A consequence of signing one of the country's top recruiting classes is that your depth chart could experience a serious upheaval between early August when the blue chippers arrive, and the season-opener in early September. Extremely talented players have the potential to overcome lack of experience and make impacts early in their careers.
Tommy Tuberville and his coaching staff will be faced with this problem very shortly. It is, as they say, a nice problem to have.
In this series we will take a look at the incoming recruits most likely to see the field in 2011, try to project where they will fit in the depth chart, and what they will bring to the table for the Red Raiders in the upcoming season.
Texas Tech has some good talent and athleticism among its current defensive end corps. One thing it doesn't have, however, is a player who can go to the other side of the ball, split out, and play wide receiver. That will change when Desimon Green arrives.
Green, a six-foot-five 230-pound prospect from Clairton, Pennsylvania, actually lined up as a wide receiver in the Chesapeake Bowl high school all star game played on December 30. What's more, he led the North squad with six receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown despite never having played the position before.
Now obviously Green will not pose a threat to Darrin Moore in the offensive lineup, but with that sort of athleticism he could conceivably make an impact at defensive end as a true freshman.
Green is considered a bit of a raw prospect at this point, and he'll need to mature mentally as well as tone down the trash talking, but he is definitely a player who bears watching. Green was an absolute sack machine for Clairton, but playing at the class A level, he should have been. Playing against small school competition does not, however, detract from Green's obvious ability.
He is a sideline-to-sideline type player at defensive end, which is a bit unusual. He tracks ball carriers well, has a tremendous closing burst, and delivers a violent jolt when he arrives. Consequently, Green is capable of causing fumbles. He also does a very good job of diagnosing plays and he tackles well in the open field.
Green will need to improve his strength, but he does compensate for a lack of raw power by simply out-quicking and speed rushing offensive tackles. Green could certainly be a situational pass rusher for the Red Raiders early on.
The biggest impediment to Green avoiding a redshirt is the quality depth Tech already enjoys at defensive end. Redshirt frosh Jackson Richards looks a likely starter, with Scott Smith the probable bookend once he completes his early season suspension. Other contributors at the position will be Kerry Hyder, Dartwan Bush, and Joe Carmical. Donald Langley can play outside as well as inside.
Nevertheless, if Green is up to the task, he could soften the loss of Smith early on and allow Langley to focus exclusively on the interior.