordinator David Gibbs noticed immediate needs in the front seven and the staff has addressed these needs by landing 12 commitments to build depth along the front seven on defense.
The defensive coaching staff went through a complete overhaul after the 2015-16 season ended, losing three assistants in total. Gibbs has tabbed Kevin Patrick as the Red Raiders' new defensive line coach and the team's new special teams coach, Joe Robinson, has several years of experience coaching the defensive line as well.
There should be room for Kingsbury and Gibbs to add two more assistants on the defensive side of this staff - linebackers and defensive backs. Who they decide to hire will sort itself out in due time, but those outcomes will directly effect what is left on the recruiting trail.
The right defensive end prospect, possibly South Oak Cliff (TX) DE and Missouri commit Marvin Terry, could be something to watch - especially with a new defensive line coach that undoubtedly recruited the Dallas-Fort Worth area while coaching at North Texas this past year.
Another position group to watch is the defensive backs group. Acadiana (LA) LB Kevin Moore is expected to play a hybrid safety role in this defense, but the coaches could look to add another true safety prospect and additional depth at the corner position before national signing day. One player the coaching staff has continually stayed in contact with is Dallas (TX) Wilmer-Hutchins safety and Missouri commit DeMarkus Acy.