Friday, the Texas Tech football team landed a commitment from JUCO linebacker Josh Davies-Balogun, who is a versatile defender.
Texas Tech football head coach Matt Wells’ efforts to rebuild his program’s defense took another step forward on Friday when he landed Josh Davies-Balogun, a JUCO outside LB/DE. He made his decision known on Twitter, because where else can any announcement of this ilk be made these days?
Listed by 247Sports as the No. 21 JUCO strongside DE in the nation, Balogun will likely play the “Raider” position, which is a hybrid LB/DE in Tech’s 3-3-5 defense. At 6-foot-3, 235-pounds, he is nowhere near big enough to play DE for Tech in a 3-man defensive line.
But he is built like a perfect “Raider” in Keith Patterson’s scheme. And he has the type of game that suggests he could man that spot as well.
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The Fort Bend, TX native amassed 53 tackles, 11 stops for loss, 7.5 sacks and two pass breakups in 10 games last season at Butler Community College. He plays on the edge of the defense, which is where Tech needs plenty of help as the pass rush has not been strong enough in recent seasons.
Selecting Tech over offers from Akron, Colorado State, Eastern Michigan, Kansas State, Middle Tennessee State, North Texas and Western Kentucky, Balogun is a 2020 recruit meaning he will arrive on campus this summer and could see the field this fall.
But right now, there is plenty of competition for playing time at the Raider position. Michigan State grad transfer Brandon Bouyer-Randle comes highly-regarded and will likely enter the fall as the presumed starter.
Also, don’t overlook 2019 JUCO transfer Kosi Eldridge who impressed the coaches last season as he appeared in 10 games, primarily on special teams. Sophomores Xavier Benson and Tyrique Matthews are also players that will be in the mix as both were backups last year and being as they have a year in the system, they start with an edge over Balogun.
The Red Raiders are trying to recover from a disastrous 2019 season on the defensive side of the ball. They finished just No. 127 out of 130 teams in the nation in total defense, No. 128 in passing yards allowed, and No. 91 in 3rd-down conversion defense.
What’s frightening is the fact that on top of those awful stats, Tech has to replace multi-year starters Jordyn Brooks, Broderick Washington, and Douglas Coleman, arguably the three best defensive players on last year’s team. While Balogun isn’t going to fix all of Tech’s woes himself, he could help with another huge problem the defense faces.
For too long the Red Raiders have struggled to field a defense with quality players in the two-deep at every position. That was especially true last season. Hopefully, the addition of players such as Balogun will start to correct that fatal flaw.