Red Raiders get big news from NCAA

Delvon Simmons is a 6-foot-5, 286-pound defensive tackle who ranked among the nation's top recruits in the 2011 class.

Now, he's officially an eligible piece of the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Simmons, a native of McKeesport, Pa., originally signed with North Carolina, but had a change of heart and decided to head to West Texas to play for Tommy Tuberville.

He began practicing on Aug. 6, but was cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse on Wednesday.

"He’s a Red Raider a hundred percent now,” Tuberville told reporters after a scrimmage Wednesday. “I think the pressure’s off him. He’s going to be a heck of a football player. I think he even practiced better today knowing he was going to be here for sure.”

Tuberville said he noticed a difference in Simmons after being notified of the news in a meeting before the scrimmage.

"It was stressful,” Simmons told reporters. "Just thinking about it, thinking about playing football, thinking if I was going through all this for nothing. It was stressful."

No more, and now the Red Raiders' depth at defensive tackle gets better, and Simmons could provide a lot more than just depth sooner than later.

Donald Langley and Kerry Hyder are atop the depth chart heading into the Sept. 3 opener against Texas State.

"I hadn’t understood it the whole time, but what else is new when you’re dealing with folks up north?" Tuberville told reporters, alluding to the NCAA offices in Indianapolis. "It worked out. It should have been worked out a long time ago, because he did everything he needed to do. But you’ve got to go through the proper channels. There’s a lot of red tape that we had to work through. A lot of people did a good job of helping in terms of getting our message over."