It was a Wednesday to remember this week as Texas Tech inked a total of six mid-year junior college prospects and added a May grad commitment. One prospect in particular was Jaylon Lane, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound corner out of Independence Community College in Kansas.
Lane, who was recruited heavily by Texas Tech out of Nacogdoches before his junior college stint, chose Tech this time around because he feels the Red Raiders are about to make a serious push in the Big 12.
"If you want to win games, you have to put up points. And that's what Tech did. They averaged like 40 points a game, but that defense wasn't too good. I knew what we had coming in on D, I knew that they needed defensive backs. Octavious Morgan, Tony Jones, hopefully get Dakota (Allen), we've got the safety from Gulf Coast (Vaughnte Dorsey), and then I came, so I feel like we can make the defense a whole lot better."
The coaching staff at Texas Tech played a huge part in landing his commitment, including primary recruiter and defensive backs coach Karl Scott. Scott and defensive coordinator David Gibbs, who also coaches defensive backs, hauled in three talented prospects on the day including Morgan and Dorsey.
"Coach Gibbs, I knew his resume, I've known him from high school since he was at Houston and he recruited me. He's a good DB coach. It was crazy, I actually told him that I was interested. He told me he was going to come up and recruit me harder. Him, coach Kingsbury, and coach Scott, they all came up here for an in-home visit. When they did that, it just really stuck out to me. Then I took a visit and that's how everything happened."
Lane was originally committed to Oklahoma State in high school, but legal troubles stemming from a classroom incident his senior year prompted his decommitment from Oklahoma State and journey through the junior college ranks. Since then, Lane has turned things around and is grateful to be able to join Texas Tech.
"Man, it's been a long road. It tested me. I had basically everything taken from me, so this is the route I had to take. I think it made me more humble. I was already humble, but it left me more humble. [Overcoming adversity] was a good experience, it made me grind harder than I ever had before."
While Texas Tech's secondary shifts players around to different positions, Lane has discussed a position already with his future coaches.
"I'll be starting out on the outside, at corner."
The defensive back discussed the scheme he played in at Independence and how it will translate to Gibbs' scheme.
"Mixed up. We do a lot of man, a lot of press man, Cover 3. And that's exactly what Texas Tech does. One high, Cover one, Cover three. So I feel like it's an easy transition coming from Independence to Tech, so I feel like I'll fit in. It'll be perfect."
What does Jaylon Lane bring to the Texas Tech football team?
"A lockdown corner. I feel like with me, and with Octavious because I've seen him play and played against him, we both locked down opponents in our conference. I feel like that's what we can both do on the outside, and if you can do that, you can take a lot of risks with your defense. That's what we both are. I feel for sure like that's what I can do, I can be a playmaker. Eliminate the best receiver on the other team, take him out of the game, that's really good. I feel like I can help out the team."
Nacogdoches is a school known for producing prolific defensive backs over the past few years, including Texas commit and Texas Tech offeree Josh Thompson. Now that he's a part of the team, does Lane have any plans to try to recruit Thompson to flip to Tech.
"Nah, not really. I know he's pretty solid with Texas, so it would be cool. But there are a lot of dudes that have come out of Nacogdoches in the Big 12. Got a D-end, Greg Robbins. Offensive lineman, Jacob Bragg. Safety, Brandon Jones, and then Joshua. It will be good just to even play against them, it'll be exciting."
Lane, in his sophomore year at Independence, racked up 43 tackles, three tackles for a loss, three fumble recoveries, six passes broken up, and five interceptions with no touchdowns allowed. He will have two years to play along with a redshirt year available if necessary.
Lane chose Texas Tech over late offers from UCLA and Missouri, along with offers from Oregon State, Bowling Green, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico, and UTSA.