Friday, linebacker Jesiah Pierre, a transfer from Florida, announced his commitment to the Texas Tech football program.
2021 got off to a nice start for the Texas Tech football program on Friday. That’s because the Red Raiders picked up a verbal commitment from Florida Gators’ linebacker Jesiah Pierre who is in the transfer portal.
Listed by ESPN.com as 6-foot-2 and 242 pounds, the Florida native racked up eight tackles this year as a redshirt freshman. And given that the NCAA is not counting 2020 against any player’s eligibility, Pierre still has four years of football left to be played as a collegiate.
Landing an impact transfer at the LB spot with multiple years of eligibility remaining is key for the Red Raiders. That’s because, after next season, the linebacking corp could be rather depleted in Lubbock.
In 2021, Tech will rely on senior LBs Riko Jeffers, Jacob Morgenstern, and Colin School to form the backbone of their defense (along with 2020 JUCO signee Krishon Merriweather). But once that trio of players has departed, there’s not a ton left in the pipeline for the Red Raiders.
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For instance, on Thursday, redshirt freshman Xavier Benson announced that he will be entering the transfer portal himself. Prior to sitting out this season due to mental health reasons, Benson was credited with 57 tackles in 2019.
Also making Tech’s LB situation precarious after the 2021 season is the fact that the program has not recruited all that well at the position in recent seasons. In the current 2021 signing class, there are no linebackers committed to the Red Raiders. What’s more, in 2020, the program added just one high school LB, Derrick Lewis, a 3-star prospect.
This season, five Texas Tech linebackers were amongst the top ten players on the roster in regards to tackles. None will be on the team past the 2022 season meaning that restocking that position for the future has to be a key pursuit in the next two offseasons.
It would be hard for Matt Wells and Co. to bring in a better solution than Pierre. After all, he has already spent three semesters developing in the strength and conditioning program of one of the top college football programs in the nation.
What’s more, his recruiting profile suggests that he’s got quite the pedigree. Rated a 3-star player in the class of 2019, he was the No. 49 outside LB in the nation that year. In addition to Florida, he had offers from the likes of Miami, Georgia, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Wake Forest, and others.
This development already gives Wells his third transfer of the offseason to go along with DBs Malik Dunlap of N.C. State and Marquis Waters of Duke. And we can be certain that he isn’t anywhere near finished. Let’s just hope that he can find some other targets with as much potential to impact that long-term future of the program as Pierre.