Poor recruiting at the end of the Wells era has left Texas Tech with a talent deficiency
When we take a look at this week’s depth chart for the Houston game, 12 of the listed starters were brought into the program by the Matt Wells coaching staff. It would be 13 if Shough were not injured.
So why would we all assume that a roster built on the back of players brought in by the worst coach in the modern era of the program would be able to compete for a Big 12 title? While McGuire seemed to wave a bit of a magic wand last year and get the most out of a roster full of Wells’ players, the reality is that talent acquisition was what Wells was worst at so it would stand to reason that a roster depending on his players to play half of the starting positions would still be lacking.
Don’t forget that in the three recruiting classes Wells brought in (2019-21), Tech was ranked 65th, 47th, and 55th respectively by 247Sports.com. Recruiting classes of that caliber just are not going to form the foundation of a championship contender.
What’s more, in those three classes, Tech had a total of two high school 4-star signees. Two! In the class of 2023 alone, McGuire signed five.
Because of the failures that Wells had on the recruiting trail, many of McGuire’s signees are already being pushed into action despite being underclassmen. Players such as DE Joseph Adedire, DL E’Maurion Banks, OLB Dylan Spencer, LBs Ben Roberts, and Miquel Dingle, and DBs, Brenden Jordan, Jordan Sanford, and Maurion Horn are all appearing on the Red Raider depth chart and being asked to play meaningful snaps.
While this team came into the year old and experienced at the starting spots, the depth of the team was extremely green. That’s because the 2019 and 2020 classes produced only eight current players who are either starting or contributing in significant ways.
We should have known that it would take more than two years for McGuire to disinfect this program from the residue left behind by his predecessor. However, because McGuire seemed to be able to turn chicken spit into chicken salad last year, we assumed he’d be able to do so again in 2023. However, the mess that Wells left behind will take another year or two to fully flush through the Red Raiders’ system.