Payton Hendrix has received almost 20 scholarship offers from major college football programs.
Arizona State, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Stanford, Washington -- they all offered, but Thursday night Hendrix committed to Texas Tech over all of them.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound safety is rated as a four-star recruit and the No. 23 safety of the 2014 class by Scout.com. His commitment also bumps the Red Raiders' 2014 class into the Top 30 of the country at No. 29 after being as far down as the mid 40's just two weeks ago.
Hendrix is the third four-star commit of the 2014 class and the highest rated defensive prospect. He's also the eighth defensive back commit in a class that could lay the foundation for an excellent secondary, which is a must to contend in the pass-happy Big 12.
Scout.com national recruiting analyst Greg Powers saw Hendrix earlier this year against Plano Prestonwood and came away impressed after watching the safety tally 12 tackles by halftime.
"I like him a lot. Right now he's in that prototypical free safety type of model," Powers said. "He's very long, lean, athletic and legitimate size with him at 6-3. Also, you think free safety and you get dissuaded from thinking a guy's a hitter and that's not true with Payton, he's a big hitter; he'll come up and lay the wood."
Hendrix's size and ability will give the Tech coaching staff options as he possesses the tools to be a do-it-all safety at the next level and could possibly grow into the "Raider" linebacker position if needed.
"With his size and frame I wouldn't rule out the outside linebacker position for him," Powers said. "He could probably very easily get up to 225 pounds and still look like he weighs 190. That's just the way he carries his weight."
This is another huge get for the Tech coaching staff, which is clearly on a roll.
"I think right off the bat Kliff Kingsbury and his staff was going to have a lot of success recruiting on the offensive side of the ball, that's what they are known for," Powers said. "If they want to change Texas Tech football and make a consistent run at conference championships, get themselves in the hunt to possibly win the Big 12 and get a sniff of a national championship, which everyone is going to be wanting to play for now, they have to be better on the defensive side of the ball. Payton Hendrix is the type of kid Tech has to start finding, especially in Texas, and bringing into the school."
As a side note, Hendrix is following in the footsteps of his uncle, Stephen Miles (mom's brother), who played basketball at Tech in the late eighties and early nineties. Miles led the 1990-91 squad in rebounding with 213.
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