Texas Tech football in top-7 for 3-star RB Frank Brown

STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 22: Running back SaRodorick Thompson #28 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders scores a touchdown against safety Jarrick Bernard #24 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the second quarter on September 22, 2018 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Texas Tech won 41-17. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 22: Running back SaRodorick Thompson #28 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders scores a touchdown against safety Jarrick Bernard #24 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the second quarter on September 22, 2018 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Texas Tech won 41-17. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /

The Texas Tech football team has made the top-7 for 3-star Houston running back Frank Brown, who could help replenish depth at an important position.

When we think of the spread offense, particularly the “Air Raid”, quarterbacks and receivers are the two positions that stand out.  But astute Texas Tech football fans know that when the Red Raiders have had excellent running backs, the offense has operated on a completely different level.

But in recent years, the Red Raiders have struggled to find highly-productive RBs.  That’s why adding some quality depth at this critical position is a must in the 2020 recruiting class.

One target that the Red Raiders remain in the mix for is 3-star Houston product, Frank Brown.  Rated the No. 12 all-purpose back in the nation and the No. 122 player in Texas by 247Sports’ composite rankings, Brown recently released a top-7 list of Texas Tech, Arizona, Houston, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Utah.


In addition to those programs, he holds offers from such schools as Colorado, Colorado State, Kansas, Fresno St., SMU, and North Texas.  According to 247Sports, he took an official visit to Arizona in June making it seem like Kevin Sumlin’s program is a legitimate threat in this race. What’s more, the Wildcats recently secured the commitment of another Texas Tech target, 3-star DE Robert Wooten from Stafford, TX, who visited Lubbock on June 21 but committed to the Wildcats just days later.

As for Brown, he rushed for 1,116 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2018 while catching 20 passes for 463 yards and seven touchdowns.  In each of the last two seasons, he has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark on the ground and scored at least twenty combined rushing and receiving touchdowns.

"“I just want to go to a place that can get the ball in my hands and where I can make plays,” he told Widcat Authority, which covers Arizona sports for 247Sports. “That’s what I can do, but I know wherever I go and play and know that I am going to have to compete and make the depth chart and everything like that.”More from Wreck'Em RedTexas Tech football: Red Raider fans need to know about these MountaineersTexas Tech football: Red Raiders land first commit for class of 2025Texas Tech football: Why have the Red Raiders struggled on the road under McGuire?Texas Tech football: Why the Red Raiders can compete for a Big 12 titleTexas Tech football: Plenty of questions remain as conference play arrives"

If early playing time is a selling point for Brown, Texas Tech might be what he is looking for.  In recent years, Tech’s recruiting at the position has fallen off leading to a rather thin rotation in the backfield.

In 2019, the only high school RB Tech signed was Dadrion Taylor from Oklahoma City but he has moved to defenisve back.  Tech did sign Chicago-area high school QB Alante Brown to be an all-purpose back but he figures to be a player that splits time at inside receiver as well as RB and not the type of feature-back that can carry the offense.  Brown is likely destined for a role in which he is a specialized player that Tech tries to get the ball to in space to take advantage of his speed, not as a player that can tote the rock 15-20 times a game.

Tech did sign two promising RBs in 2018 in Ta’Zhawn Henry and Sarodorick Thompson.  Last year, Henry finished tied for second on the team in rushing with 341 yards making him the team’s leading returning rusher outside of backup QB Jett Duffey.  He also found the endzone eight times, the most of any Red Raider on the ground.

Thompson amassed 108 yards in four games while retaining his ability to redshirt in the first season of the new NCAA rules that allowed players to play in as many as four games and still redshirt.  After rushing for three touchdowns, the 6-foot, 200-pound Irving product is expected to have a much larger role in this year’s offense.

That’s because Tech suffered considerable attrition at RB after the 2018 season.  Seniors DeMarcus Felton and Tre King exhausted their eligibility and sophomore Da’Leon Ward transferred to Stephen F. Austin after equaling Henry’s rushing output last fall.

Because of the lack of dependable and proven depth on the roster, Matt Wells and his staff added Utah graduate transfer Armand Shyne this offseason.  Last year, he rushed for 512 yards and five scores in 2018 after injuries caused him to miss the previous season.

But Shyne is a short-term solution to the immediate need for running back depth.  Tech needs to add more than one quality option at that spot in the current recruiting class.

In June, Tech landed a commitment from 3-star RB Tahj Brooks, a top-75 player in Texas.  And Brown appears to be in the same mold physically.  At 6-foot, 180-pounds, Brown is considered a larger back as is Brooks, who is a bit more compact at 5-foot-9, 210-pounds.

Still, both are a departure from the smaller running backs that we have seen come through Tech in the “Air Raid” era.  That’s likely by design as Wells wants to implement a more physical style of offense by running between the tackles.

What’s more, Wells needs to have more horses he can ride on the ground because last year at Utah State, new Texas Tech offensive coordinator David Yost ran the ball 399 times with his running backs, 107 more times than Tech ran the ball with its running backs.

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Of the 12 RBs currently holding an offer from Texas Tech (according to 247Sports) five have already committed (including Brooks).  Given that two of those uncommitted players are among the top 20 RBs in the nation and thus don’t really figure to have legitimate interest in Texas Tech, Brown is likely the Red Raiders’ top target at the position.  Here’s hoping, Matt Wells can reel in what could be another important piece of his program’s future.