One of the biggest tasks Texas Tech head football coach Joey McGuire must tackle this offseason is finding a way to replace the productivity of All-Big 12 defensive end Tyree Wilson, who is heading to the NFL Draft after rack up seven sacks and 14 tackles. for defeat in just ten games this fall. While no player will do for the 2023 Red Raiders what Wilson did this season, the more options defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter has to work with, the better the chances that Tech can maintain his ability to rush the passing passer. .
Monday, another intriguing name was added to the mix for Tech’s pass rush when Syracuse outside linebacker Steve Linton announced his intention to transfer to the Red Raiders.
A native of Dublin, Georgia, standing 6ft 1in tall and 220lbs, Linton has been a disruptive force for the Orange this season. In 11 games, he accumulated 3.5 sacks and 6.0 tackles for loss as part of his 22 tackles. That was by far the best season of his four-year Syracuse career, as he entered the fall with just 1.5 career sacks.
In the Class of 2019, Linton was an unknown recruit. Ranked the No. 88 player in Georgia and the No. 60 defensive end in the nation, he chose Syracuse over offers from Arizona State, Missouri, Baylor, South Florida, Louisville, Central Florida, and others.
As a true freshman, Linton has only appeared in one game, meaning that thanks to the 2020 COVID-19 free year, he will have two years of eligibility with the Red Raiders.
It will be fun to see how DeRuyter deploys Linton in his aggressive scheme. He will likely play a role similar to the one we’ve seen Jesiah Pierre play this year. The former Florida transfer took place as the year progressed to finish with 40 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 7.0 tackles for loss.
This veteran duo will likely offset a young group of Red Raider defenses next fall. In Wilson’s place, freshmen Joseph Adedire and Isaac Smith got significant playing time and both players showed signs of being future passing forces.
Adedire ended the year with 19 tackles (3.5 for loss) and a sack. The Mansfield, Texas native is just tapping into his potential and could be a standout player next season after a full offseason in the Red Raiders’ strength and conditioning program.
The same can be said for Smith, an Oklahoma native who opened some eyes in the last few games of his redshirt rookie season. With 11 tackles and a sack in Tech’s last three games, the lanky youngster is poised for a bigger role in 2023.
Going after the passer is essential in the game of football. So continually adding players that can wreak havoc in the backfield is a must.
That’s why the addition of Linton is a nice win for McGuire on the transfer portal. By adding one more athletic passing runner, he has given his program one more option when it comes to building his running pass. We expect the 2023 Red Raider fast pass to be able to replace Tyree Wilson, relying on the strength of their numbers.