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It's hard for me to narrow this down to just a handful of players because I do think that there is so much need at just about every position. Again, I'm in the camp that thinks that while there was/is some talent deficiency at Texas Tech, there's also been some bad coaching too, but I do think there needs to be a talent upgrade for a lot of spots. It would be tough to argue that the defensive line position and the receiver position offer some significant upgrades in talent.
The defensive line commits, Michael Starts, Anthony Smith and J.J. Bynum, now J.J. Loller, as well as Lee Adams, give a much maligned defensive line some much needed size. The starting defensive tackles for Texas Tech were undersized and certainly underperformed, evidenced by the awful overall defensive numbers. And the worst part about this situation is that there are only four defensive tackles that return, three of which played significantly in 2010 and one that redshirted.
It's easy to see how any one of these players will have an opportunity to make a difference because there is an opportunity to be had. Starts is the biggest target and had Texas been willing to offer, and they might have in retrospect, Starts to play at defensive tackle, then he might be a Longhorn commit, but Texas Tech offered Starts as a defensive player and that could pay huge dividends for Texas Tech. Again, TTU can at least offer the opportunity of early playing time. Smith and Loller are there to plug holes in the defensive line and I actually think that either one could play sooner than Starts because I think that Smith is a one-gap or two-gap nose guard and I'd bet that Loller is willing to play that spot too, while Starts may be a bit tall for that spot. Adams can have the opportunity to play at a lighter weight for a defensive tackle, at maybe 265 pounds, or he can shed a few pounds and find some time at defensive end. There are options.
The receiver spot is such a coup because of the possibility of immediate help in receiver Javon Bell, a JUCO All-American for two years, and generally thought of as a four-star player, plus the addition of uber-athletes Reginald Davis and Dominique Wheeler, who are also highly rated four-star prospects who mainly played quarterback in high school, but can really play just about anywhere on the field.
I'd also be a bit remiss in not adding Sadale Foster, a JUCO inside receiver and returner extraordinaire. I don't think that Foster is a "top player", but because of the lack of depth at running back, as mentioned below, and the fact that Foster is already on campus, Foster will get time at running back, returner and receiver. This team is in dire need of a punt returner. He can and will be asked to do quite a bit, and could be one of those unheralded players that has been so versatile that he's creates a niche for himself.
Tuberville has said that there may still be three or four players that they are looking at, but realistically, they only have one spot available as the team is at 24 commits. That certainly doesn't mean that a player cannot or will not de-commit, but for right now, I think there's only one spot available and I think that Tuberville is targeting a running back, namely Damien Williams and there's an outside chance that Michael Pierre is a fall-back option at running back.
Williams is a JUCO running back from Arizona Western College and has been offered by a handful of schools, but apparently it is down to Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech. Texas Tech may give Williams the best opportunity to play immediately as Texas Tech has one healthy scholarship running back going into spring practice, Kenny Williams, and only has one running back, Quinton White, in the 2012 class. Additionally, both OU and Arkansas have two highly rated running backs in their classes already. At Texas Tech, Williams would have a somewhat immediate opportunity, and would have been even better if he could have qualified for the spring semester. Pierre was initially committed to New Mexico St., but has recently de-committed and is apparently looking at Texas Tech as an option
Mentioned last week, defensive tackle Jordan Tavai is also on a visit this week and is apparently down to deciding between Kansas and Texas Tech. Tavai obviously fills a position of need at defensive tackle and considering the overall lack of depth at defensive tackle, Texas Tech could probably use this JUCO All-American.