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Texas Tech new home for second Rice graduate transfer lineman


Saturday has morphed into Announcement Day on the Rice graduate transfer front.

Earlier today, offensive tackle Calvin Anderson announced via Twitter that he has decided to transfer to Texas.  A couple of hours later, Anderson’s former Rice teammate, Preston Gordon, took to the same social media website to announce that he will continue his collegiate playing career at Texas Tech.

Like Anderson, Gordon will be eligible to use his final season of collegiate eligibility immediately as he will be headed to Lubbock as a graduate of his previous university.

In addition to a trip to Tech early on in the transfer process, the defensive tackle had also visited Kansas.  Alabama had shown interest as well, as did Syracuse, TCU, Tulane and UConn.

The last three seasons, Gordon started 28 games for the Owls, including all 12 in 2017. In 2016, Gordon tied for the team lead in sacks with 3.5, while his 6.5 tackles for loss led all interior linemen on the squad. This past season, he was third on the team in tackles for loss with 4.5.

Ohio State staffer Adam Scheier named special teams coordinator at Texas Tech

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Once again, Kliff Kingsbury‘s coaching staff is whole.

Thursday, Texas Tech announced that Adam Scheier has been hired by Kingsbury as the football program’s 10th assistant. Scheier will serve as the Red Raiders’ special teams coordinator.

This past season, Scheier was a quality control coach at Ohio State.

“We’re excited to complete our staff with Coach Scheier,” the head coach said in his statement provided by the school. “Coach Scheier will bring an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm to our special teams units. I’m excited for him to join our program.”

Prior to his brief pit stop in Columbus, Scheier served in full-time, on-field positions on staffs at Wake Forest (2014-16), Bowling Green (2009-13), Lehigh (2002-08) and Princeton (2000-01). He coordinated special teams, among other duties, at each of those stops.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to join Coach Kingsbury and his staff at Texas Tech,” Scheier said. “I look forward to developing relationships with our players and getting started with spring practice this weekend. My family and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the Lubbock community and join the Red Raider family.”

In addition to Scheier’s hiring, the football program also announced that linebackers coach Zac Spavital has been promoted to co-defensive coordinator as well.  Spavital will be entering his fourth season with the Red Raiders.

Alabama a potential landing spot for Rice grad transfer Preston Gordon

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Yet another Rice graduate transfer lineman is drawing interest from an SEC school.

Preston Gordon confirmed to al.com this week that he has had “some preliminary contact” with Alabama as a potential landing spot. Last month, the defensive tackle decided to take the graduate transfer route out of Rice.

As the Crimson Tide, which is also in play for a grad transfer quarterback, lost three linemen to the NFL and signed just two in the Class of 2018, a move to Tuscaloosa could make sense for both parties.

“If Alabama were interested, that’s a top-tier program and I would definitely be interested,” Gordon told the website. “As a D-lineman, that’s where it’s at, so it would definitely be high, high interest.”

Gordon has already received an offer from Texas Tech after visiting Lubbock, and has taken a trip to Kansas as well. The lineman also told the site that he has spoken with Syracuse, TCU, Tulane and UConn.

The last three seasons, Gordon started 28 games for the Owls, including all 12 in 2017. In 2016, Gordon tied for the team lead in sacks with 3.5, while his 6.5 tackles for loss led all interior linemen on the squad. This past season, he was third on the team in tackles for loss with 4.5.

Gordon’s former teammate and the Owls’ starting left tackle the past three seasons, Calvin Anderson, has drawn interest from Auburn as a graduate transfer and has already visited the Tigers. It’s believed that Michigan and Texas are the frontrunners, although Texas A&M has entered the mix for Anderson as well.

Just two (of 347) four-star 2018 recruits didn’t put pen to FBS paper during signing periods

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National Signing Days (plural) 2018 may have run its course, but the Herbie Hancocking of National Letters of Intent hasn’t quite ended yet for some.

Entering Wednesday, four of 247Sports.com‘s 29 five-star 2018 recruits were unsigned; suffice to say, all four of those exited having signed with various Power Five programs.  That same recruiting service listed a whopping 347 prospects as four-star recruits.  With the second signing day in the books, just two of those didn’t sign with FBS teams — Denton (TX) wide receiver Gabriel Douglas and Detroit (MI) center Tyrone Sampson Jr.

Douglas, rated as the No. 51 receiver and No. 312 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board, had been committed to Texas Tech since October of 2016.  However, the day before Signing Day, Gabriel decided against signing with the Red Raiders and instead plans to attend a Mississippi junior college.

The No. 7 center in the country and No. 346 recruit overall, Sampson had reportedly zeroed in on Arizona State, Mississippi State and Nebraska as likely destinations.  Sampson’s high school coach, however, told the Detroit News that a couple of new schools, including Illinois, Missouri and West Virginia, had entered the picture recently and prompted the player to hold off on signing.

“It’s a case where he had a couple of schools come in real late so he won’t be able to visit until after the dead period, maybe next week,” East English Coach Rod Oden told the News.

In addition to Sampson and Douglas, six other recruits, all three-star prospects, listed in the Top 600 of 247Sports.com‘s composite board went unsigned by FBS programs for various reasons as well.

  • No. 415: Salt Lake City (Utah) outside linebacker Salua Masina — No. 25 at his position, No. 7 in his state
  • No. 521: Ramsey (NJ) strongside defensive end Marcellus Earlington — No. 23 at his position, No. 11 in his state
  • No. 533: Harrisburg (PA) athlete Shaquon Anderson-Butts — No. 39 at his position, No. 16 in his state
  • No. 547: Tampa (FL) athlete Jermaine Eskridge — No. 40 at his position, No. 85 in his state
  • No. 568: Murfreesboro (TN) defensive tackle D’Andre Litaker — No. 43 at his position, No. 17 in his state
  • No. 580: Philadelphia (PA) safety Isheem Young — No. 38 at his position, No. 19 in his state

Of that group, Eskridge, who had Ohio State and Oregon among others chasing him, and Anderson-Butts, a one-time Penn State commitopted for the JUCO route and are expected to sign with an FBS program during the 2019 cycle.  Litaker, meanwhile, decommitted from Tennessee in the days leading up to signing day and will now consider such schools as Miami and Oklahoma as well as a couple of SEC programs.  The defensive lineman, whose mother passed away in 2016, is also recovering from a second torn ACL he suffered last September.

And Young?  In early December, he was arrested in connection with the armed robbery of a Wawa convenience store in South Philadelphia this past summer.  At the time of his arrest, Young, who was a Penn State commit, was rated as the No. 12 safety in the country; the No. 5 player at any position in the state of Pennsylvania; and the No. 151 player overall.  He went from a four-star to three-star recruit because of the off-field issues.

Mike Leach reportedly loses another assistant, this time to Texas Tech

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The turnover on Mike Leach’s Washington State staff is continuing — this time to his former coaching stop, Texas Tech.

Both FootballScoop and Sports Illustrated are reporting that Cougars’ offensive line coach Clay McGuire is leaving the Palouse to head back to re-join the Red Raiders in a similar position.

McGuire is an Air Raid veteran, having both played for Leach in Lubbock and coached under him there too. He spent six years with the Cougars as their offensive line coach recently and handled running backs at both East Carolina and Texas Tech prior to the move West. It seems like he will likely wind up coaching the backfield for Kliff Kingsbury with Brandon Jones already installed as offensive line coach for the team.

The departure of McGuire will only add to what will be a very different-looking staff at Wazzu in 2018 after running backs coach Jim Mastro was hired by Oregon this offseason and Ohio State plucked defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.