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January 18, 2014

JUCO DL is No. 27 for Texas Tech

MORE: Will Thorpe still take his scheduled visit to UCF?  

Texas Tech continued its run of JUCO recruiting success on Saturday with the commitment of Highlands (Kan.) Highland C.C. defensive lineman Brandon Thorpe.

The 6-foot-5, 275-pound prospect made the call during his official visit to the South Plains.

"Before I was just going off of what Coach John Scott Jr. was telling me aboput the program and everything," Thorpe said. "Once I got here and started taking my visit, I really liked it and how everything was going. Just talking to them about the defense, everything that they need on the d-line, where I'll be playing, my position and everything. I liked everything I heard and I bought into it."

Thorpe shared the news with Scott during dinner with all of the program's coaches and other visitors.

"(Scott) was ecstatic," Thorpe said. "He said it made his night. We were all at a dinner, all the coaches were there."

Thorpe, a native of Tucker, Ga., said that Scott played a big role in his decision to become a Red Raider.

"Really, through the whole recruiting process, Coach Scott was the most consistent coach," he said. "He talked to me every week, stayed on top of everything, always checking on me. I'm not saying the other coaches didn't do the same but I would say that Coach Scott was the most consistent one and always let me know that they really wanted me to be a part of their program."

With Tech losing several defensive linemen off of its 2013 football team to graduation, Thorpe knows that the program needs him to come in and play right away.

"Expectations are high," he said. "I know they're losing their main d-lineman -- No. 91, Kerry (Hyder) -- and they're really hoping that I can somewhat fill the position that he played. I've got some big shoes to fill in terms of expectations."

Thorpe won't have to meet all of those expectations by himself. The Red Raiders also have commitments from three other junior college defensive linemen: Keland McElrath, Rika Levi and Highlands teammate Marcus Smith. Smith was one of the first people that Thorpe told about his commitment.

"We are both excited about it," Thorpe said. "We had a good year up there and I feel like we can do the same down here. Really, we're both excited about it. I think that was also one of the reasons I committed because I know I'll be playing with someone I know on the d-line."

Thorpe will have two years left to play for Tech. He chose the Red Raiders over offers from North Texas, South Florida, UCF and others.



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