Texas Tech football: TCU decommit would be perfect fit for Red Raiders’ 2020 class

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 28: Quarterback Jett Duffey #7 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders scrambles against the Oklahoma Sooners at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 28, 2019 in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners defeated the Red Raiders 55-16. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 28: Quarterback Jett Duffey #7 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders scrambles against the Oklahoma Sooners at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 28, 2019 in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners defeated the Red Raiders 55-16. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images) /
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The Texas Tech football program needs to try to land 3-star offensive lineman Tyler Bailey, who recently decomitted from TCU because he would fill a significant need in the 2020 recruiting class.

One of the weaknesses of the 2020 Texas Tech recruiting class is the offensive line.  That’s why the program should put the full-court press on Tyler Bailey, a 3-star OL who just decomitted from TCU.

He committed to the Horned Frogs in June but announced via Twitter on Friday that he was opening his recruitment back up.  That’s odd timing given that Friday was the end of the early signing window for football recruits meaning that his options are more limited now that 80% of the nation’s prospects have signed.

Bailey’s referencing of coaching changes in Fort Worth is interesting because at the time this was written, I could find no corresponding news.  But many have long believed that a shakeup was coming to Gary Patterson’s staff, especially on offense, after a 5-7 season.  Of course, Red Raider fans are particularly interested in the fate of former Tech QB and offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie, the current TCU OC who has been much-maligned by TCU fans in recent years.

One report is at least suggesting that that change could be at offensive line coach where Chris Thomsen might be headed to Florida State.  The same report, from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, also says that Bailey is recovering from a shoulder injury.

Currently, the Red Raiders have only three offensive linemen in the 2020 recruiting class.  That means there should be room for at least two more and finding a high school prospect (which is always more preferable than a JUCO or grad transfer because he has four years in the program) of Bailey’s caliber at this point in the recruiting cycle is unlikely.

The 6-foot-4, 280-pound native of Edinburg, Texas is rated by 247Sports as the No. 16 center in the nation and the No. 94 player in Texas.  In addition to TCU and Tech, he has offers from such programs as Houston, LSU, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Oregon, and USC.

But remember, with the close of this week’s early signing period, most programs have already filled the majority of their available spots meaning that Tech could be in an advantageous position because there are still plenty of open scholarships for Matt Wells and Co. to hand out.

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Replenishing the offensive line depth is a must this year.  After the Red Raiders took only two linemen in the class of 2019, this year’s class is almost guaranteed to feature at least five big men.  That likely means multiple JUCO or grand transfers so that there are more players to compete for the three open starting spots left vacant by the graduation of Terence Steele, Madison Akamnou, and Travis Bruffy.

Of the current linemen that Tech has signed in 2020, only massive JUCO tackle Ethan Carde (6-foot-8, 325-pounds) figures to be a potential starter this fall.  The other signees are 3-star prospects Larry Moore Caleb Rogers, both of whom likely need time to add weight before playing key roles.

That would probably apply to Bailey as well, especially if his shoulder injury is serious enough to require a significant rehab period.  And if he wants to remain at center, he will have plenty of time to develop because Tech has junior-to-be Dawson Deaton set to return after a solid first season at center.

Of course, the listing as a center is just what 247Sports projects him as at the college level.  In fact, he has spent most of his high school career at tackle.

The Red Raiders just signed 19 players this week to put 85% of the 2020 class to bed.  Currently, that class sits at No. 45 nationally and No. 7 in the Big 12.

But there remains plenty of work to do because this class is incomplete at key positions, including defensive back and both lines of scrimmage.  Adding a player of Tyler Bailey’s caliber would be a great way to help round out a recruiting haul that will go a long way toward determining Matt Wells’ fate in Lubbock.