Rangel, Slay Key to Secondary

Two key parts of the Texas Tech secondary are names, before this year, you may not have recognized. One of them is new to the campus and one of them is a senior who is finally getting his time to punch in.

Dwayne Slay and Josh Rangel, both safeties for the Red Raider squad, are seeing plenty of action this year and that action is only going to increase as Tech gets ready to host their rival Texas Longhorns.

Rangel, a senior from southern California, notched his first career start against Nebraska. He was proud, but knows the Tech secondary is talented enough to where he has to maintain his level of play.

"It's been a long time coming," Rangel said. "I've been struggling with stuff but all my work paid off and I got to keep it up. We've got some really good guys out there."

Safeties coach Carlos Mainord had nothing but positive to say about Rangel.

"He's mature and very articulate," Mainord said. "He plays hard and the guys know they can count on him."

Slay is one of the five junior college transfers from Reedley College in California known better as the "Reedley Five." Since arriving at Tech, Slay's intensity and passion on the field has motivated his teammates and raised the eyebrows of the coaches.

"Dwayne brings a freshness to the group and an excitement to the game," Mainord said. "He also brings height to our secondary. He is a pleasure to work with."

Both Rangel and Slay are expected to see a lot of playing time this weekend against Texas.

Mainord attributes the success of the defense so far this season to added experience. He says an added year of the scheme has yielded more confidence for the guys.

The Tech defense will have to put together a solid effort to slow down the running game of the Longhorns. Vince Young, the expected starting quarterback for Texas, has accumulated 331 yards on the ground this year. Combine him with power running back Cedric Benson, the Longhorns look to be a big task for the Raiders.

"Vince Young is a good player," Slay said. "He can run and throw on the run. We have to respect him and keep our heads on right."

It is planning to be an ecstatic atmosphere this weekend in Jones SBC Stadium. How can the feelings be summed up?

"It's going to be a thrill," Slay said.

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