Texas Tech Football: Five New Faces To Know For 2018

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 22: Joshua Johnson
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 22: Joshua Johnson /
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HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 22: Joshua Johnson
HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 22: Joshua Johnson /

The Texas Tech football team will be looking at a number of new players to play key roles this fall  Whether they be redshirts, true freshmen or transfers, here are some new faces to know.

Texas Tech heads into the 2018 season with contrasting realities of both sides of the ball.  Defensively, Tech returns ten starters and 19 members of last season’s two-deep rotation.  But offensively, Tech must replace as many as five starters including the quarterback and three receivers that started the Birmingham Bowl.

But on either side of the ball, new faces are certain to emerge as key contributors.  Here are some new names that Red Raider fans should get to know as they are likely to be significant contributors this season.

DT – Preston Gordon

The one member of last season’s starting defense that is no longer on the team is defensive tackle Mych Thomas who is in training camp with the New York Jets.  And while the bulk of Thomas’ snaps are going to go to redshirt sophomore Joe Wallace or fellow sophomore Nick McCann, graduate transfer Preston Gordon is also going to be a key member of the defensive tackle rotation.

Gordon, who made 12 starts last season for Rice amassing 34 tackles and a sack, is a versatile 6-foot-1, 290-pounder capable of playing multiple positions along the defensive front. Gordon was a  disruptive player last year registering 4.5 tackles per loss and his greatest impact could be as a pass-rush specialist.

Last year, Tech struggled recording only 18 sacks on the year, fewest in the Big 12.  Gordon’s high motor has helped him record 7.5 sacks in his collegiate career but last year was the first time he has failed to record at least three sacks in a season.

That dip was likely due to the fact that he was the focal point of opposing offensive lines who used double-teams to keep him in check.  This year, Gordon will be surrounded by more talent than he was at Rice and he could benefit from more one-on-one matchups with guards.

"“…he’s a guy who can bring that athletic piece to his game in terms of rushing the passer,” defensive line coach Terrance Jamison told the “Lubbock Avalanche-Journal”.  “He’s quicker, quicker twitch, and still strong at the point of attack, and so he can bring those pieces to our front.”"

If Gordon is able to provide an interior pass rush by collapsing the pocket on opposing QBs, the Texas Tech defense will be able to improve upon its No. 122 overall ranking against the pass.  If nothing else, Gordon’s presence adds another quality piece along the defensive line while adding a leadership component to a position group that is short on senior leadership.