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September 19, 2013

Five to Watch: Two-stars

In this week's big-picture look at Texas Tech football recruiting, we look back at the program's top five two-star signees since 2002.

DB Cody Davis: Davis wasn't highly-ranked coming out of Stephenville, but his offer list didn't scream two-star. He had offers from Baylor, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and Vanderbilt -- to name a few -- and was also receiving interest from Alabama. Davis committed to Texas Tech in May of his junior year and shut down his recruitment from there. He redshirted in 2008 but emerged as a full-time starter as a redshirt freshman and went on to start 49 contests as a Red Raider. Davis finished his career with 362 tackles, which ranks eighth in school history.

WR Joel Filani: The Phoenix (Ariz.) Paradise Valley product committed to Texas Tech over an offer from Washington State. Rivals.com had Filani ranked last, No. 115, in its wide receiver position rankings for the 2002 class. He redshirted in 2002 and played sparingly as a redshirt freshman and sophomore. Filani's performance in the 2004 Holiday Bowl served as his coming out party, as he exploded for five catches for 144 yards and a touchdown against No. 4 Cal. Filani caught 155 passes for 2,348 yards and 21 touchdowns over the next two seasons -- setting records for single-game (255) and single-season (1,300) yardage in the process -- and was a two-time first-team All-Big 12 selection.

WR Jarrett Hicks: Hicks was considered a Purdue lean during his recruitment but was turned off after the Boilermakers landed a handful of wide receiver commitments. He visited Texas Tech in mid-December and signed with the program the following February. Hicks quickly developed into the team's No. 1 receiving option as a sophomore, catching 76 passes for 1,177 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2004. His numbers dipped during his junior season -- 65 catches for 850 yards and 10 scores -- but they were still good enough for him to be named first-team All-Big 12 for the second-consecutive season. An academic issue and a suspension limited Hicks' 2006 campaign to just five games. When Hicks finished his career, he ranked fifth in school history in career receptions (198), fourth in yardage (2,859) and first in touchdowns (30).

DB Dwayne Slay: Slay's inclusion is based solely on the strength of his 2005 campaign, for which he was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. He was one of four Reedley C.C. products signed by the Red Raiders in 2004 and by far was the least heralded. Slay was mainly a special teams contributor in 2004 but emerged as a monster in 2005. Slay forced a Big 12 record eight fumbles in 2005 and delivered memorable hit after memorable hit.

DL Brandon Williams: Texas Tech signed eight defensive linemen in its 2006 class and Williams was one of the lowest-ranked and least talked about among the group. He committed to the Red Raiders in December of his senior year over offers from Colorado, Iowa State, SMU and UCF. While Williams wasn't a headliner on National Signing Day, he played right away as a true freshman. He earned second-team All-Big 12 honors as a sophomore, but it wasn't until his junior season that he really emerged Williams led the Big 12 in sacks (13) that year and was a first-team All-Big 12 selection. He opted to forfeit his final season of eligibility and entered the 2009 NFL Draft. Williams's 22.5 career sacks ranks fourth in school history.

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