The Texas Tech football team will begin spring football next week and after a strong 2019, these players are seeing their stock rise in the program.
As we continue to look at the state of the Texas Tech football program as Matt Wells’ second spring football session nears, we recently discussed how this is a roster devoid of superstars. But while the lack of a Pat Mahomes, Deandre Washington, Jordyn Brooks, or Michael Crabtree makes it tough for the program’s marketing department, it doesn’t mean that there is no hope for a rebound season in 2020.
After all, every superstar was once a player that was relatively unknown to fans and the national media alike. That’s where this roster seems to be as we head into spring ball.
Think about the fact that there just aren’t many seniors expected to play huge roles this fall. Tech will have a redshirt sophomore QB, underclassmen at two of the three receiver spots, no senior RB on the roster, and only two seniors on the defense (Eli Howard and Riko Jeffers) that the average fan would be able to name.
Rather, this is a team that is going to be heavily dependent on emerging players taking a step forward to become household names in West Texas. If that happens, we could be in for a nice and somewhat surprising 2020 season.
That’s why the coaching staff is going to be critically important. Fortunately, Wells has upgraded his assistant staff by bringing in two of the most highly-regarded coaches to change programs this fall.
Kevin Cosgrove arrives from LSU to coach linebackers. With over 20 years of experience as an assistant, Cosgrove was a defensive analyst for the 2019 national champion Tigers.
Meanwhile, Derek Jones is in place to coach the defensive backs, and given that DC Keith Patterson is set to coach safeties, we can assume that his focus will be on Tech’s corners. He spent the last 12 years at Duke in the same role where he developed several all-conference players and a handful of NFL Draft picks.
Each of those additions to the coaching staff has his work cut out for him. The linebacking corp will have to replace All-American Jordyn Brooks and will be relying heavily on Michigan State transfer Brandon Bouyer-Randle and JUCO addition Krishon Merriweather to be playmakers and Cosgrove has to get them up to speed in a hurry beginning with spring ball.
Meanwhile, Jones has to help a pass defense that ranked third-to-last in the nation last year figure out how to better compete with the elite receivers in the Big 12. That’s something this program has struggled to do for as long as most of us have been paying attention.
The good news is that we saw a number of players take steps forward in 2019 and now that their stock is on the rise, they are being considered key pieces of the puzzle. If some of the younger Red Raiders on this roster can develop this year as we saw the following players do a season ago, there will be hope for a brighter future.