Texas Tech football lands one JUCO OT, misses out on another

LUBBOCK, TX - SEPTEMBER 18: Fans of the Texas Tech Red Raiders cheer against the Texas Longhorns at Jones AT
LUBBOCK, TX - SEPTEMBER 18: Fans of the Texas Tech Red Raiders cheer against the Texas Longhorns at Jones AT /

Tuesday, the Texas tech football program picked up a verbal commitment from one potential starting offensive tackle from the JUOC ranks while missing out on a second JUCO OT target.

In what was a busy day for the Texas Tech football program on the recruiting trail, the Red Raiders picked up a verbal commitment from 2020 JUCO OL Ethan Carde on Tuesday evening.  The 6-foot-8 325-pounder was in Lubbock this past weekend for an official visit and now he’s ready to be a Red Raider.

This is a nice pickup for the Red Raiders for two different reasons.  First of all, he is going to be a competitor for one of the starting offensive tackle spots left often by the graduation of both Terence Steele and Travis Bruffy.  Also, he still has three years of eligibility so he could be a longer-term piece of the puzzle than most JUCO transfers.

"He shared his decision on Twitter where he said, “First off I want to thank all of my coaches from start to finish for believing in me and pushing me to the best of my abilities. Although I didn’t believe the junior college route was for me it was one of the best decision I made in my life. I also want to thank Coach Oates and Coach Hike for teaching me and crafting me into the man I am today. Last but not least, I want to thank my family and my girlfriend for keeping me good in school and on the football field and wanting nothing but the best for me. I am very honored and blessed to say that I will be committing to Texas Tech.”"

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A three-star recruit, the Florida native is rated as the No. 141 overall JUCO prospect in the nation and the No. 18 JUCO offensive tackle in his class according to 247Sports.  But there was a hope that he would not be the only JUCO OT that the program would add on Tuesday.

Unfortunately, 3-star prospect Jeremy Flax picked Kentucky over Texas Tech and Auburn on Tuesday evening.  He would have also been considered a favorite to start next fall for the Red Raiders as he is the No. 2 JUCO OT and No. 18 JUCO player in this year’s class.

Flax was in Lubbock for a visit the weekend of the TCU game but the Red Raiders couldn’t pull the Detroit native into the fold.  Still, adding Carde to the mix is a nice win for Wells.

It came on the same day that LB Krishon Merriweather, one of the top JUCO inside LBs in the nation gave a verbal pledge to the Red Raiders.  Now, the Red Raiders head into the early signing widow for high school recruits with the majority of the 2020 class in place.

Tech has 20 players committed thus far and most are expected to sing this week.  That’s a huge change from last year when Matt Wells had to put in extra work after the December window to finish his class after being hired at Tech less than a month before high school prospects could sign.

Currently, the Red Raiders have the No. 7 class in the Big 12 and the No. 43 class in the nation.  That’s an improvement of almost 20 spots from where the 2019 class finished.  Still, Wells needs to continue to add more pieces along both the offensive and defensive lines, perhaps another running back, and some help in the secondary.

It is believed that Wells will sign a class nearing the 25-player threshold after inking just 19 in his first class with the Red Raiders.  And don’t be surprised to see the majority of those remaining spots go to JUCO and grad transfer prospects as this is a roster that needs immediate help.  It’s already been a busy week for the Red Raiders on the recruiting front and adding Carde was a nice win for the program.