With National Signing Day 2017 in the books, Texas Tech is shifting focus to the 2018 class and looking to build up talent for the future after taking a class with a large number of junior college players.
One 2018 Scout300 prospect who has held an offer from Tech since his freshman year is Byron "BJ"Hanspard II, who started at corner for state champion DeSoto this past season. The 6-foot, 170-pound athlete holds Texas Tech in very high regard for believing in him and pulling the trigger early.
"Texas Tech has always been on top. They've been on top of my recruitment ever since I first started getting recruited. They were the first school to extend an offer and it was a great feeling to be able to receive an offer from my father's alma mater. It just gave me more motivation to keep up the hard work and push even further."
Some of the Texas Tech coaches stopped by DeSoto back before Signing Day during the open contact period to get a head-start on the 2018 class. Hanspard got to spend some quality time with defensive backs coach Karl Scott during that visit.
"Talking with coach Scott on the corner side of the ball, the way he was coming from, he was very flexible with me. I didn't know if the offer was still for receiver, or if they wanted me to come be an athlete. He just said that when I come in, I'm going to be a great fit regardless. He said I have character, and different things like that. One thing he told me was to always stay on top of my craft, keep improving every single day."
Coach Emmett Jones and other coaches stopped by to let him know that he is still a priority for them this recruiting cycle.
"They just came by to check on me, make sure everything was good. They gave me some nice words of encouragement and came by with nice smiles and open arms. I was grateful to have them come and take time to talk to me."
Hanspard, who can play either receiver or defensive back at the next level and is rated the No. 4 athlete in the state, is excited about the prospect of playing either for Tech.
"Playing in Texas Tech's offense would be a great opportunity. If I was to stay at receiver, it would be a great experience and more of a great effort to stay flexible and do whatever they ask me to do."
He also talked about going up against the nation's top offenses as a defensive back.
"The opportunity to be able to play defensive back in the Big 12 would be a blessing. I'm not going to say that I never thought I'd be here or make it to this day, but I never thought things would come the way they're coming right now. It's just been a blessing to have the process go the way it's going right now. Playing in the Big 12, playing against some of the top receivers and players in the nation, would be a dream come true."
Does Hanspard have a timeline for making his decision?
"Right now, I'm not rushing anything. You know, people have been asking me left and right if I'm going to commit early or if I'm going to go ahead and seal the deal. I've been telling them that I'm going to stay patient, weigh my options out, take all of my visits, sit down and talk with my parents, pray, ask God if I'm making the right decision, and be sure that I'm making the right decision on where I'm going to spend my college career."
No visits have been set up to any other schools yet - except one.
"Yes sir, I plan on going to Texas Tech's Junior Day on March 4th."
Arkansas, Colorado, Houston, Kansas State, Mississippi State, and Oklahoma State have all extended offers, and more schools such as Notre Dame are showing interest. Aside from Texas Tech, does Hanspard have any schools standing out to him?
"No sir, I don't."
Byron Hanspard II was offered back in June of 2015 by Texas Tech. He is rated as the No. 276 overall prospect in the 2018 Scout300 and runs a laser-timed 4.54-second 40-yard dash.