The 2024 Texas Tech football team is going to have some big holes to fill. The departure of several key players, especially on defense, will force the Red Raiders to rely on some young players to log important minutes.
Departing players such as safeties Dadrion Taylor-Demerson and Tyler Owens, defensive tackles Tony Bradford Jr. and Jaylon Hutchings, and defensive ends Myles Cole and Steve Linton will all create opportunities for younger players to step up. So let's take a look at the three returning freshmen who need to be elite in 2024 if Texas Tech is going to contend for a conference title.
Amier Washington has to be one of Texas Tech's pass-rush threats
With Bradford, Hutchings, Cole, and Linton all off the roster, the Red Raiders need some young pass rushers to make up for their production on the defensive line. After all, that foursome registered 141 tackles and 14 sacks a season ago.
What's more, Tech has yet to really add a pass-rush specialist via the portal. Therefore, young players are going to have to come through.
One such player is Amier Washington, who burst onto the scene in the Red Raiders' Independence Bowl victory over California. That night, the redshirt freshman had three sacks and a forced fumble in his first real action as a defensive end after spending most of his time as a Red Raider at defensive tackle.
That was only the second appearance he had made on the season. However, what he showed in Shreveport, Louisiana has Texas Tech fans excited.
The question, though, is whether or not he can be a consistently disruptive player on a weekly basis or whether what we saw against Cal was just a blip on the radar. Tech will also have young players such as Josep Adedire, Cole Spencer, and Isaac Smith vying to earn jobs as defensive ends next season. From that group, multiple players must emerge as threats to the QB and Washington has to be one of the top performers off the edge.