Photo CC: texastech.com
Texas Tech is no stranger to having good linebackers on the roster. In the last decade alone, Tech has had these prominent players at the linebacker position,
Jordyn Brooks (2020 1st round pick)
The tradition of having talented LB’s looks to continue in 2020 for the Red Raiders as Rico Jeffers looks to fill the shoes left by Jordyn Brooks. While two transfers in Krishon Merriweather and Brandon Bouyer-Randle look to play keep roles beside Jeffers. Here is how the linebacker group is looking for the Red Raiders in 2020.
Projected Depth Chart (As of Aug 18th)
- Brandon Bouyer-Randle (RS-Jr)
- Kosi Eldridge (Jr)
- Xavier Benson* (RS-So)
- Riko Jeffers (Sr)
- Krishon Merriweather (RS-Jr)
- Bryce Robinson (RS-Fr)
#2 Brandon Bouyer-Randle (RS-Jr)
Bouyer-Randle is a transfer from Michigan State. During his time in East Lansing, Bouyer-Randle recorded 31 total tackles to go along with 6.0 tackle for a loss and 4.5 sacks over 30 games played. He only started one game for the Spartans, but while he was on the field he was productive. He is a physical LB with the capability to get to the QB and created havoc. Coach Patterson described the Raider position upon his arrival in the 806 as a “hybrid linebacker”. This player will be asked to play linebacker, but also be a defensive end as well. With his size, Bouyer-Randle fits into the position nicely and should make an instant impact for the Red Raiders in 2020.
#20 Kosi Eldridge (Jr)
Eldridge wasn’t used much as a linebacker in 2019 recording 6 tackles and one QB hurry. He made his impact on special teams for the Red Raiders. Coach Wells mentioned in early August about who transfer Bouyer-Randle and Eldridge would both be working at the Raider position in Coach Pattersons’ defense. Eldridge has solid size for the Raider position at 6’1 225 lbs, his twitch and get off are what separates him from others at the position. He will have increased snaps in 2020 and look to make an impact.
#37 Xavier Benson* (RS-So)
Notice there is an asterisk next to Benson’s name, this is due to Benson taking time away from the team to focus on his mental health. He received an outcrying of support from Red Raider fans as well as everyone within the program. While Benson was on the field in 2019, he became a true difference-maker as only an RS Freshman. In the 12 games he played, Benson started 10 while recording 57 tackles (36 solo) and recording 4 tackle for loss and recording one sack. His lengthy frame and unique athletic ability make him a problem for opposing offenses in the Big 12. Once he determines when he wants to return to the field, look for him and Bouyer-Randle to be a nice duo for Coach Patterson at the Raider position.
#6 Riko Jeffers (Sr)
Jeffers has been making an impact for the Red Raiders since the first year he stepped foot on campus. Now, in his senior season, he is the main man and no longer in Dakota Allen or Jordyn Brooks shadow. He will be the main voice of the defense and make sure everyone is in the proper spot. In his first three seasons in the scarlet and black, Jeffers has recorded 169 tackles (109 solo), 16. tackle for loss, 5 sacks to go along with 4 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries. He is a sideline to sideline linebacker that cause offensive coordinators in the Big 12 nightmares. His size and speed are a combo that very few linebackers in the Big 12 have. He will look to prove that he can be the main man in the linebacker group in his senior year.
#1 Krishon Merriweather (RS-Jr)
Arguably the best linebacker in the JUCO ranks in the Class of 2020, Merriweather is the perfect compliment to Jeffers. Merriweather led the Jayhawks Conference and country in tackles last season with 153 tackles. He also created chaos in the backfield recording 10 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. While at Garden City CC in 2019, he recorded three games with 20+ tackles. His build and speed allow him, much like Riko Jeffers, to be a sideline to sideline linebacker. He will stick his nose in the running lanes and force running backs to think twice. Look for him to make an instant impact next to Jeffers and the other starting linebacker transfer, Bouyer-Randle.
#34 Bryce Robinson (RS-Fr)
Robinson didn’t play but one game in his freshman campaign in the 806. Looking at his HS tape, he is a heavy hitter that isn’t afraid to go into the backfield cause problems. He is patient and trust his instincts when looking in the backfield to make a play. He moves sideline to sideline similar to Merriweather and has the same type build. Look for Robinson to potentially be the third ILB for Tech when camp breaks here in a couple weeks.
There will be other contributors on the roster this season at the linebacker position. During camp, we will update you on any depth chart changes. Here are the other linebackers listed on the Texas Tech roster.
#32 Tyrique Matthews (So)
#35 Patrick Curley (RS-So)
#39 Michael Nelson (RS -Jr)
#41 Jacob Morgenstern (GR TR)
#45 Christian LaValle (RS -Fr)
#47 Ethan Frasier (RS-Fr)
#48 Derrick Lewis II (Fr)
#49 Chance Cover (RS- Fr)
#50 Trent Low (Fr)
#54 Bryce Ramirez (RS -Fr)
#56 Jackson Baggett (RS-Fr)