No program can have enough quality depth along the defensive line. That's why Texas Tech remains active in the pursuit of defensive linemen in the transfer portal despite having a nice collection of talent already on the roster. One new name to watch is Anthony "Tank" Booker Jr., a super-senior who most recently played for Arkansas and who has also played for Maryland.
Recently, Booker posted on X that he will be visiting Lubbock on January 3rd. He has already visited Baylor and now it appears that the Red Raiders will get their shot to land this veteran lineman.
At 6-foot-3 and 320 pounds, this could be a replacement for JUCO DT Danny Saili who flipped from Texas Tech to BYU just days before this month's National Signing Day.
This season, Booker appeared in 11 games making 19 tackles with two going for a loss. It was his only season with the Razorbacks after four years at Maryland.
With the Terrapins, he collected 47 stops, 8.5 tackles for loss, and 2.0 sacks from 2019-22. It is important to note that he did redshirt in 2019 after appearing in only two games. Thus, he has one year of eligibility remaining and he might use it at Texas Tech.
His best statistical season came in 2022 when he managed to amass 27 tackles and 2.0 sacks for Maryland. That year, he was even credited with a pass defense, though don't expect to see Booker lined up in the secondary any time soon.
Tech needs to add some help along the interior of the line after seeing Jaylon Hutchings and Tony Bradford Jr. both exhaust their eligibility this fall. What's more, the team elected not to sign a traditional defensive tackle in the 2024 high school class.
The Red Raiders aren't totally devoid of talent at that position though. E'Maurion "Dooda" Banks flashed signs of being ready to play a significant role this year as a sophomore who was credited with 15 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 2023 despite seeing limited snaps as a backup.
Meanwhile, Quincy Ledet Jr. came up with 20 tackles also in a reserve role. Also, Trevon McAlpine, a redshirt freshman from Alabama, made 11 tackles this season in spot duty.
However, adding a player like Booker would be nice for defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter. Booker's size would be a great asset to have, especially in a Big 12 that will feature some excellent running backs next season including Oklahoma State's Ollie Gordon, the nation's leading rusher this season. Tech will travel to Stillwater next season making it imperative that the run defense is locked in for that matchup.
Booker has been primarily a depth piece during his career. An Ohio native, he was a 3-star prospect coming out of high school with offers from Maryland, Cincinnati, Kansas, Indiana, Pitt, Kentucky, and others.
Now, he's looking for one more place to play and Lubbock could be his destination. His visit next week will be telling and could bring another big body to the Red Raider defensive line.