Joey McGuire and the rest of the Texas Tech football coaching staff are still adding pieces to the 2023 roster, and on Saturday, they got an addition that might be a little under the radar, but could pay dividends this fall.
Fresno State transfer Bralyn Lux, a 5-foot-7, 175-pound defenseman from San Jose, Calif., announced via Twitter that he has committed to the Red Raiders, giving McGuire’s defense much-needed depth in a premium position.
According to the Fresno State football website, Lux, who has two years of eligibility left, started all eight games he played last season, making 35 tackles, breaking up 7 passes and leaving with an interception. In his career, he saw action in 27 games in which he amassed 85 tackles, 15 passes defense and a pair of picks.
Why this pickup is so important is that there is a deep concern for Tech’s defensive backs. First, presumptive starting corner Rayshad Williams missed all of spring practice and has yet to regain full health due to a sports hernia.
While he’s expected to be ready for fall camp in August, just the thought of that injury bouncing back should be enough to make Red Raider fans shudder. Last year Williams was fantastic for Tech starting all 12 regular season games with 37 tackles, 7 pass breakups and a pick.
What’s more, his 6-foot-3 frame makes him a unique corner, as he has the size to battle big receivers, a skill many Red Raider corners have lacked in recent years. But even with Williams expected to be season-ready, Tech still needed to add a ready-to-play corner on defense as this offseason Adrian Frye left for graduation and Kobie Minor walked out the portal.
Had Tech not added a veteran DB to the equation, young, untested players like Maurion Horn, Chapman Lewis, Jordan Sanford or Brenden Jordan could have been pressed into starting service as underclasses, or as extra corners in a defense of five saves. formation or as a starter in case of injury.
Now Tech can turn to Lux to provide the secondary age and experience needed. In his career, Lux has faced Power 5 teams such as Oregon, Southern Cal and Oregon State, so life in the Big 12 shouldn’t be too overwhelming for him. That may not have been the case for the youngsters on Tech’s roster, who never saw significant snaps at this level of competition.
This is the second defensive transfer Tech has added from the Mountain West Conference this offseason. At the end of December, Former San Diego State defensive back CJ Baskerville signed with Tech after playing 22 games and recording 75 career tackles for the Aztecs. Baskerville is expected to have a serious time, if not a starting role, whether in the safety or “star” position.
The Red Raiders may not be done adding parts for next season, either. With the loss of last season’s top tackler, middle linebacker Krishon Merriweather, some help could be used in that position, as current options at midfield are junior Jacob Rodriguez, who never started at the collegiate level, and Jessiah Pierre , who will move to the MLB position after being an edge rusher for most of his college career.
Also, don’t be shocked if Tech tries to add some offensive line depth. While the starting five looks set, there isn’t a lot of confidence in the backup options the Red Raiders would have to fall back on in the event of injury. However, finding quality players who can justify a scholarship at any of the LB’s midpoints or along the offensive line is difficult at this end of the recruiting cycle.
Still, rest assured that McGuire will be constantly looking for ways to improve his squad before camp kicks off in just over two months. That’s because this coaching staff believes the 2023 Red Raiders are capable of competing for the Big 12 title, and adding the finishing touches to the roster could be what puts them at the top.