Considering the fact that Texas Tech's offense has been the most
consistent part of its football program over the last decade, one would think
that head coach Kliff Kingsbury
would point to that unit as the strength of his 2013 team. Instead, earlier this
year, the first-year coach noted that the Red Raiders' front-seven was in a
better situation than all other aspects of the team.
A big part of the success up front is defensive lineman Kerry Hyder. Not
only has he earned his stripes with 28 career starts, he's also considered a team leader.
Even though Delvon Simmons' recent departure doesn't impact Hyder's job
directly, the Red Raiders need him to come through more than ever on a line that
has the potential to be very solid in 2013.
The former Rivals.com three-star recruit from Austin's Lydon B. Johnson High
School has exceeded that ranking in his first three seasons as a Red Raider and
the upcoming season could be a special one in Matt Wallerstedt's 3-4
defense. As an end, Hyder has more responsibilities; rushing and containing the
edges with help from some talented outside linebackers.
But talented is the key word. As defensive ends themselves last season,
Pete Robertson and
Branden Jackson don't have any real game experience
at their new position and they're going to be key allies in run support.
You're looking for Hyder to aid, especially early on, in providing a challenge
at the first level for runners.
From a pass rushing standpoint, they don't get much better than the senior.
Hyder had 5.5 sacks and broke up four passing attempts while recording a team
third-best 56 tackles, 42 of them solo. Those stats don't include forcing the
quarterback to tuck and run or at least moving in the pocket.
The converted end's pass rushing skills will be greatly needed this season as
the Red Raiders break in a completely new secondary and he looks the part after
a breakout 2012 season.
Furthermore, losing the 6-foot-2, 281-pounder would be a bad thing.
Dartwan Bush and
Jackson Richards are the only other established defensive ends without having to make
major positional adjustments.
If Tech is to field a respectable defense this season, Hyder will be a big part
UP NEXT: No. 8 on our countdown has played every position in the secondary for the Red Raiders.