Lubbock will not be an unfamiliar sight for at least one Texas Tech commit visiting for the Sam Houston State game. Cypress (Tex.) Ranch outside linebacker Brayden Stringer, who committed to the Red Raiders shortly after an unofficial visit to campus with his family back in May, plans on attending the season opener Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium.
"I'm super excited. I've been up to Lubbock once already, I got to see the campus a lot and get a really good feel for it. I ended up committing, so I must have loved it. Really I'm going up there to watch the game, see the coaches in a live setting, and see how everything works."
The Houston-area linebacker, who is saving his official visit for after the season, knows that Texas Tech fans have a reputation for rowdiness.
"With how the fans are at Texas Tech, I've heard that they're pretty pumped up and crazy. I'm excited to go up there and get the whole setting of Lubbock, on gameday especially."
There aren't a lot of expectations around Texas Tech's upcoming season. Stringer thinks many are in for a surprise this season, though.
"I think people are kind of sleeping on Texas Tech. I think the defense is gonna come through. I think they're gonna have a good team... people are just kind of underestimating them."
Texas Tech's class of 2016 is one of the largest in the nation with 25 commitments. Stringer believes the class will have an immediate impact when they arrive in Lubbock, and has been in contact with several of his fellow football pledges.
"Mostly I've been talking to Johnathan Picone, out of Louisiana, the other linebacker in the 2016 class. I've talked to Jordyn Brooks a couple times, gonna start contacting him some more before I take my official. Talked to Jett Duffey a couple times. I talked to Giovanni Pancotti, met him at the Vype photo shoot in Houston. Super nice dude, so I'm excited to go meet him again and talk to him some more since we're both gonna be at Texas Tech."
Developing bonds among teammates is important, and it's not all football when Stringer talks to the other commits.
"Sometimes it's just normal guy conversations. We just catch up, see how the other person's doing. When I first committed, we talked about the defense and what we planned on doing when we get up there. Our plan is to change Texas Tech's defense into something crazy good. But yeah, sometimes we just talk, catch up, like normal people. It's not about football all the time."
The Cy-Ranch senior thinks passion on the football field is one of his key strengths, though he admits that he needs to reign back the aggressiveness at times.
"I play linebacker, I've got to be a little crazy. You can't just go out there, playing inside linebacker, and be a little wimp. You've got to be crazy in the head. You're going to knock somebody down. My emotions sometimes take over a little bit too much, and I've got to get better at that and control that. But I play football with a lot of emotion."
While he's been committed for a few months now, Stringer says he learns more about Texas Tech all the time.
"I'm just starting to know a lot about Texas Tech. I didn't really have a certain college that I was rooting for my entire childhood. I'm still learning stuff about Tech as this whole thing goes on. That's why I'm super excited to go up there and go watch them. I think they're going to do good things this year, so I think it's gonna be a fun trip to go up there and watch them play.
Stringer does not plan on visiting any schools other than Texas Tech this fall. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound prospect chose the Red Raiders over offers from Arizona, Oklahoma State, and Wisconsin, among others.