5 Pink Raiders that could possibly surprise in 2021

LUBBOCK, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 16: Defensive conclude Nelson Mbanasor #91 of the Texas Tech Pink Raiders battles from left deal with Anthony McKinney #68 of the TCU Horned Frogs. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Illustrations or photos)

We are just weeks absent from the commence of the Texas Tech football season and as speak about realignment has cooled off in the previous couple months (thanks not to a decrease in fan desire but extra due to a deficiency of new facts on the subject matter) anticipation is starting up to ramp up for true video games.

When individuals game titles start off, the fan foundation will have a rather good strategy of what to be expecting from a substantial portion of the group offered that there could possibly be 8 returning starters on each facet of the football.  Consequently, we may possibly truly feel as if we have a pretty decent tackle on what this team could be.

For instance, we are rather certain that Erik Ezukanma will be just one of the Significant 12’s finest receivers.  Right after all, he is a preseason All-Huge 12 collection who completed last yr 2nd in the league in obtaining yards for each match.

Also, so long as he can keep on being wholesome (a little something that is not a supplied due to the placement he plays), we also can be comfy in assuming that SaRodorick Thompson will be one particular of the toughest and most impactful running backs in the Major 12.

On defense, we all be expecting linebackers Riko Jeffers, Colin Schooler, and Krishon Merriweather to anchor one of the finest linebacking corps in the country.  All 3 had been among the prime 4 tacklers on the 2020 Crimson Raider squad and each will have a crucial function to engage in in 2021.

Nevertheless, there will constantly be some surprises when the period commences and this yr will be no exception.  So let us choose a look a five Red Raiders who may possibly surprise this year.

Nelson Mbanasor

We’ve been waiting for a breakout from defensive finish Nelson Mbanasor for four decades.  Remaining as he was the only DE that Tech signed in the class of 2017 and that he was pretty very regarded when he arrived as a true freshman, the expectation was that he would be an affect participant by now.

Of program, that hasn’t been the scenario.  In fact, after missing all but just one sport of final year owing to damage, he’s amassed just 27 complete tackles and just one sack in his college job.

But this yr, the Pflugerville indigenous is turning heads in camp and is participating in at total toughness.  That could signal that he’s ultimately prepared to turn out to be an effects member of the defensive line rotation.

As we not long ago reviewed, Tech enters 2021 with no distinct responses as to where by this year’s go rush will occur from.  What is extra, this program has to figure out a way to split out of its just about ten years-extended battle to discover a reliable go hurry.

Whilst no a single is predicting that Mbanasor will have a double-digit sack season, it is conceivable that he will do the job his way into the two-deep rotation and that he will be a visible contributor on Saturdays.  Could he give this staff 5 sacks?  If so, that would be a huge action ahead for both of those the player and the staff.

Typically, in decades past, late bloomers have arrive from out of nowhere to enable the Pink Raiders in a significant way.  That was the case with these players as broad receiver Antoine Wesley in 2018 and defensive close Brandon Sharpe in 2009.

Even though those people two gamers set up seasons that re-wrote parts of the Texas Tech file books, no just one is inquiring for that from Mbanasor in 2021.  But it would be wonderful to see a full time out of him and for that period to be just one in which he’s a critical contributor to the Pink Raider protection.

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