Football

Texas Tech Football Position Preview: Linebackers

Let’s look at the linebackers.

Welcome to the third installment of our position preview. I’ve decided to group the linebackers into two different groups, but they are probably interchangeable. With the move for that Spur position to be more cornerback than linebacker/safety hybrid, there’s really only going to be two linebacker positions, the Raider and just your standard linebacker, which we’re calling Backer.

Previous Position Previews: Secondary | Defensive Line

Backer

# FULL NAME POS. HT. / WT. YEAR
1 Merriweather, Krishon Backer 6-1/230 Jr.
6 Jeffers, Riko Backer 6-2/240 Sr.
34 Robinson, Bryce Backer 6-0/240 R-Fr.
35 Curley, Patrick Backer 6-2/220 So.
20 Eldridge, Kosi Backer 6-1/215 Jr.

I debated quite a bit about whether or not to include Jeffers as part of the Raider position. He can and has played that position before and played it well, but he’s not as disciplined. Which makes me think that perhaps you see Jeffers and Merriweather start, Merriweather being the standard linebacker and Jeffers being the Raider. Wells has made an effort to compliment Merriweather (at least twice in the limited spring) and says that he runs to the ball each and every play. It seems that just doing that is about effort and half of what’s required. And then you get a combination of the rest of the guys. We are getting much closer to seeing much more of Robinson and Curley and I think that’s a good thing. I don’t know much about Eldridge, but thought of him as a safety/linebacker hybrid, but he’s probably not at 215 any longer.

Raider

# FULL NAME POS. HT. / WT. YEAR
37 Benson, Xavier Raider 6-3/220 So.
2 Bouyer-Randle, Brandon Raider 6-2/230 Sr.
32 Matthews, Tyrique Raider 5-11/220 So.

This is largely based on how these guys were used last year and the fact that Bouyer-Randle was really a pass rush specialist at Michigan State. Matthews played in every game last year and I recall Wells being complimentary of him quite a bit.

Walk-On’s

# FULL NAME POS. HT. / WT. YEAR
39 Nelson, Michael Backer 5-11/205 Jr.
43 Minor, Darryl Backer 6-0/225 R-Fr.
45 LaValle, Christian Backer 6-0/225 R-Fr.
46 Rodriguez, Joshua Backer 6-0/235 R-Fr.
47 Frasier, Ethan Backer 6-1/225 R-Fr.
48 Caylor, Blu Backer 6-2/220 R-Fr.
49 Cover, Chance Backer 6-2/235 R-Fr.
51 Watson, Wyatt Backer 6-3/200 R-Fr.
54 Ramirez, Bryce Backer 6-2/203 R-Fr.

I can’t say that I know that much about the walk-on’s and I believe they are all walk-on’s, but am not completely sure if any of these guys have a scholarship. The interesting thing about these guys is that there are a ton of redshirt freshmen and you wonder if that was intentional, to create a more robust walk-on program. And some of these guys are transfers in (as noted).

Darryl Minor, Jr. is the older brother of Kobee Minor, a Texas Tech signee. The Minors’ father Darryl played football for Oregon State and played running back for the Washington Redskins in the 1980’s . . . Christian LaValle is a Utah State transfer and I think will have to sit out this year. He was a linebacker that I believe the Aggie staff was trying to convert into a defensive lineman. Played linebacker in high school in Mission Viejo, California . . . Joshua Rodriguez is originally from Wichita Falls, Rider specifically, and spent a medical redshirt year at McMurray University last year and believe he will have to sit out this year . . Ethan Frasier is originally from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, earning 2nd team All-State his senior year, with 140 tackles and 27 tackles for a loss. Ethan’s father is a Texas Tech graduate and has a younger brother, Seth, who also attends Texas Tech . . . Blu Caylor redshirted last year and was a two-way player at Stephenville his senior year, running back and linebacker, earning 2nd team All-State his senior year, 152 tackles . . . Chance Cover attended Nolan Catholic in Fort Worth, played linebacker and wide receiver as a senior . . . Wyatt Watson redshirted last year and played linebacker and tight end for Heath right outside of Rockwall . . . Bryce Ramirez played for George Ranch in Richmond, mainly that linebacker or safety hybrid spot . . .

The Freshmen

# FULL NAME POS. HT. / WT. YEAR
Lewis, II, Derrick Backer 6-2/210 FR.

Lewis was the only freshman linebacker with Merriweather being the other non-freshman linebacker. I think that he’s exactly what this staff wants in terms of physical profile. Now they just need to grab a couple of players like Lewis in the upcoming class.

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