The Texas Tech football program received some great news on Tuesday when Alabama grad transfer Chadarius Townsend committed to the Red Raiders.
One of the 2020 Texas Tech football team’s biggest weaknesses might have been strengthened on Tuesday. That’s because Matt Wells’ program received a commitment from versatile Alabama grad transfer Chadarius Townsend, who will be a running back in Lubbock.
A former four-star recruit in the 247Sports composite rankings back in 2017, the Tanner, Alabama native was recruited as a receiver. Coming out of high school, he chose Alabama over Auburn and Florida.
But once he arrived in Tuscaloosa, it seemed as if he couldn’t quite find a home. Townsend played some at wide receiver, running back and defensive back this past season alone. But his 24 yards on six carries were all the stats he would accumulate.
However, he will likely receive many more opportunities to handle the football in Lubbock. The Red Raiders are perilously thin at running back with sophomore SaRodorick Thompson the only scholarship RB on the roster to have carried the ball in a college game.
The only other scholarship player Tech has at that position is true freshman Tahj Brooks, who is a 3-star signee out of Manor, Texas. He too figures to be a heavy part of what the Red Raiders look to do in the backfield this season.
Still, we learned last year that even three running backs may not be enough over the course of a season. That’s because Tech saw both grad transfer Armand Shyne and sophomore Ta’Zhawn Henry miss multiple games due to injury.
That led to Thompson having to play every snap of the Kansas State game despite playing through a sprained ankle himself. That night, he carried the ball 21 times for 84 yards and a TD while catching seven passes for 28 more yards in one of the gutsiest performances of the year.
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But that’s not what Matt Wells wants to ever happen again. Thus, we knew that adding help at RB would be one of this offseason’s main goals.
Now, it appears that task has been accomplished. And the good news is that Townsend has two years of eligibility remaining.
At 6-feet, 195-pounds, he will need to add some weight to his frame to survive a full season at RB where contact is a guarantee on just about every play. However, he could also be the perfect complement to Thompson and Brooks.
Neither of the other two Red Raider RBs is known as a burner. Rather, both are the type of player that can bang away between the tackles to pick up tough yards (although we have seen Thompson break off some big runs in his career).
Still, Townsend is more of a speedster who ran a 4.40 in the 40-yard dash in high school according to his 247Sports profile page. That’s the type of juice that the Red Raider offense needed more of last season, especially in the backfield.
This will be the second-straight year that Tech has brought a grad transfer RB into the program. And that’s been a must given how poorly the program has recruited at that position in recent years.
Since 2017, the following RBs have left the program prior to exhausting their eligibility: Da’Leon Ward, Bryson Denley, Desmond Nisby, and Henry. Thus, Tech has added just once player (Thompson) who looks to be a long-term contributor at that position in the last four recruiting cycles.
Now that Townsend has found a home in Lubbock and at RB for the Red Raiders, hopefully his career will start to take off. Fortunately for him, he immediately becomes integral to his new team’s success, which was never the case with the Tide where he was a positional vagabond.