Texas Tech Football: Linebackers Should Finally Be A Strength In 2017

Texas Tech Football 2017 Match Preview Prediction and Players: For decades, Texas Tech football was synonymous with great linebackers. Former stars like Zach Thomas, Brad Hastings, and Michael Johnson led some of the best defenses in school history from the linebacker spot. however, during the “Air Raid” era, Texas Tech has seen a drop in the quality of overall play at the position. Not coincidentally, that drop coincided with the overall decline of the Red Raider defense.

But as the 2017 season approaches, there is a reason to believe that the current group of linebackers on campus could be the best unit since the 1990’s when Spike Dykes’ “Swarm” defense was at its best. If that comes to fruition, 2017 could be the season that the Texas Tech defense finally shows some significant improvement. sophomore middle linebacker Jordyn Brooks is undoubtedly the leader of the unit and the best defensive player on the team. Though he has just one season of college football under his belt, many think he could be the best linebacker to wear the Double-T since Zach Thomas.

Texas Tech Football 2017 Match Preview & Prediction

Texas Tech Football 2017

Brooks burst on to the scene last year as a true freshman to lead the team in tackles with 86. He also ranked in the top 10 in the Big 12 in both total tackles and solo tackles (61). rooks’ best game came in the season finale against Baylor. He recorded an amazing 18 tackles and forced a huge fumble as the Bears were on the Texas Tech goal line.

He received honorable mention all-conference recognition and was named to the “Athlon Sports” all-Big 12 freshmen team and “247Sports’” True Freshman all-American team. AT -foot-1, 235-pounds, Brooks already has the look of an NFL linebacker. He is big enough to take on the most powerful backs in the conference, a trait that has been lacking in the middle of the Red Raider defense for far too long.

Texas Tech Football 2017, Some smaller Texas Tech middle linebackers have been productive (Micah Awe, Sam Eguavoen, Will Smith) but have been too small to force in the run game. Tech fans have become far too accustomed to seeing large running backs like Texas’ D’Onta Foreman or Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine play the role of the windshield while Red Raider linebackers have played the role of the bug. With Brooks in the middle, those days should be over.

Brooks has an uncanny ability shed blockers and find the ball carrier in traffic. And when he meets the runner in the hole, he is physical enough to make the play on his own. It is important to have such a player in the middle of a defense because of the ability to make individual stops helps cover up for instances when other players are not in a position to help or are taken out of the play.

Texas Tech Football 2017 Match Schedule

While Brooks is the star of the Texas Tech linebackers, a player making an unexpected return to the program could be the player that transforms David Gibbs’ defense this year. Junior Dakota Allen returns to Texas Tech after a year in junior college. Allen was dismissed from the program after being arrested on burglary charges following his freshman season in 2015. However, the charges were dropped and he has returned to solidify the middle of the Texas Tech defense.

Allen’s true freshman season was every bit as impressive as Brooks’ 2016 campaign. In 2015, Allen was second on the team with 87 tackles (45 solo) and had five games of at least 10 tackles. Like Brooks, Allen is also 235 pounds forming the biggest and most athletic linebacking duo to patrol the middle of the Texas Tech defense since the Dykes’ era. Having Allen to pair with Brooks gives the Red Raiders two all-conference caliber talents at linebacker, both of whom are dynamic playmakers. Brooks and Allen have a combined 11 tackles for loss, two interceptions and a forced fumble in their two collective seasons with Texas Tech. For the defense to take a significant step forward next year, both with must force turnovers and help provide some pressure on the quarterback in addition to stopping the run. Source Link

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