Tech enjoyed another huge weekend in recruiting with the commitments of CB Damarcus Fields, LB John Picone, K Jackson Smith (preferred walk-on) and DE Houston Miller. Which commit grabbed your attention the most and why?
Alyssa: Houston Miller grabbed my attention when I first interviewed him. He is a good solid kid who will make a difference at Tech. He reminds me of JJ Watt with his driven but humble attitude.
Jarret: Miller and Picone are both HUGE, but nobody here at RP would say they are surprised they committed to Tech. Fields is a guy who I keep hearing is on the verge of receiving several offers, so I was surprised he pulled the trigger. It tells me the staff has created a sense of urgency or momentum as guys don't want to lose their spot.
Joe: Gotta love Picone. Talk about a guy that plays like his hair is on fire! Got a nasty streak, too. And very much a need position.
Zach: Picone at ILB. Makes things interesting at linebacker, with two other linebackers both having Tech high on their list... there might not be a spot for them.
Tech's current class is up to No. 25 nationally according to Scout. Do you believe it will be a top 25 class on National Signing Day?
Alyssa: They have gotten a lot of guys early, which is great. I don't see them hanging in the Top 25 come February.
Jarret: I do think Tech has a shot at a top 25 class simply because I think they will oversign and probably take 27-28 guys.
Joe: I believe the class stands a real chance at finishing in the Top 25. Considering coming off a 4-8 season, what this staff is doing on the recruiting trail is impressive.
Zach: No, I think of the current Scout 300 that Texas Tech isn't in a super good spot with a lot of them. Still shaping up to be a good-looking class though.
Last week the NCAA approved several rule changes which could have a significant impact on college basketball. Which rule change do you think will make the biggest difference and why?
Alyssa: The shot clock changing to 30 seconds. That little amount of time will make a difference.
Jarret: I'm looking forward to the pregame dunks now that the ban on warmup slams has been lifted. Seriously, the shot clock is the headliner, but doing away with the 5-second close guard rule, extending the restricted area arc by a foot (from 3-4) and the experimental extension of five to six fouls for disqualification in the 2016 tournament, are all huge changes to the college game as well.
Joe: The shot-clock reduction is a rule change that will affect every team on every possession. That one is the biggie.
Zach: Shortening the shot clock. It's going to speed up possessions and ultimately you will see a faster, more exciting game.
In your opinion, how important (or not) is it for Tech to build an indoor practice facility?
Alyssa: Very important. I've never played football so I don't know what it's like to practice in that weather, but it would for sure help in the cold months.
Jarret: I go back and forth on this one. I think its practical application is obvious, yet probably overstated. On the other hand it's weird Tech doesn't have an IPF from a perception standpoint. Even most middling Texas high school football programs have one now. Heck, even Cleburne High School, not exactly known historically as a juggernaut, has one.
Joe: Minimally important. Sure, it's a bit of a recruiting issue, but compared to all of the other factors that go into a player choosing a school, this one is minor.
Zach: It's very important. Recruits pay attention to facilities.
What is your favorite non-Texas Tech sports article you remember reading? It can be recent or all-time... whatever you want.
Alyssa: I really enjoyed reading all the features and everything surrounding the MAYPAC fight. Haven't been that interested in an event in a while.
Jarret: "Meet the Bag Man" by Steven Godfrey is easily the best recruiting story of all time in my opinion, that puts all other insight into college football recruiting to shame. To this day I am still shocked by the level of access the writer received for this window into the game behind the game.
Joe: There was a guy named Joe Posnanski who wrote for the Kansas City Star back in the 90s (maybe he still does). And he wrote a feature on Dick Vitale that was just marvelous. I'm going to see if I can find it right now. (WreckEm98 edit: Looks like the Star took the story down... newspapers)
Zach: Zach Lowe's "Blue Rondo a la Dirk: Why the Mavs' Point Guard Gamble May Not Work". Dude nailed it so hard.