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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LUBBOCK, TX – NOVEMBER 08: A general view of Jones AT
LUBBOCK, TX – NOVEMBER 08: A general view of Jones AT /

OL Dawson Deaton

Texas Tech offensive line is one of the most experienced units on the team.  Returning all five starters from last year’s bowl game, the big men up front will have to be better this year as they protect a first-time starting QB.

Though the line did not lose any significant contributors from 2017, a new face is pushing his way into the mix for a starting job.  Redshirt freshman Dawson Deaton has been listed as the starting left guard since the spring as he battles incumbent Madison Akamnonu for the job.

The Friso, Texas native and former high school teammate of starting right guard Jack Anderson is invaluable because of his versatility.  Deaton can play all five positions on the line meaning that even if he does not win the starting job, he will likely be pressed into action at some point as injuries along the offensive line are almost inevitable.

In 2017, Texas Tech’s offensive line helped the run game improve by over 40 yards-per-game but the pass blocking struggled at times.  Tech surrendered 29 sacks on the year which was tied for 75th in the nation.

Part of that sack total can be attributed to the lack of escapability from QB Nic Shimonek who did his offensive line no favors by holding on to the ball for far too long at times.  This year’s QBs are expected to be far more mobile, especially McLane Carter and Jett Duffey, but they will need better protection early as they get acclimated to life as starters.

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Tech could also be more of a running team this year with new OC Kevin Johns on board.  Johns has a reputation for designing effective spread offenses that utilize the ground game more than Texas Tech has under Kingsbury.  Either way, the line is expected to be a strong suit for Texas Tech and Dawson Deaton will be a key member of that group.