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Texas Tech Football Position Preview: Defensive Backs

Experience will be the key for the Red Raiders secondary in 2020

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The 2019 season was not a good one for the Texas Tech defensive backfield. Adrian Frye didn’t fit in well at safety, the cornerback play was awful against speedy receivers, and the overall result was a ton of receiving yards and a reluctance from opposing teams to run the ball and play to the strengths of last year’s defense. 

The hope is that this season will be different with Frye moving back to his original position of cornerback and graduate transfer Eric Monroe coming in to replace him at safety. This team’s success relies heavily on whether or not this group of defensive backs can slow down the explosive offenses of the Big 12. 

There are 8 returners that played in the defensive backfield even a little bit last season that will be back in the fold this season. Some of them will be expected to fill big roles, while some will be relegated to a more backup role. Here are my starters going into the season. 


Projected Starters:

CB: Adrian Frye (Jr.)

CB: Jamarcus Ingram (Sr.)

Spur: Zech McPherson (Sr.)

Projected Backups:

CBs: Alex Hogan (Soph.), DeQuanteous Watts (RS-Fr.), Nate Floyd (Fr.)

Spur: Adam Beck (Sr.)

#7 Adrian Frye (Jr.)

Frye will be relied on heavily during this year, as he is being moved back over to cornerback from the safety position. He hopes to return better than ever after having a below-average season last year. 

#22 Jamarcus Ingram (Sr.)

Ingram has had his issues in the past but his play on the field is pretty solid. He has great size and speed to play the cornerback position and will be relied on to help the younger guys improve as the season goes on. 

#8 Zech McPherson (Sr.)

McPherson moves to the Spur position this season after playing cornerback last year. He recorded 51 tackles and was one of the anchors of this defense. Although his position will be different this season, look for McPherson to have a great year playing a safety/ linebacker hybrid position. 

Projected Backups:


Alex Hogan (Soph.)

DeQuanteous Watts (RS-Fr.)

Nate Floyd (Fr.)


Adam Beck (Sr.)


Projected Starters:

Demarcus Fields (Sr.) 

Eric Monroe (Sr.)

#11 Eric Monroe (Sr.)

Monroe is coming off of a National Championship with the LSU Tigers, a program that is applauded for its defense. Although he didn’t play much last season, I am still looking for him to have a great year as a Red Raider. He will be playing the Safety Position, and I’m looking for him to be a leader on this defense this season. 

#23 Demarcus Fields (Sr.)

Fields has been a mainstay at cornerback up until last season, as he lost some playing time to some other guys. The coaching staff has moved him to the safety position where he looks to be a starter again. He recorded 54 tackles last season, which was good for 5th on the team. 

Projected Backups:

Cam White (Jr.)

Thomas Leggett (Sr.) 

Dadrion Taylor (Soph.)

This group of starters is very good compared to those in years past. This coaching staff is actually doing something the Kingsbury regimes could never do, build a solid defensive secondary. It may not be great this season, but this group of starters is definitely nothing to laugh at anymore. The depth of this group is really good too with players that have been in the system such as senior Thomas Leggett, junior Adam Beck, and sophomores Alex Hogan and Dadrion Taylor make for a deeper defensive backfield than have been in Lubbock in recent memory. What I don’t think we see this year is a bunch of true freshmen which is a change compared to years past. 

The defensive backfield might not be the backbone of this Texas Tech team this year, but it is improving and it should be no joke when October and November roll around. The combination of depth and experience make this the most talented defensive backfield in my recent memory. Let’s hope their play on the field can match the expectation of the coaches and fans this season.

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Larry Pilkinton
Larry Pilkinton
3 years ago

I agree that this defensive backfield appears to be better suited for what Tech wants to do this season to improve results that were gutter worthy over the last decade. I sincerely hope the experience gained by returnees, and the anticipated impact from the newcomers will allow the DB’s to shut down offenses and make them alter their plans. Seeing Frye back at the corner slot is a huge relief as I simply felt he was completely out of place and lost all of last season. It may not be among the best in the country, but a 50% improvement should work wonders for Texas Tech.

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