January 15, 2008
The Red Raiders find their kicker
When January rolls around each year, it's as if something magical transforms Texas Tech's recruiting efforts. Every year it seems like the momentum builds shortly after the new year begins and continues through Signing Day in February.
It's no different this year, as Tech has already picked up two big commitments in the form of Cornelius Douglas and Joe King, both of whom visited Lubbock last weekend. There was a third visitor in town last weekend, kicker Donnie Carona, and tonight he made himself Texas Tech's third commit in the last two days.
"I just committed to Texas Tech," he exclaimed. "I just called the coaches about 15 minutes ago. I called Coach Leach and then I called Coach Simmons."
According to the kicker, those conversations only served to enforce what he had already decided.
"They both seemed extremely happy, which makes me happy," he laughed. "They told me how glad they were to have me on board and I just told them I hope I can come in there and make an impact. I just can't wait to get down there."
Carona told us on Sunday night that he wanted a chance to sit down and think it over, and that's exactly what he did.
"My parents and I came home and they backed me up," said the two-star kicker. "It basically came down to Tech and Baylor, because Baylor ended up offering me and they're a great academic institution, but after we talked about it and prayed about it, it was just Tech all the way. It was just the best place for me. It's a great program, it has great coaches, and it has great academics, so I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be."
In the end, Carona says he's happy the process is over.
It feels incredible," he said. "It was a blessing to have a decision between two Big 12 teams, but in the end, I just had to go with my heart and choose Tech. I'm really happy and I'm 100% behind Tech. I won't be taking any visits at all after this, I'm 100% done."
He then added one last parting thought:
"I'm just ready to be a Red Raider."
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