With signing day just around the corner, we're going to be breaking down where Big 12 teams have the biggest positional need on their rosters. Then, ESPN recruiting guru Jeremy Crabtree is going to reveal how those Big 12 teams are addressing that need in recruiting.
We continue this series below with the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Position of need: Defensive line
Who they're losing: The Red Raiders lose five senior defensive linemen listed on their two-deep for the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl, not including top pass-rusher Pete Robertson. Essentially, only sophomore-to-be Breiden Fehoko returns as a key contributor along the defensive front.
Robertson, who played Tech's "Rush" position, was a hybrid defensive end/linebacker who provided five sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. Another significant loss is Branden Jackson, who had 31 tackles including 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks during his final season.
Even if Texas Tech returned all of its contributors, Kliff Kingsbury's program would be searching for ways to improve its defensive line after finishing No. 121 among FBS teams in yards per play allowed (6.91), No. 125 in yards per carry allowed (6.17) and managing just 19 sacks in 13 games. Texas Tech needs to improve defensively and finding playmakers along the defensive line seems like a great place to start. -- Chatmon
Who they're getting: The Red Raiders recruit so well on the offensive side of the ball, but it's clear they need to improve on defense, especially on the defensive line. That's why Tech has loaded up on defensive linemen in the 2016 class with eight commitments. Yes, eight defensive linemen -- four defensive ends and four defensive tackles.
The highlights in the defensive line class are defensive tackle Ivory Jackson and Nick McCann, two high school tackles from the Lone Star State. Junior-college prospect Mychealon Thomas was one of the top prospects in the always-loaded Kansas Jayhawk Junior College Conference and recruiters loved his motor for a 320-pounder. From a pure bodies standpoint, it looks like the Red Raiders hit a home run filling its biggest need in 2016, but the crop is full of quality, too. -- Crabtree