Texas Tech football: 5 potential game-changing signees in 2024 class

Sep 16, 2023; Lubbock, Texas, USA;  A Texas Tech Red Raiders helmet on the bench during the game
Sep 16, 2023; Lubbock, Texas, USA; A Texas Tech Red Raiders helmet on the bench during the game / Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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JUCO tackle Maurice Rodrigues is likely to start immediately for Texas Tech

Back to the offensive line, let's look at a JUCO impact player who signed on Wednesday, Maurice Rodrigues. That's because he's a player who will likely start immedately for the Red Raiders.

Though Tech has leaned heavily into the portal to rebuild the offensive line after seeing four 2024 starters depart either through graduation or transfer, the JUCO ranks are a place to find immediate help as well and Rodrigues is expected to jump right in at one of the tackle positions next fall.

The good thing about a JUCO offensive linemen is that they often have the size to play at the Big 12 level. That's true of Rodrigues who is 6-foot-7, 320 pounds.

However, JUCO players are often raw and need plenty of quality coaching when it comes to technique. That is rumored to also be the case with Rodrigues.

Still, this is a player with offers from programs such as Florida, Southern Cal, Georgia, and UCLA. Those are programs that Texas Tech doesn't beat on the recruiting trail with much regularity. However, Joey McGuire is changing that narrative in a hurry.

Tech has brought in three new starters along the line via the portal in the past week. Now, Rodrigues joins the group of expected new starters as the Red Raiders will have no returning starters along the line manning the position they played in 2023 in Lubbock.

That's likely a good turn of events because this season's line was lacking in quality and was arguably the weakest link on the team. Rodrigues will likely be an upgrade at that position, especially if he can refine his skills under the tutelage of O-line coach Stephen Hamby.

This commitment was only announced on Wednesday but Rodrigues is technically part of the 2024 National Signing Day haul that Tech will tout. He could also be one of the most important players the program will add this offseason.