RP: I think it's more that there is a lot of competition for those guys. For example, I think Kahlil Haughton is having a tough time deciding whether to stay home and play for Baylor or go to the proven blue blood which has rolled out the red carpet for you at Oklahoma or the wildcard school with the coaching staff you love who is lining up this star-studded class at Texas Tech.
He's also taken hard looks at Arkansas, who paid a visit to the Haughton household recently and Nebraska, but it is probably safe to assume Nebraska is out with the coaching turnover.
Daniels is in a similar situation in that he's a top 10 defensive tackle nationally and can pretty much go wherever he wants. Last I heard there were still several teams in the mix for Daniels. Including Tech, he mentioned Baylor, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Most believe and I agree, it's down to three schools: Tech, Baylor and Oklahoma. We'll see.
Arthur McGinnis is harder to get a read on, but he enjoyed the group visit by the Tech coaches. Tech is definitely in it as McGinnis named the Red Raiders as one of his final five schools via Twitter on Saturday.
To answer the original question, yeah it doesn't help to have the position unsettled, but the coaches, including Mike Smith are all out recruiting their butts off during this open period. John Scott has already resigned from his defensive line coaching position, so we'll see what happens and how soon Tech announces what it's going to do with its defensive staff.
HULK's Top 5! pic.twitter.com/fVEXCCZm2N— It's HULK?? (@amg_arthur) December 6, 2014
TECHAWL: What is your and Joe's gut on Warren? Does that affect relationship with Dauphine? Any new official visits planned?
RP: I think Warren obviously likes Texas Tech a lot. I mean he visited on Junior Day back in February, he made an official visit in the fall and he named Tech in his top five when many thought he had moved on. He was also one of the first guys Tech visited when the open period began as coach Trey Haverty, whose territory is the DFW area and running backs Mike Jinks went and talked with the four-star talent. Texas and Washington also made in-home visits with Warren this week.
He also named Tech, Oklahoma State, Texas and Washington in his top 4 Saturday.
Top 4 in no order?? Washington?? OSU?? Texas Tech?? Texas??— Chris Warren III (@ScorealldayCW25) December 6, 2014
My gut says he ends up at Texas. It makes sense for several reasons, but! this recruiting game is crazy, so if he picks Tech I won't be shocked.
As far as Dauphine. He definitely noticed. He retweeted the photo below I retweeted of Haverty and Jinks in Warren's living room. He's solid to Tech and has shut down his recruitment, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't paying attention to his timeline to see his reaction.
PhillyBluesFan: Could you please site recent, as in since November 1, evidence that Tech really means to correct our defensive ... anemia ... and make this the priority it has not been in the recent past?
RP: I think Tech has made defense a huge priority. Since Nov. 1, four-star defensive end Joseph Wicker, four-star defensive tackle Darrion Daniels, four-star safety Kahlil Kaughton and three-star safety Justin Reid all made official visits to the South Plains. I know Daniels, Haughton and Reid are all seriously considering Tech and landing two of those guys to go along with Fehoko and some of the other defensive commits (especially if you include Mike Mitchell with this class) would help completely reshape this defense athletically.
I have learned the coaches have visited every guy mentioned above this past week with the start of the "open period". The coaches also visited coveted Louisiana linebacker Arthur McGinnis en masse with eight of the staff taking part.
In addition to aggressively continuing to recruit top-rated talent, the staff is wisely hedging its bets by working its board. Recent offers to players such as Kansas safety Darreon Jackson and defensive end Lonzell Gilmoreas safety nets. Not to mention players such as legacy Chris Biggurs, who Tech has yet to offer, but hosted for a visit and are still recruiting.
From Day 1 this staff has worked towards improving the talent level on the defensive side of the ball, and I have to say I have been impressed with their efforts on the recruiting trail.
I also liked the fact the staff had the patience to redshirt Dakota Allen and Payton Hendrix and to keep them redshirted despite the obvious need for them down the stretch of the season. I think they will both be difference makers on the defense for years to come.
The announcement of John Scott's resignation Saturday signals at least one big change to the staff. Are more to come? Stay tuned, but they are definitely efforting on that side of the ball.
finraider05: If we take 6 WR, which ones do we end up signing?
RP: So they have Strickland, Giles and Shorts committed. I'll say Tyron Johnson as I truly believe Tech is in as good of shape with him as anybody at this point. He announced his top 5 on Friday.
I'll say Ennis tight end/receiver tweener Donta Thompson, whom Tech offered recently. He's the big target type guy they are obviously looking for.
Top five ?? Texas tech???? Georgia ???? LSU???? Oklahoma st???? Auburn ??— Tyron Johnson (@_TBJ13) December 5, 2014
The sixth is a little more difficult. There are guys in the mix such as Florida standout Ryan Davis, Lufkin's Keke Coutee and Tony Brown out in California. The good news is all three took officials to Tech and have been visited during the open period this week. I'll say Coutee just because he's closer, home grown.
OleTechsan1953: Is the coaching staff going after some of the Nebraska linemen?
RP: I'm assuming you mean 2015 commits. I don't think they are.
If you look at Nebraska's commit list, almost all of their guys are from their area in the Midwest. I could see most of them sticking despite the coaching turnover and I'm not sure any of them are even on Tech's board.
RRaider98: Which prospects do you think we have the best shot at moving into December?
The two guys you should watch for in December are the previously mentioned Darrion Daniels and safety Kahlil Haughton. They are both atop Tech's wish list and the Red Raiders are locked in a recruiting battle for both with conference rivals Baylor and Oklahoma. Daniels told Scout recently he will decide in mid-December and Haughton told RaiderPower.com he would decide shortly after Waco Midway's season ended. Midway lost last week.