Texas Tech focuses on building better defense on signing day
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- Texas Tech signed 24 players on Wednesday, including 14 on the defensive side of the ball as the Red Raiders hope to slow down the high-octane offenses in the Big 12 Conference.
But this is Texas Tech, after all. Third-year coach Kliff Kingsbury also signed dual-threat quarterback Jett Duffey of Mansfield, Texas, a 6-foot, 171-pounder who could be Patrick Mahomes' backup since Davis Webb is transferring. Duffey threw for 2,756 yards and 29 touchdowns last season. He also ran for 1,688 yards and 19 touchdowns.
"Jett is faster just in a race. Pat is very mobile, can move around," Kingsbury said. "Jett does about the same stuff, but as far as arm strength, both very talented, both in high school kind of put their teams on their back, took them deeper in the playoffs than probably they should have gone."
Defensive coordinator David Gibbs has improved the Red Raiders, who were tied for 52nd nationally in turnover margin after a ranking two years ago of 116th.
Now Gibbs has brought in different assistants and taken charge of bringing in 14 defensive players he liked.
"I think as he stacks his classes together, I think you'll continue to see our defense improve," Kingsbury said.
Other things to know:
Top 25 Class: No
Best in class: T.J. Vasher, WR, Wichita Falls, Texas
Best of the rest: Derrick Willies, WR, San Bernardino, California/Trinity Valley CC/Iowa
Late addition: Douglas Coleman, WR, Zachary, Louisiana. "We found his tape late, tremendous offensive player," Kingsbury said. "When you look at what he did as a wide receiver, state champion, great length, can really fly. Shocked he wasn't recruited more highly, honestly."
One that got away: Yasir Durant, OL, San Diego State.
How they'll fit in: Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, whose team ranked near the bottom in major defensive categories last season, said most of the defensive linemen signed Wednesday will get a chance to earn playing time. The Red Raiders lost seven to graduation.
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