Wednesday, JUCO defensive back Kamal Hadden released his top seven schools and the Texas Tech football program made the cut.
The Texas Tech football program’s 2021 recruiting class is yet to include a defensive back. That’s not ideal for a program set to lose both starting safeties and a starting corner after this year.
Therefore, Matt Wells and his staff should be casting a rather wide net in order to bring in extra talent. One area where they appear to be looking for replacements is the JUCO ranks and on Wednesday, one of their top targets trimmed his list of suitors.
Kamal Hadden, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound defensive back from Independence Community College released his top seven schools on via Twitter and the Red Raiders made the cut. But the competition will be stiff with the likes of Auburn, West Virginia, Kentucky, Nebraska, Washington State, and Central Florida also still alive.
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In his first collegiate season this past fall, Hadden made 21 tackles, forced three fumbles, had eight pass breakups, and came down with one interception. And since then, his recruitment has picked up serious momentum.
Rated by 247Sports as a 3-star prospect, he’s the No. 5 corner in the nation and the No. 28 JUCO target overall. In other words, he would be a nice addition to a Red Raider secondary that will likely be looking for an influx of talent next offseason.
This fall, both safeties Eric Monroe and Ja’Marcus Ingram as well as corner Zech McPhearson will be seniors. The same can be said of backup safety Thomas Leggett.
While players like Da’Marcus Field, Adrian Frye, and Alex Hogan will be back for the 2021 season, the turnover along the last line of the defense is going to be significant. Therefore, it would be wise for Wells and Co. to add a full secondary class during the current recruiting cycle.
As has seemed to be the case with so many position groups on the roster in recent years, the number of signees in the secondary has been puzzlingly low lately.
Though Tech did sign five DBs in 2020, in 2019 the program added only two, Hogan and Dadrion Taylor, the latter a converted HS running back who saw time last season at corner. Even worse, in 2018 the Red Raiders did not sign one prospect at either corner or safety. Those two classes will form the backbone of the 2021 team but not the secondary.
It might figure to be logical for a program that has struggled as mightily against the pass as Tech has to invest heavily in rebuilding the secondary. Last year, the Red Raiders finished second-to-last in the nation against the pass by allowing over 288 yards per game through the air.
While fixing that problem will require an improved pass rush as well, making certain to stockpile quality defensive backs is mandatory for success in the pass-happy Big 12. Hopefully, Hadden will become one of the players that can help Tech’s rebuilding efforts in the secondary.