May 8, 2008

Strebeck's Recruiting Mailbag

Q: Are there many '09 hoops prospects with interest in Tech? If so, could you give us a couple of names to look forward to hearing about?

A: (Note: This answer was written before Jaye Crockett's commitment on Monday.) The 2009 class is essentially the first class that Pat Knight and Co. will have full control over, and we see no reason why they won't make some noise with their first class. Right now, they are certainly targeting Roger Franklin and Shawn Williams of Duncanville, but if they were to land one of the two, it would likely be Franklin. The consensus, for now, seems to be that Williams has his eyes set on a few elite programs, so we'd be surprised if he didn't end up with a Duke, UNC, etc. Another name to keep an eye on is Clovis, NM native Jaye Crockett. Crockett is a 6-foot-6, 185-pound wing who had a breakout junior season on a 29-2 Clovis team, and Clovis native Bubba Jennings has been in Clovis recently, along with Pat Knight, to watch Crockett in person. The wing holds an offer from UNM at this point, but other than that, appears to be flying relatively under the radar at this point.

Q: Does Chris Davenport actually have interest like his profile indicates?

A: At this point, it's hard to believe that Davenport has serious interest in Tech. He recently named a top six, and Tech was not among the schools listed. He did, however, list the Red Raiders as a school he's considering, so who knows. However, as far as defensive tackles go, keep an eye on Calvin Howell. Though Howell is likely a Longhorn lean, he has maintained for most of the process that Tech is one of his top five schools. Then there was the commitment of DeAnthony Sims last night. Sims, who was at Tech's spring game and is obviously very high on the Red Raiders has excellent feet for a guy his size, is surprisingly quick. Tech will be pretty serious about signing at least one more talented defensive tackle this year, so stay tuned.

Q: Do you see Tech getting a good couple (meaning 2 or 3) four star or above WRs in this years class? I am personally still concerned because by the time signing period is over, the NFL draft still won't have taken place. And while it's nice to be able to say Crab is projected a 1st round pick, it's not AS convincing as showing a recruit..."look at the results here- Crab WAS taken in the 1st round, no and/if/buts." I know you mentioned a reason Tech didn't get any last season was because we came in late, but I don't see us in on many elite WR's right now in the early period either.

A: I'd be surprised if Tech took three receivers, period, in this class, so it's doubtful they sign 2-3 top receivers, but you just never know. Part of Tech's problem is just that there aren't very many true top tier receivers out there, and particularly this year there aren't very many in Texas, which makes it tough to land one. However, with that being said, Tech is in on several top-flight receivers, such as Emory Blake, Ja'Ron Stokes, etc. and other guys, like Jarrod Darden, that have four-star talent. While only time will tell if they will actually land a four-star receiver this year, it would appear that this year would be the year that the stars might align and the Red Raiders might sign a highly touted wide receiver. As far as Crabtree and the draft go, I'm not sure it will make a difference whether or not he's already drafted, but what will help is him getting a ton of national publicity throughout the year and leading Tech to a big bowl game.

Q: After coming up empty in so many attempts at high-profile, out-of-state QB and WR prospects the last couple classes, should we expect any changes to be made in recruiting strategy?

A: We'll see, but I'd doubt it. The Tech coaches go after guys that they want and they do it without regard to their mailing address, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Leach knows better than anyone what it takes to run his offense, and for the most part, has done an excellent job of finding the right guy and getting him prepared to do his job, so we try to defer to him when it comes to quarterback recruiting. As far as wide-receivers go, I think it helps that Tech has a national type image with that position group, thanks to the offensive scheme and the notoriety that Crabtree has generated, so as long as those national type recruits will pick up the phone, expect Tech to keep calling.

Q: We have all heard about the recruitment of Crabtree and how Coach Bob Knight said to Crabtree if you are a WR you need to come to Tech. We have also heard recently that Coach Pat Knight has been around the practice field, so with this in mind, how much do the coaches of all the sports aid each other in recruiting? Do we have examples of a football recruit getting to meet Coach Hays, or a baseball recruit being introduced to Coach Leach?

A: Crabtree's recruitment was unique due to the fact that Crabtree was a legit two-sport recruit who was looking for a program that would let him play both sports. I'd imagine it's similar for guys like Lyle Leong (track) or Adam James (baseball) who were looking to play two sports, in that they likely spent some time with Wes Kittley and Larry Hays, respectively, but, for the most part, I'd guess that any interaction between coaches is likely more coincedence than anything.

Q: Why did the coaching staff feel the need to go out and sign a guy like Ryan Clark? Is this a wise move in your opinion?

A: In our opinion, signing Clark was indeed very wise. There is going to be a very big need for some experience at the safety position next year thanks to the mass exodus of senior safeties that will occur after this season and Clark now has the opportunity to be that guy. He'll also be an early graduate, and the importance of that fact really can't be overstated. Clark has the requisite size and ability to be an impact player at this level and also has a knack for the big play, which is a huge plus. Tech's secondary coaches are some of the best there are, and if they were impressed enough by Clark to offer him a scholarship this early in the process, then we say there's a pretty good chance that the kid can play some football.

For future mailbags please submit questions to Publisher Chris Level at
or to Recruiting Editor Jordan Strebeck at

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