Sunday, the Texas Tech football team added UCLA defensive back, Rayshad Williams, to the roster as an undergraduate transfer.
We knew coming into the offseason that Texas Tech football head coach Matt Wells would jump into the transfer portal with both feet. Thus it should be no surprise that the embattled coach added five transfers to his program before the end of January.
The latest newcomer to join the Red Raiders is UCLA transfer Rayshad Williams, a 6-foot-3 defensive back. Part of the 2018 signing class for the Bruins, the Memphis, Tennessee native still has three years of eligibility remaining.
After redshirting in 2018, when he played in only four games, Williams made eight starts in 2019 when he came up with 33 tackles. This past year, he appeared in all six of the Bruins’ games registering nine tackles and a pass breakup.
Interestingly, this is the third defensive back that Tech has added through the transfer portal this offseason. And given that the Red Raiders will be losing DaMarcus Fields, Eric Monroe, and recent Duke transfer Marquis Waters to graduation after the 2021 season, it is imperative that the defensive backfield ranks be replenished.
While Waters will only be a Red Raider for one season, N.C. State transfer Malik Dunlap will also have three years to be part of the program giving Tech a pair of big corners to rely on moving forward. In the pass-happy Big 12, a team can never have too many quality defensive backs.
Remember, this offseason saw Tech lose senior corner Zech McPhearson (who is pursuing an NFL career, and sophomore Alex Hogan (who has transferred to Houston). Thus, the influx of transfers in the secondary was both expected and necessary.
This past year, the Texas Tech football team ranked 101st in the nation against the pass by allowing an average of 258.5 yards per game through the air. What’s more, the Red Raiders picked off just five passes in 2020, second-fewest in the Big 12. Making matters worse, all five of those picks came from McPhearson or Hogan.
While Williams is still waiting to collect his first career interception, he figures to be a solid addition. A former 3-star prospect, he was the No. 59 corner in the nation and the No. 20 player in the state of Tennessee as a high school senior. In addition to the Bruins, he held offers from the likes of Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Memphis, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Virginia, and Virginia Tech.
Now, Williams is headed to the South Plains as part of a cavalry of transfers that will be tasked with helping their new head coach save his job. While we don’t know if that group will be able to accomplish that task, we can be certain that their ranks are going to increase over the next few months as this coaching staff doubles down on the belief that the transfer portal is how to build a program.