December 10, 2007

The Red Raiders add another top defender

The Red Raiders have never been shy about recruiting the junior college ranks, especially if the talent of a player warrants it. Since Mike Leach arrived to Texas Tech he has signed at least one junior college prospect every single season and this year is no different. Before yesterday the Red Raiders had a handful of junior college commits but as of late last night that number grew by one.

"I saw Coach Ruff, Coach Simmons and Coach Leach late last night and I committed to them," said Blinn Junior College defensive end Emmanuel Stephens.

Stephens took an official visit to Texas Tech back in mid-November and was present when the Red Raiders knocked off the 4th ranked Oklahoma Sooners. He liked the Lubbock campus but maintained at that time that he still wanted to take some other trips before deciding and he did just that. After seeing Texas Tech up close and previously visiting Washington State he then took visits to Oklahoma State and Ole Miss which leaves him with one left to take. That last trip was supposed to be to Texas A&M but that trip apparently won't be taken.

"No, I'm just going to prepare for my move to Lubbock, I'm done taking visits."

So ultimately then, why Texas Tech?

"The coaching staff, they just seem like a real good family, they have a nice school and a nice program," said Stephens. "They also have everything situated with their coaches and A&M doesn't."

Stephens (6-foot-3, 220-pounds) was recruited by Texas Tech to play the rush end spot and he'll enroll this next semester in time for spring football and a full off-season with the Red Raiders.

The standout defensive end chose the Red Raiders over written offers from Arkansas, Washington State, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Mississippi Sate, Kansas State, Arizona, Washington and California.

What kind of player did Texas Tech land in Stephens? His coach says a very good one.

"Emannuel plays harder that any kid I've had," Blinn assistant Keith Browning said. "He's relentless."

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