3. Tahj Brooks is giving it one last ride
Like Dominic Toretto said in Furious 7, "One Last Ride". That is what Tahj Brooks is doing for 2024. Finishing third in the country in rushing after the Independence Bowl, Brooks sent shockwaves through Lubbock when he announced he would be returning for a fifth season. Based on how this season turned out with him leading the offense with Morton banged up most of the year, most expected him to declare for the NFL Draft. Brooks went full Jordan Belfort when he made the decision.
Not only is the transfer portal giving the starting quarterback more weapons to throw to, but the main man of the offense is not going anywhere. While Brooks deciding to come back could be risky if he gets hurt, the fact he could become the school's all-time leading rusher and improve his draft stock was too tempting. Currently Brooks is seventh on Tech's all-time rushing list with 3,056 career yards. Byron Hanspard holds the top spot with 4,135 yards. This season Brooks finished with 1,542 yards, meaning if puts together a season, just as good as this one, he will be at the top of the list.
While the NFL is tempting for any young player, NIL money talks too in the modern college football era. Brooks can still make money before he goes pro and work his way up to being a high draft pick. Tech has other young backs like Bryson Donnell and Anquan Willis who will benefit from another year of learning behind Brooks as Brooks did behind SaRodorick Thompson. Having Brooks play one more year will do nothing but help take Zach Kittley's offense to a higher level.