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February 6, 2013

National Signing Day is here!

FREE: 30-day trial to RRS Timeline: Tech's 2013 recruiting class NSD Predictions

National Signing Day is here! Over the course of the next 12-18 hours, prospects from across the country will sign with Texas Tech and officially join Kliff Kingsbury's Red Raider football program.

Tech's recruiting class begins the day ranked No. 59 in the country but that is sure to change as undecided prospects begin to make their college choices. The Red Raiders are waiting on several of those unknowns as well; Kingsbury's program is squarely in the mix for eight prospects that will announce their final decision today.

It does not matter if this is your first National Signing Day on RedRaiderSports.com or your tenth, our advice remains the same: Sit back, let us set the scene for today's events and then enjoy the ride.

STILL WAITING ON SEVERAL DECISIONS

Tech heads into the final day of the 2013 recruiting cycle waiting on the final decisions of six prospects: linebacker Jacarthy Mack, defensive lineman DeQuinton Osborne, offensive lineman Joshua Outlaw, wide receiver D.J. Polite-Bray, offensive lineman Poet Thomas and linebacker Edward Williams.

Three of these prospects -- Mack, Outlaw and Polite-Bray -- are teammates at Martin Luther King H.S. in Lithonia, Ga. The trio, dubbed the 'Georgia Three' by Red Raider fans, visited the South Plains last weekend and are thought to be heavily considering playing together in Lubbock. They will announce their decisions during a ceremony at their high school later this morning. RedRaiderSports.com will have a correspondent on the scene with live reports.

Williams, a former Texas A&M commit, is expected to decide between La. Tech, Tulane and Texas Tech. If he chooses the Red Raiders, Williams would be the second-highest ranked high school linebacker prospect to sign with the program in over a decade.

Thomas visited Lubbock two weeks ago and has largely gone silent since returning from his trip. The two-star prospect split time between the offensive and defensive lines in high school, but is projected to play offensive tackle in college. Thomas has an interesting offer list -- Florida jumped in on him early, as did Colorado and Kansas, but interest in the 6-foot-6, 295-pound prospect slowed as the summer turned to fall.

Osborne, a unanimous first-team all-district selection, visited the South Plains in mid-January after late interest from the Red Raiders. The 6-foot, 300-pound prospect was a bit of a late-bloomer and didn't hit the recruiting radar until after a 2012 season that saw him log 54 tackles, eight tackles for loss and four sacks.

RAIDERS REBOUND FROM TRANSITION

Three weeks ago, Texas Tech's 2013 recruiting class consisted of 10 verbal commitments and was ranked behind those of Temple, Western Kentucky and Hawaii.

This was the lowest point in the cycle for the Red Raiders. The program's recruiting class was ranked in the top 40 nationally entering December, but the sudden and unexpected resignation of Tommy Tuberville on Dec. 8 started a month-long process that would see Tech's class shrink dramatically from its one-time peak of 19 pledges.

All told, the Red Raiders lost or parted ways with 12 verbal pledges as a result of the program's transition from Tuberville to Kliff Kingsbury. Rivals250 wide receiver Devin Lauderdale was the first to decommit, but he was not the last. Will Barrow decommitted a few days later. JUCO linebacker Dakorey Johnson flipped to Kansas State days before the early signing period, and three days later five more JUCO commits -- Rodriguez Moore, Terrell Hartsfield, Jerrell Jordan, Darren Doston and Stormy Butler -- signed with Cincinnati. Florida running back Daryl Chestnut was the last to decommit in early January, and that departure was followed by the Red Raiders parting ways with Maurice Porter, Aneas Henricks and Jalen Rhodes.

From that low point in mid-January, Kingsbury and his staff rebounded in a big way. They secured the recommitment of Lauderdale, went into East Texas and landed Gary Moore, bolstered the team's depth chart with JUCO commitments at four need positions and landed five other promising high school prospects.

And things could get even better today as the Red Raiders are firmly in the mix for five more talented prospects.

OTHER NOTES

If Edward Williams chooses Texas Tech today, he will be the second-highest ranked high school linebacker prospect to ink with the Red Raiders in over a decade. The only former signee that ranked higher than Williams was Brandon Mahoney in the 2009 class.

This could mark the third-straight cycle, depending on what Williams does, in which Tech has not signed a prospect from the states of Louisiana or Oklahoma. Prior to 2011, the last time the Red Raiders didn't sign a player from either state was 2011. From 2002-10, Tech signed an average of 2.3 players per year combined from the Bayou and Sooner States.

Five of the Red Raiders' first seven commitments of the 2013 recruiting cycle will not sign with the program today. Tavares Garner (Texas A&M), Will Barrow (Tulsa), Jordan Sterns (Oklahoma State), Stormy Butler (Cincinnati) and Darren Doston (Cincinnati) were all Tech commits in May, but none of them will ink with the Red Raiders today.

Four of Tech's expected signees were committed to other programs at some point before choosing the Red Raiders: Jalen Barnes (Iowa State, Houston), Zach Barnes (Tennessee), Malik Jenkins (Washington State) and Dee Paul (SMU).

Six of Tech's 13 in-state high school signees are ranked by Rivals.com among the top 100 players in the state of Texas.

The Red Raiders could sign five offensive linemen today if Joshua Outlaw and Poet Thomas both opt for the Double T. The last time Tech signed five or more offensive linemen was 2007, when the program added seven.


REDRAIDERSPORTS.COM SIGNING DAY PREDICTIONS

Jacarthy
Mack

Zelt
Minor

DeQuinton
Osborne

Joshua
Outlaw

D.J.
Polite-Bray

Poet
Thomas

Edward
Williams



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