Texas Tech football: Red Raiders miss out on one of their top 2021 targets

The Texas Tech football program has not made the cut for 2021 DE/OLB Landyn Watson who was one of the Red Raiders’ top targets in the current class.

Though Matt Wells and the Texas Tech football program have been making some serious headway on the recruiting front in the last two months, the news isn’t all positive.  On Wednesday, the program’s top defensive target, DE/OLB Landyn Watson from Hutto, Texas, announced his top six schools and Tech was not on the list.

This came as quite a surprise given the fact that the 6-foot-3, 235-pounder has made numerous visits to Lubbock in the past few months and has been extremely active on social media when discussing the Red Raiders.  Most recently, he was on hand for the March 7th junior day recruiting event in Lubbock and at that time, it seemed as though Tech was in great shape.

What we also thought might work in the Red Raiders’ favor is that Watson is close with current Tech RB Chux Nwabuko, a sophomore who walked on last season and was used primarily as a kick returner.  However, as is often the case on the recruiting trail, we misread the tea leaves in this battle.

For what it’s worth, Watson lists TCU, Virginia Tech, Arizona State, Tennessee, Cal, and Arkansas as his top six schools.  Of course, plenty could change between now and when he signs but this is a disappointing turn because Watson is the caliber of defensive player that the Red Raiders must start to land more frequently than they have been able to in recent years.

A 4-star prospect, he’s the No. 19 weakside defensive end in the nation and the No. 49 player in Texas according to 247Sports.   Other schools to extend offers are Baylor, Penn State, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Washington, among others.

In the never-ending pursuit of quality pass rushers, Tech now has to look elsewhere.  But when looking at the eight other weakside defensive ends shown by 247Sports to hold a Texas Tech offer, the only one with any star raking who has not already committed elsewhere is Austin Booker, a 3-star prospect from Indiana who picked up an offer from Tech in early March.

The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder also has an impressive offer list.  In addition to Tech, schools such as Michigan State, Ole Miss, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon, Purdue, Nebraska, West Virginia, and dozens of other Power 5 programs have thrown their hat in the ring for Booker.

Next: The all-decade Texas Tech defensive line

The lesson we learn once again is that finding pass rushers may be the most difficult task on the recruiting trail because every program in the nation is trying to hoard as many as possible and players who can get after the QB with regularity are in short supply. Now, it appears that Tech will have to turn its attention to other prospects after surprisingly being left off of Landyn Watson’s top 6 list.

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