Joe: Tech went from prime rib to a bowl of sleet when Jarrett Stidham decomitted to Baylor and Ben Hicks spurned the Red Raiders in favor of SMU. Tech wound up with no quarterback signee—a supreme rarity in the spread era—and the only reason this doesn't constitute a failure is because of the presence of Pat Mahomes and Davis Webb. Fortunately, quarterback wasn't a “must have” position.
Jarret: Losing five-star prospect Jarrett Stidham to Big 12 and in-state rival Baylor was a cataclysmic failure. There is no sugarcoating it. Tech's lackadaisical pursuit of Ben Hicks, who signed with SMU, shortly after Stidham flipped was puzzling. Perhaps Kliff Kingsbury's National Signing Day statement of a desire to only bring in elite signal callers explains what happened with Hicks. Either way, the Red Raiders did not sign a quarterback and that's not good, no matter who they already have on campus.
Signed: One (Corey Dauphine)
Joe: This unit is even more stacked than quarterback, and with the signature of Corey Dauphine it becomes even more so. Dauphine is one of the top running back prospects Tech has ever signed, and the program has signed plenty over the years.
Jarret: Dauphine is a rare combination of size and elite speed. Coach Mike Jinks found him early and Tech was the first to offer. The Red Raiders did an excellent job of fending off regional rivals and national powers alike down the stretch to sign him. Dauphine is Tech's highest rated offensive signee of the class as the No. 113 overall prospect in the nation.
Signed: Six (Tony Brown, Keke Coutee, Jonathan Giles, Furquan Shorts, J.F. Thomas, Donta Thompson)
Joe: As long as Tech runs the spread they will always have room for more receivers, and this class boasts a wealth of new talent for the unit. The probable headliner is J.F. Thomas, who looks like an instant contributor, but Furquan Shorts could be the real showstopper. His size/speed quotient is special indeed. Including tight end Donta Thompson, Tech signed six receivers.
Jarret: The Red Raiders were in a desperate need for numbers and talent at this position and boy did they get it. Tech inked two Scout Top 300 receivers in J.F. Thomas, who they flipped from rival TCU, and Tony Brown, who signed with Tech over schools such as Nebraska and UCLA. The remaining four are all guys trending up, who picked up offers down the stretch from Power 5 schools. The Red Raiders added much needed depth, size, speed and physicality to this position. Home run.
Signed: Five (Madison Akamnonu, Conner Dyer, Trace Ellison, Terrence Steele, Cody Wheeler)
Joe: The dynamic receivers Tech signed will get most of the hype, but the complement of hawgs is equally impressive and perhaps more important. In Conner Dyer and Madison Akamnonu, Tech signed a tackle duo the equal of any in the country, and guard/center Cody Wheeler looks like an absolute steal. This group will pay huge dividends down the road.
Jarret: Tech also significantly upgraded this position with the 2015 class. Akamnonu and Dyer, both four-star prospects who chose the Red Raiders over several Big 12 options, headline the class. With luck, all five will be able to redshirt and grow in the program as Tech returns four starters to a solid group. Yet, Kingsbury stated a desire to provide them some seasoning next year.
Signed: Three (Breiden Fehoko, Lonzell Gilmore, Broderick Washington)
Joe: Tech signed three, and got extreme quality in Breiden Fehoko, along with a real sleeper in Lonzell Gilmore, but the numbers simply are not there. The Red Raiders needed twice this many defensive linemen. Striking out on Darrion Daniels and Joseph Wicker late really hurt, as did the defection of Courtney Wallace.
Jarret: Fehoko is a blend of power, explosiveness and surprising quickness up front of the like Tech hardly ever signs. He should be a linchpin for years to come. Gilmore is exactly the type of edge rusher needed to replace rising senior Big 12 sacks leader Pete Robertson. Washington is a much needed big body. The Red Raiders needed twice the amount of bodies and it just didn't happen. Courtney Wallace's decision to flip to Louisiana Tech was a huge blow.
Signed: One (D'Vonta Hinton)
Joe: Given Tech’s weakness in the front seven over the last several seasons, the Red Raiders needed all the help they could get at linebacker. Instead, they signed one player in D’Vonta Hinton. Hinton looks like a good one, but Tech needed so much more. If Mike Mitchell and Dakota Allen are not what they’re cracked up to be, or if injuries strike at linebacker, it could get ugly. Again.
Jarret: Instinctive, quick and violent; Hinton possesses all the traits you want in a linebacker other than height. Tech is hoping his high school exploits translate at the next level. New defensive coordinator David Gibbs also recruited Hinton to Houston and bluntly stated last week that his lack of size is probably the only reason Tech was able to sign a talent of his caliber. Tech could have used one or two more signings, but the addition of transfer Mike Mitchell softens the blow significantly.
Signed: Three (Paul Banks, Jamile Johnson, Christian Taylor)
Joe: This was not a position of extreme need, but Tech still signed three solid prospects in cornerback Paul Banks, safety Christian Taylor, and safety Jamile Johnson.
Jarret: The Red Raiders addressed a couple specific needs, most notably a lack of size in the secondary. Banks (6-foot-2, 175 pounds) and Johnson (6-0, 200) add height on the outside at corner, while Taylor (6-2, 190) is known as a big hitter and physical presence at safety. Solid group on paper.
Grading Texas Tech's 2015 Signing Class
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