It's a big day in the lives of high school seniors across the country. Texas Tech is signing their fair share of student athletes who will celebrate signing with a Division 1 college, but know the work starts now in order to have a successful college career.
Caleb Woodward, a 6'1'' 190 lb athlete from Leander, TX, shared some of his thoughts. "The whole thing was unreal. I faxed in my letter at 7:00 this morning, and then they called me. The whole room sounded like they were chanting, "Let's go Caleb." It's something I'll never forget."
Woodward will begin his career at Texas Tech as a safety, but could end up playing several positions for the Red Raiders. "I'm versatile," said the former high school QB. "They said they can play me at nickel next year and then work me in at safety, or I can add weight to become an outside linebacker."
Versatility doesn't accurately portray Woodward, as he accounted for around 70% of his team's offense this past year, for a high level of football and a program that made a decent run in the state playoffs.
Those that want to make comparisons to recent Red Raiders may liken Woodward to D.J. Johnson. DJ, also from the Austin area was a high school quarterback turned DB, and turned into a 4-year starter for the Red Raiders. The chance is there, certainly for Woodward to do the same.
Another brand new Red Raider is offensive lineman Baylon Brown, who stands 6'4'' 280 lbs from San Antonio O'Connor high school. Brown paved the way for the O'Connor Panthers to the state semi-finals. The Panthers ran the ball quite a bit and much of that was behind big #75.
"I'm a good run blocker. I'm physical and I like to throw people down," said Brown. "I need to work on my pass blocking, but I'll get there."
Brown projects as a tackle for new OL coach Lee Hays, but he is versatile enough to play any position on the line. To me, he looks like and plays similar to former Red Raider Rex Richards, which is bold talk since Richards is one of three true freshman to play on the line at Texas Tech in the last 12 years. (Richards, Louis Vasquez, La'Adrian Waddle.)
Both Brown and Woodward remained committed through the coaching change at Texas Tech, and will be leaders on the team moving forward. "I stayed committed because the coach I was hoping for got the job," said Brown.
"Coach Curtis called me the day after Coach Kingsbury was hired," said Woodward. "We didn't talk about football. We talked about my life and how he wanted to be a mentor to me. That meant a lot."
Both Brown and Woodward will report to Texas Tech after their respective high school's graduation. Brown is expected to redshirt, if the depth chart allows. Woodward could see playing time early.