Texas Tech received a late-night commitment Friday night to help boost their defensive line next season. Former Rice defensive tackle De'Braylon Carroll announced his decision to commit to the Red Raiders just one day after entering his name in the transfer portal. He has one year of eligibility remaining.
Carroll immediately received a lot of attention from other programs when he entered the portal. Nearby Houston, North Texas, Texas Tech, Utah State and Northwestern all offered Carroll after he put his name in the portal. Ultimately, he quickly chose Tech over all those other offers.
Carroll played high school football at Duncanville and began his career at Rice in 2019. He immediately saw action, playing in 12 games his freshman year and being named the top rookie in his class. In 2020 he became a starter and finished with the second-most tackles on the defensive line, racking up 21.
His career took a bad turn the next year when he suffered an injury during the summer. This came after he had been named to Athlon Sports' All-Conference USA's preseason second team. His presence was missed as the Owls won just four games that season.
Carroll's last two seasons have been his best so far. He returned in 2022 to start all 12 games and finished with a then career-high 4.5 tackles for loss. Rice improved by going 5-7 and actually making a bowl game, only to fall to Southern Miss in the Lending Tree Bowl 38-24.
The 2023 season was a high point for Carroll and the Rice Owls in recent years. He was the highest-rated defender according to Pro Football Focus with a grade of 80.7. He had his best career numbers in every statistic. He finished the year with 47 total tackles, nine for losses, 3.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. The Owls improved by one game finishing 6-6, but lost to Texas State in the First Responder Bowl.
What stands out about Carroll is not only his run-stopping ability but also his pass rush. It is not often a defensive tackle is capable of doing both, considering where they usually are on the field. Tech is losing Tony Bradford, Jaylon Hutchings, and Myles Cole up front so landing Carroll with definitely help fill a need in the middle. He also brings in years of experience. With young guys like Amier Washington looking to take the next step, having a super senior on the line helps a lot.