In addition to WreckEmRed.com’s weekly recruiting round up, this week we will be looking at 2015 defensive line prospects. For over a decade, Texas Tech has struggled to get Big 12 sized defensive linemen to come to Lubbock, and it has really hurt some of the defenses in that time span.
Despite having some great individual stars like Colby Whitlock (2007-2010) and Kerry Hyder (2009-2013), the Red Raiders have lacked depth and size on the defensive line, especially at defensive tackle. This lack of size and depth has taken a toll on Tech’s defensive presence and has made it hard to stop the rushing attack of opposing defenses.
During the 2014 recruiting cycle, the Red Raiders signed three JUCO defensive tackles in Rika Levi (6-foot-2, 350-pounds), Keland McElrath (6-foot-5, 290-pounds) and Marcus Smith (6-foot-3, 305-pounds). Each one of these guys has the size to be a legitimate Big 12 defensive tackle threat, but the jury is still out on how they will perform.
The 2015 recruiting cycle started off with arguably the most talented high school defensive tackle signing in program history when Hawaii native Breiden Fehoko jumped on board. But in order to continue to build sizable depth at the position, the Red Raiders are going to have to sign more than one quality (in skill set and size) defensive tackle in this class.
Who could be that second or third defensive tackle though?
Here’s a list of several defensive tackles in this class that could round out an incredible 2014 DT class (that the Red Raiders have a legitimate shot at landing):
1. Darrion Daniels (6-foot-4, 290-pounds). Daniels is listed as the 20th best defensive tackle in the 2015 class and is a 247sports.com four-star. According to his profile, he took an unofficial visit late in May to the Tech campus and has several top program offers (Notre Dame, Texas, Oklahoma, LSU). His “crystal ball” points towards committing to Baylor, but also lists Tech as having a chance. Landing Daniels would make a very solid defensive tackle class for 2015.
2. Vaimoe Sekona (6-foot-4, 285-pounds). The three-star defensive tackle out of Encino, California has listed Tech as a favorite along with USC and UCLA on his profile. His frame and size alone would give Tech a great run stuffer up the middle.
3. Courtney Wallace (6-foot-2, 290-pounds). Hailing from Monroe, Louisiana, Wallace has 12 scholarship offers and counting. He may be a bit more of a project in terms of developing, but he has the size to be a Big 12 defensive tackle. 247sports.com’s “crystal ball” has him 100% to Texas Tech.
After Fehoko signed a financial aid agreement with Texas Tech a few weeks ago, the Red Raiders solidified a great building block for the future of the defensive tackle position in Lubbock, but signing at least one more high school defensive tackle with enough size and skill to excel at the Big 12 level is needed.
Do you think defensive tackle is the biggest question mark surrounding Texas Tech’s program? Would a strong class in 2015 pave the way for a change at the position? Lets hear it from you.