LUBBOCK — J.J. Gaines always knew he would probably play for a team he grew up watching.
That dream became a reality late Thursday when the Irving Nimitz wide receiver/cornerback verbally committed to Texas Tech and became the 21st member of the 2011 class for head coach Tommy Tuberville.
"I committed to Texas Tech," Gaines told Scout.com's Erin Hartigan. "I knew I was going to go to Tech during Bowl Week when I went to watch them practice."
Gaines was the leading receiver for Nimitz, which made the playoffs for the second consecutive season, catching 56 passes for 823 yards and 11 touchdowns.
He showcases speed and athleticism on both sides of the ball, evident in Nimitz's playoff loss to Duncanville this season. Gaines played every snap on offense and defense and also served as the team's primary kick returner. He had five catches for 60 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.
Gaines visited practices leading up to bowl week and also took visits to Lubbock during the fall. He is expected to make another visit with a large group later in January.