A Look at the 2009 Recruiting Class- Offense

With national signing day less than two weeks away, how is the Red Raiders' recruiting class shaping up? RaiderPower.com takes an in-depth look at Texas Tech's offensive recruiting class. How do the verbal commits rank? Who are the Red Raiders still hoping to pull in?

Quarter Back

Who's committed:

Jacob Karam is a very solid player with great decision making ability. Jacob has a good arm and is quick enough to make plays on the ground. If he can improve his accuracy on deep throws and learn Texas Tech's offensive system quickly, he may be able to contend for the backup spot as a true freshman.

Karam's strength may lie in his leadership ability and poise. After giving Texas Tech his verbal commitment, Jacob was extremely loyal to the Red Raiders, turning down a visit to Oklahoma when they extended a scholarship offer. He has also played a key role in helping to land other commitments including WR E.J. Celestie.


Wide Receivers

Who's committed:

• After committing to Oklahoma, Eric Ward stunned everyone when he enrolled at Texas Tech in January, citing the importance he places on education and his desire to get a degree.

At 6'0", 190 pounds, Ward is not the biggest guy on the field, but he is extremely fast and possesses great athleticism. Coming in a semester early should also be an advantage for Eric, and we expect that he will challenge for playing time as a true freshman.

• Wide receiver Aaron Fisher is a perfect fit for Texas Tech's high flying offense. He has good hands and is adept at creating separation between himself and his defender.

In addition to his physical abilities, Fisher is a die-hard Red Raider fan and is extremely enthusiastic about getting to Lubbock to don the red and black.

E.J. Celestine, out of Lake Charles, Louisiana, was flying below the radar before he attended Texas Tech's wide receivers camp last summer. However, after turning in one of the best performances of the camp, the coaching staff offered him a scholarship, which he quickly accepted.

E.J. is very athletic and should be able to contribute at both the WR position as well as on special teams as a punt and kick return man. He will need to bulk up once he gets on campus, but he has the versatility to be a difference maker for the Red Raiders in a few years.

• After visiting Texas Tech last weekend, Derrick Mays made the decision to decommit from UTEP and sign on with the Red Raiders. Mays boasts a 4.4 second 40-yard dash and was extremely productive for Shoemaker High, where he averaged 24.5 yards per reception.

Mays is the fastest commit of the Red Raiders' incoming class and will undoubtedly benefit greatly as he learns the techniques for which Texas Tech's wide receivers are renowned.

Who's left:

• After initially committing to Texas Tech, Emory Blake recently reopened his recruitment and is now also strongly considering Colorado and Auburn. Blake has visited all three schools, and his final decision will likely come down to his relationship with the coaching staff and where he feels most at home.

Blake has a knack for making big plays and can use his size to get open. His athleticism and toughness also allows him to make plays out of the backfield. Blake would be a nice addition to an already very solid wide receivers class, and the coaching staff is working hard to get him to sign with the Red Raiders in February.


Running Backs

Who's committed:

• As the lone running back recruit for 2009, Eric Stephens switched his commitment from Minnesota to the Red Raiders in November. Texas Tech was high on Stephens list early in the recruiting process, but when he initially didn't hear from them, decided to commit to the Gophers. When Tech offered and then brought him in for an official visit, he knew that Lubbock was where he wanted to spend his college years.

At 5'8", 180 pounds, Stephens is shifty, strong, and has the speed to be very effective in Texas Tech's spread offense. He should also be a solid blocker for the Red Raiders.


Athletes

Who's committed:

Jarvis Phillips hails from All-American Michael Crabtree's alma mater, Carter High School in Dallas. Like Crabtree, Phillips played quarterback for Carter but will be converted to a new position once he makes it to Texas Tech. Most likely, he will play either running back or defensive back, depending on where there is a need for more athleticism.

Phillips' greatest strengths lie in his ability to accelerate quickly and find the open spot on the field. A talented basketball player, he brings a lot of athleticism to the table for Texas Tech.


Offensive Line

Who's committed:

• A four-star prospect, Joel Gray is one of the best recruits in the Red Raiders' 2009 class. He has great size at 6'6", 285 pounds and has tremendous quickness. He also has solid technique and good footwork.

Gray's intelligence should allow him to pick up the new schemes quickly and make a smooth adjustment to D-I football.

Kyle Clark is a solid offensive lineman who should be a big contributor for the Red Raiders. At 6'4", 270 lbs., he fits the mold of tall, agile linemen that Mike Leach prefers. After redshirting his first year, Clark should push for playing time.

Kyle chose the Red Raiders over powerhouses including LSU, Nebraska, Georgia, and Tennessee and has been committed since the spring game.

LaAdrian Waddle is the biggest lineman in the class of 2009, already weighing in at 315 pounds. Waddle will play offensive tackle, and if he can improve his footwork, will be a great blocker for Texas Tech.

Who's left:

• The Red Raiders hope to round out their offensive line class by landing guard Matt Goetz from Cibolo, Texas. Goetz has scheduled a visit to Lubbock this weekend and will hopefully be impressed enough with what he sees to pull the trigger and commit.



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