When Tommy Tuberville was hired in January as Texas Tech's football
coach, he and his staff knew that they had ground to make up with the 2011
class. The recruiting process is beginning earlier and earlier, and the Red
Raiders acknowledged the reality that they were at least six months behind most
of their conference peers.
"When we got here in January, as hard as it is to believe, we were already
behind for the guys in the class of 2011," offensive coordinator Neal Brown said
in June. "I think our guys have worked really, really hard to
get caught back up. We have had some tremendous gains and the commitments we
have, we're really proud of them."
In just seven months, Tuberville and his staff have put together what will likely go down as the best class in program history. Of Texas Tech's 18
verbal commitments, three are in the latest revision to the Rivals250: San Antonio (Texas) MacArthur tight end Jace Amaro
at No. 111, Arlington (Texas) Sam Houston
offensive lineman Tony Morales
at No. 171 and Pflugerville (Texas) running back
Kenny Williams at No. 217.
Amaro started off at No. 155 in the rankings earlier this summer, but increased
his stock with a strong showing at the Texas State 7-on-7 Tournament in July.
The fact that the 6-foot-5, 237-pound standout is heading into the season as a
borderline top 100 player is a testament to his ability and determination, as
his junior season ended after just four games due to a knee injury.
"It's a great honor and a great blessing. I never would have thought I'd be No.
111 last October," Amaro said. "Things happen for a reason, the injury happened
for a reason. God's been good to me and I think we have a good chance to make a
real good run this year -- I think we're picked to be a regional finalist.
Though Morales dropped three spots overall in Wednesday's update, he made his
debut at No. 1 in the offensive center position rankings. The 6-foot-4,
300-pound prospect was originally classified as an offensive guard, but is
projected to play center at the next level.
"Being the No. 1 center in the country is a privilege," Morales said. "I've got
to work hard. I want to try to move up into the Rivals100. I've got to keep
working hard during the season."
While this class has already accounted for more Rivals250 commits than any other
in Tech history at the same point in the process, it is also notable because of
how tight-knit this group has become in such a short period of time.
"It's the No. 1 class in Texas Tech history," Amaro said. "We're
going to be bringing in a lot of good guys. I talk to those guys almost every
day. It took me two years to get as close as I am with them with my teammates at
my school right now."
• Tech has signed multiple Rivals250 prospects just once before --
three in 2006. Only one of those signees ended up making it to campus: Michael Crabtree.
• The Red Raiders are fourth in the Big 12 in number of commits in the
initial Rivals250. Texas leads the way with 16, Oklahoma is second with
eight, Nebraska has five, Oklahoma State has two while Baylor and Missouri each have one.