Texas Tech’s New Coaches Are Absolutely Loving Lubbock
The Texas Tech University football program has undergone quite a shift in the last four months. The obvious change came at the top of the program after Matt Wells was fired and the program went with a moderately low experience college assistant with a wealth of Texas high school football ties in Joey McGuire.
The biggest issue in the Matt Wells Era besides an empty win column in Big 12 play was the seemingly distant stance on high school recruiting. It was being done, sure, but the previous staff was more than happy getting a bunch of plug-and-play transfers to fill out the roster.
There was also just a disconnect on social media from the previous staff that the new one is making painfully obvious.
Recruiting has changed drastically in the last five years and has exploded into giant recruiting staff at high-level programs. Texas Tech was a late adopter to the game, but McGuire has put an obvious emphasis on the high school recruiting process in the state of Texas. It's put the Red Raiders on pace for their best class since 2011, and maybe ever, in the online recruiting service era.
The biggest difference I've seen online is the football coaching staff posting incessantly when they're out recruiting -- something that hasn't been done to this extent at Texas Tech. They're also all about the overall vibe o f Lubbock.
Matt Wells infamously couldn't give a great answer on why he loved Lubbock. That might have not seemed like a big deal to some, but when your entire livelihood depends on getting young men and their families invested in your community, you better at least act like you love the community.
That's something the new staff is excelling at. The new DL coach Zarnell Fitch spent the last several seasons at his alma mater TCU in Fort Worth, presumably telling recruits how much Lubbock sucked because that's what he'd always been told.
Now? He's seen the light.
Recruiting expert and director of player personnel James Blanchard loves recruiting to Lubbock, a sentiment that WR coach Emmett Jones agrees with.
It all starts at the top though, and Joey McGuire has been great about getting his team out to track and field, tennis and basketball games to invest in the university and the community at large. They see the city of Lubbock's support, and I'm sure it's their plan to have The Jones rocking again soon.
Again, the coaching staff is noticing the incredible impact the United Supermarkets Arena provides the men's basketball team, which remains undefeated at home, and packing the place at a rate only matched by seven other schools in college basketball.
The non-stop recruiting on social media is making a huge difference. According to Rivals.com, Texas Tech has garnered commitments from five 4-star prospects, including Jmaury Davis, who announced his commitment on Valentine's Day.
The emphasis on high-end Texas high school talent has the Red Raiders positioned as the 6th best-recruiting class in the 247sports.com rankings, and 5th best on Rivals.
That would obviously be the highest ranking in the online recruiting rankings era for the Red Raiders, whose previous best class came in 2011 with a class headlined by Jace Amaro, Bradley Marquez and Le'Raven Clark. That class finished at 20th on Rivals.com with seven 4-star players signing with Texas Tech.
Joey McGuire hasn't coached a game yet for Texas Tech, but he's obviously revolutionized the recruiting for a team that hasn't finished inside the top 30 since 2012.