Texas Tech Red Raider Football Head Coach Tommy Tuberville this afternoon announced the Red Raiders 2012 Signing Day Class.

17 student-athletes were signed from high schools across the country with another 9 recruits signed from the junior college ranks.

One of the new recruits expected to get playing time as a freshman is defensive end Michael Starts. Starts is 6'4" 282 pounds from La Vega High School.  Starts is rated as a 4-star recruit by the Scout, Rivals and MaxPreps recruiting news websites. Starts will play on the strong side of the defensive line.

Coach Tuberville talked about the effort in recruting Starts, "Went to his high school last week.  I get one visit.  For obvious reasons, I waited until the last day to go, fighting off the wolves.  They were all in there.  One of the National Championship coaches said he wants to go in and play early, and he wants to go somewhere where he feels like he can be effective and help and be part of a good program.  So he stuck with us. I felt good about that."

Tuberville signed one quarterback in this year's class, Clayton Nicholas from Abilene Cooper High School. Nicholas is 6'3" and is rated as either a 3 or 4-star recruit by the major recruiting news websites. Nicholas will be the third-string quarterback when fall camp starts in August because of the departure of Scotty Young from the team.

I asked Tuberville about the Red Raiders limited quarterback depth, "We signed a couple guys this year that we're going to look some at quarterback, because they played quarterback in high school and what they did.  We want to become a little bit more of a throwing quarterback situation, along with maybe a running quarterback situation, which a lot of teams have done and had success.

"Maybe rotating quarterbacks, playing different quarterbacks.  So we'll actually have more than two this spring, because we'll practice more than a couple with some of the guys on this team already that have played quarterback back in the past in the wildcat situation."  Tuberville continued, " We're not in the best shape you'd probably want to be in going into spring practice, but I like the two guys (Seth Doege and Michael Brewer) that we've got going in, and there is going to be a lot of competition there."

Another area of need addressed in this year's recruiting is the defensive secondary. Six defensive backs were signed and Tuberville said that two of them are expected to be cornerbacks capable of playing against Big 12 wide receivers. La'Darius Newbold and Thierry Nguema are both 6'0" tall cornerbacks with great speed and quickness.

In talking about Nguema Tuberville said, "He's a guy that he's so quick that we don't have anybody on the team like him.  He's a guy that can flip the hips, turn.  Not turn his shoulders, but turn his hips and run and still look back the other way.  You need a lot of that when you play in this league.  When you play manned coverage or zone, you need to be able to do that."

In non-recruiting news today, Tuberville announced that offensive line coach Jim Turner has left Texas Tech to become the offensive line coach with the Miami Dolphins.  A new offensive line coach has been hired and will be announced by Tuberville in the coming days.  Also, running back Ronnie Daniels has been reinstated to the team. Daniels will participate in Spring Practice.



Signee Pos Ht Wt Hometown (School)
Lee Adams DL 6-1 264 Corona, CA (Centennial HS)
Micah Awe DB 6-0 192 Mansfield, TX (Summitt HS)
Javon Bell WR 6-0 175 Jacksonville, FL (Ribault HS)
Reginald Davis WR 6-1 185 Tenaha, TX (Tenaha HS)
Olaoluwa Falemi DB 5-10 170 Wilmington, CA (Banning HS, L.A. Harbor College)
Ryan Flannigan LB 6-1 200 Missouri City, TX (Fort Bend Marshall HS)
Rashad Fortenberry OL 6-4 271 Tylerton, MS (Tylertown HS)
SaDale Foster ATH 5-8 180 Riverside, CA (J.W. North HS)
Casey Gladney WR 6-1 177 Columbia, SC (Columbia HS)
Bruce Jones DB 5-9 175 Eastvale, CA (Roosevelt HS)
Jared Kaster OL 6-4 268 Altair, TX (Altair Rice HS)
Trey Keenan OL 6-5 270 Argyle, TX (Argyle HS)
J. J. Lollar DL 6-3 275 College Station, TX (A&M Consolidated HS)
La'Darius Newbold DB 6-0 180 Lancaster, TX (Lancaster HS)
Thierry Nguema DB 6-0 175 Corona, CA (Santiago HS)
Clayton Nicholas QB 6-3 205 Abilene, TX (Cooper HS)
Chris Payne LB 5-11 191 Columbia, SC (Columbia HS)
Chase Robison DL 6-4 228 Memphis, TN (Christian Brothers HS)
Anthony Smith DL 6-0 291 Houston, TX (Spring Westfield HS)
Will Smith LB 6-3 220 Riverside, CA (Notre Dame HS)
Michael Starts DL 6-4 282 Waco, TX (La Vega HS)
Austin Stewart DB 6-2 200 Matthews, NC (Butler HS)
Keenon Ward ATH 5-9 176 Snyder, TX (Snyder HS)
Dominque Wheeler WR 6-1 176 Crockett, TX (Crockett HS)
Quinton White RB 5-8 180 College Station, TX (A&M Consolidated HS)
Kris Williams LB 6-3 210 Dallas, TX (Bryan Adams HS)