June 1, 2021, has to feel almost like Christmas morning for college football coaches around the nation. That’s because it is the day when the recruiting dead period that stretched all the way back to March of 2020 comes to an end. Thus, coaches are once again free to host recruits for official on-campus visits. And on the first day that prospects could check out potential schools an impact defender was in Lubbock to get a look at the Texas Tech football program.
According to his Twitter account, Texarkana outside LB Derrick Brown was on campus Tuesday to tour the Red Raiders’ facilities and get to know what Lubbock has in store. This is a potentially massive development for Matt Wells and his staff.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder is rated by 247Sports as the No. 20 edge rusher in the class of 2022 and the No. 64 player in Texas. In addition to Texas Tech, the composite 4-star recruit holds offers from the likes of Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Arizona State, Baylor, Florida State, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Penn State, TCU, and several other schools.
Last season, Brown amassed 67 tackles (20 for loss) and six sacks. And should he come to Texas Tech, he might be able to make an immediate impact.
Keep in mind that Tech is set to lose a host of linebackers after this season including middle LB Colin Schooler as well as outside LBs Riko Jeffers, Jacob Morgenstern, and Brandon Randle. Thus, finding some suitable replacements for those productive players will be one of this recruiting cycle’s biggest challenges.
Of course, we can expect Tech to fully explore the transfer market at linebacker next offseason. That’s how Wells and Co. landed Schooler, Morgenstern, and Randle as well as sophomore Jesiah Pierre from Florida.
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But when it has come to the high school ranks, Tech has not landed a ton of quality at the LB position. For instance, in the class of 2021, the program did not add a single LB from the high school or JUCO ranks. And of the five LBs that Tech signed in Wells’ first two recruiting classes, only middle LB Krishon Merriweather has yet proven to be an impact player. Last season, his first as a Red Raider, the JUCO transfer led the team with 75 tackles.
It will be imperative that Wells and defensive coordinator Keith Patterson find a way to replenish the linebacking stores prior to the start of the 2022 season. Adding Brown would be a great start in that regard.
Getting him on campus is a huge step in that process. And the reopening of the dead period has to be a huge boost to Texas Tech’s overall recruiting efforts.
Currently, the program has no players committed for 2022 and many theorize that the inability to host recruits in an official capacity for over a year has been a huge reason for the amazingly slow start to this recruiting cycle. In a normal year, the football program would have hosted a junior day event in January and would have had a ton of recruits on campus to observe spring football practices. Those are key opportunities for recruits to come to Lubbock, many for the first time, and missing out on those recruiting events has hurt the Red Raiders’ efforts.
Fortunately, the coaching staff can now bring players to West Texas and put forth the Texas Tech football program’s best foot. Hopefully, that will yield immediate results, and hopefully, Derrick Brown and other top prospects like what they see when they spend a little time in Lubbock.