Notebook: New offer, Tech FB adds transfer, and more...
The Tech coaching staffs enjoyed a busy past couple days on the recruiting trail this past couple weeks. We recap the new running back offer (and what it means), a look at Tech's recent WR addition, and much more in this week's notebook.
Louisiana RB picks up Texas Tech offer
Texas Tech extended an offer to then Tulane-commit Garland Lafrance this past weekend. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound running back announced the offer via Twitter.
Lafrance announced his "official offer" from Texas Tech on Tuesday.
Notes on the offer:
-It is no secret that fellow Louisiana RB Devin Brumfield is the top RB target for the Red Raiders and has been for some time. Due to the nature of each running back (one is a 200-pound power runner, the other is a 175-pound scat back), we do not expect an offer to Lafrance to be an indicator of where things stand with Brumfield.
In fact, the offer should be seen as a clear indicator of how Tech views their status with Brumfield and are now moving onto Lafrance as a potential second RB addition.
-At the start of the 2018 class, taking two RBs seemed like a foregone conclusion. After moving along in these past few months, the coaches seemed to scale back on the two RB philosophy. The offer to Lafrance should be seen as an indicator of going back to taking two RBs this year.
-Tech has been in contact with Lafrance for a few months now, so the offer isn't a "Let's throw out an offer to get his attention" but instead comes from months of relationship-building and scouting.
-Lafrance had been committed to Tulane for almost a month when Tech offered. He announced his decommitment from the Green Wave just a couple days after receiving the Tech offer. Are the two related? Potentially...
-Lafrance split carries his junior season but was still able to rack up 588 yards rushing and six touchdowns.
Florida DT has Tech in Top-10
Long-time Florida defensive tackle target Jordan Redmond announced his Top-10 list of schools on Monday and Texas Tech made the cut.
Redmond was one of Jamison's first offers on the defensive line since Jamison took the job a few months ago. Jamison had a close relationship with Redmond due to his time recruiting the DT while he was at Florida Atlantic. That built in relationship is what allowed Tech to land in Redmond's Top-10 among some other top programs. Scheduling an official visit will go a long way in how much ground Tech makes up in Redmond's recruitment.
Recruiting Redemption: 2015 class
After ending the 2013 season with a bang, Kingsbury and staff dove head first in recruiting the big names for the 2015 class. Four-stars Jarrett Stidham, Jojo Wicker, Carlos Strickland, Tyron Johnson, and various others were high on Tech's recruiting board as the coaches were looking to land the big fish for the 2015 class. With wanting to "shoot for the stars," inevitably comes some overlooking/undervaluing players at certain positions.
Below are two players that, in hindsight, the Red Raiders should have taken in 2015 but Tech wound up looking elsewhere. Rarely do you get a second chance to land guys you missed the first time around, but once the players below hit the open transfer market, Tech quickly made up for their previous mistakes...
Recruiting Breakdown: After two big-time seasons at Rockwall (174 receptions, 2,821 yards and 30 touchdowns, 100 carries for 801 yards and 12 touchdowns in two seasons) Castille positioned himself as one of the top playmakers in Texas. Despite a stellar size to speed combination (clocked a 4.38 40 at one point) and the overall dominance at Rockwall, Castille finished his HS career with only three Power-5 offers (Oklahoma State, Kansas, and Washington) and would eventually go on to sign with SMU.
Tech connection: Like most receivers in the state, Castille would have loved to be a Red Raider due to their high-flying offense and throwing the ball 100 times a game. He attended several Tech camps throughout his high school career and made his interest in Texas Tech known. It would soon become clear to Castille that Tech was looking elsewhere and the interest faded.
What went wrong? When looking at Tech's 2015 signing class -- Jonathan Giles, Keke Coutee, Quan Shorts, JF Thomas, Donta Thompson, Tony Brown -- you can see how Tech might have overlooked Castille. I mean, at the time, you probably wouldn't have traded any of those guys for the three-star wide receiver. Looking back, though, you probably should have at least given Castille a closer look. Maybe give up on Tyron Johnson quicker? Maybe take Castille over the grade-risk JF Thomas?
Hindsight is always 20/20 but there should have been a place for a guy like Castille who went on to record 64 receptions for 681 yards and three touchdowns at SMU in two seasons, outpacing everyone in the 2015 class except Coutee and Giles.
Redemption: Two of Tech's 2015 inside receiver prospects have transferred -- Giles and Brown -- and with Castille growing weary at SMU...Tech wasn't going to miss out again on the opportunity to land the now-proven playmaker. He will sit out in 2017 and will assume a vital role in a thin inside receiver group for 2018 and 2019.
Recruiting Breakdown: Howard started out his playing career as QB but tore his ACL his sophomore season. He made the move to defensive line for his junior and senior seasons where he recorded back-to-back first team All-District selections including district MVP and All-State recognition his senior year. He received multiple low-level D1 offers and would go on to sign with North Texas.
Tech connection: Howard dominated at the 6A level just three hours away in San Angelo. Tech knew Howard existed and had several GAs get in contact with the recruit, however, any extended recruitment from position coaches never happened. He did come to Lubbock on an unofficial visit for the UT game and did meet the coaching staff but nothing much happened after that.
What went wrong? The Tech coaches were aware of Howard but really didn't give him any legitimate sniffs, for whatever reason. The coaches had their fair share of high-profile prospects on their radar -- Breiden Fehoko, Jojo Wicker, Arthur McGinnis, to name a few -- but also took some low-level two-stars such as Lonzell Gilmore and Broderick Washington. In the end, Tech signed 19 guys on NSD with only three being DL guys after taking four JUCO DL the year before. Did they have room for Howard? Yes. Did they deem him worthy of a spot? No. Looking back, Tech could have used a guy like the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Howard.
Redemption: Howard felt a little uneasy at North Texas and wanted to get closer to home. With Howard "looking around" Tech welcomed him with open arms, especially after landing his position coach at UNT, Kevin Patrick. Without having played a down yet, it is tough to say that the addition of Howard has paid off, but where would your confidence level in the DL be without him on board for this season? DL coach Terrance Jamison is on the record saying he will be a "Big-time contributor" and fellow DL Broderick Washington said that Howard "Is going to look like and All-American this year."
Around the Big 12
-Baylor added commits 17 and 18 this week when they landed three-star Katy OL Connor Galvin and three-star OLB/DE Austin Ogunbanjo.
-TCU added commits 16 and 17 this past week in three-star Louisiana defensive back Derius Davis and four-star Texas athlete Taye Barber.
-Texas added commit No. 15 this week in Arizona Western C.C. four-star tight end Dominick Anderson. Anderson chose UT over offers from Alabama, Auburn, and Oregon among others.