In a move that came as a bit of a surprise to those who closely follow Texas Tech football recruiting, on Wednesday the Red Raiders saw their top transfer defensive back target, Allie Green, commit to Missouri after being a heavy Red Raider lean for several weeks.
A 6-foot-3, 210-pound corner who has one year of eligibility remaining after playing four years at Tulsa, Green is believed to be a likely NFL Draft pick next spring. He would have been a walk-in starter for the Red Raiders who have brought in a handful of transfers to retool the secondary this offseason.
In his career, he has racked up 116 tackles and ten pass defenses with one career interception to his credit. Now, he will be doing battle with receivers in the SEC with the Tigers where his former position coach at Tulsa is now employed.
Fortunately, the Red Raiders remain in solid shape at the position of cornerback. And that’s thanks to the transfer portal.
Senior Adrian Frye, who quite often drew the task of checking the opposition’s best receiver in 2020, has been a Red Raider for his entire career but most of the other defensive backs that he will be playing beside are new to the program.
Malik Dunlap has arrived from N.C. State. There he was credited with 41 tackles and 13 pass breakups. He has 10 career starts to his credit and though he missed spring practice with an injury, he will almost certainly be a factor in the Red Raider defensive backfield this fall.
6-foot-2, 190-pound Rayshad Williams did participate in spring ball and was impressive. Prior to transferring to Tech from UCLA, he made 22 starts and racked up 42 tackles.
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That duo gives Tech two physical and large corners to man the side of the field opposite of Fields. Or, both may start at the outside corner positions allowing fields to play in the slot.
In addition to cornerback, the Red Raiders added two safeties who will play pivotal roles for the 2021 team. Marquis “Muddy” Waters comes to the Hub City from Duke where he started 35 games and amassed 234 tackles. He will almost certainly start next to Eric Monroe (a 2020 transfer) to give Tech a pair of solid seniors at the safety position.
Also, Wisconsin transfer Reggie Pearson will be in the fold for playing time this fall. He has 65 career tackles and four pass defenses to his credit despite playing only one season for the Badgers.
Still, adding a player of Green’s talents would have been a major coup for Matt Wells and Co. That’s because, in the world of the Big 12, no team can have too many quality pieces in the secondary.
Last year, the Red Raiders were just No. 101 in the nation against the pass as they allowed an average of 258.5 yards per game through the air. While that number is far from stellar, it was an improvement over 2019 when the Red Raiders finished the year 128th against the pass by surrendering 307.8 yards per game.
This year’s defense is banking on the transfer portal to try to bring the secondary up to par. But while there’s reason to believe that the pieces defensive coordinator Keith Patterson will have to work with are good enough to hold their own, Tech would have been in even better shape had Allie Green decided to join the program.