Texas Tech football: Best JUCO tranfers in program history

LUBBOCK, TX - OCTOBER 31: Dakota Allen
LUBBOCK, TX - OCTOBER 31: Dakota Allen /
5 of 11
(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images) /

No. 7: DT Mychaelon Thomas 2016-17

From the smallest players on this list, we move to the biggest.  In 2016, the Red Raiders added 6-foot-2, 325-pound defensive tackle Mych Thomas from Butler Community College and at the time, no one took much notice.

But by the end of his two years in Lubbock, Thomas proved to be a rock-solid defender in the middle of the defensive line.  He finished his career with 49 career tackles (5 for loss), one sack, two fumble recoveries, and a pass defense.

Most of that productivity came in his senior season when he had 41 tackles, a sack, and even an interception.  That performance earned him honorable mention All-Big 12 honors and was largely attributed to his work in losing over 15 pounds in the offseason.

The Dallas native was a rather highly-sought-after prospect coming out of the JUCO ranks.  He held offers from Tech, Boise State, Houston, and Kansas State while also receiving interest from Florida State and Kansas.

After college, Thomas was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Jets.  But despite turning some heads in training camp, he was waived by the Jets before the 2018 season.

It was refreshing for Tech to finally see a JUCO defensive tackle develop into a reliable player after some of the more highly-rated JUCO tackles have flammed out in Lubbock.  In 2009, Tech signed No. 9 overall JUCO DT Myles Wade, a former high school All-American, but he appeared in only ten games over two years.

Then, in 2014, Tech signed massive 330-pound DT Rika Levi but he made just 34 career tackles in 17 games as a Red Raider.  Unfortunately, his story took a tragic turn after college as he was arrested in 2016 and charged with the murder of a San Francisco, CA man.

While Thomas did not arrive with much fanfare, he proved to be one of the best JUCO defensive linemen Tech has added in the last two decades.  “Big Mych” lived up to his name and put up the type of season in 2017 that Tech would take from its top defensive tackle virtually every season.