The Texas Tech Red Raider Football team is pretty stacked when it comes to linebackers. At least seven of them have tremendous playing time from prior seasons. The returning and starting linebackers for the Red Raiders will have plenty of experience going into this season.
#1 Krishon Merriweather
A senior linebacker returning to the Red Raiders. Merriweather led the team in tackles during his debut season as a Red Raider. He appeared and started in nine of the 10 games this past season, ending the season with 75 tackles. Merriweather was ranked third in the BIG 12 for total tackles per game and ranked 65th in NCAA rankings in FBS for total tackles per game.
#2 Brandon Bouyer-Randle
The senior linebacker played three seasons at Michigan State with 31 tackles, including 6.0 for a loss and 4.5 sacks. Bouyer-Randle signed with the Red Raiders in December 2019. He played in nine of the 10 games with three starts and finished seventh on the team with 33 tackles, including a sack.
#6 Riko Jeffers
A senior Red Raider who has seen action since his true freshman season will be a key player for the Red Raiders. Jeffers has been a key element for the Red Raiders for the past four years and has been a team captain for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He ranked fourth on the team with 58 tackles after starting in nine of ten games and missed the season closer due to an injury. Jeffers has one final season left with the Red Raiders, and it is clear from all past seasons he will make it count.
#17 Colin Schooler
Senior, also returning to the Red Raiders. Before Texas Tech, Schooler played three years at Arizona in the MIKE position. Schooler received many awards while at Arizona including, Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year. After transferring to Texas Tech, he immediately impacted defense at the WILL position and ranked second on the team with 63 tackles, including 5.0 that went for a loss.
#20 Kosi Eldridge
Another senior returning Red Raider played three seasons at Michigan State. After transferring to Texas Tech, Eldridge appeared in nine games with three starts during his first season with the Red Raiders. Eldridge ranked seventh on the team with 33 tackles, which included a sack.
#41 Jacob Morgenstern
Possibly the most versatile player on the team. Morgenstern, who is a senior, played three seasons at Duke prior to transferring to Texas Tech. When Morgenstern transferred to Texas Tech in 2020, he made an immediate and major impact on defense and special teams. He has the ability to play many roles on defense, including any linebacker position and the SPUR position. Morgenstern will be an important player this coming season for the Red Raiders because of his versatility.
#32 Tyrique Matthews
A junior returner for the Red Raiders. Matthews played in all 12 games as a true freshman as a linebacker or key member of the special teams unit. His sophomore year, he played in nine of ten games as a backup linebacker and was a key part of the special teams unit again. Matthews is a key player for the Red Raiders, as he can play on special teams and linebackers whenever it is needed.
Having this much experience in the returners is going to be a key part for the Red Raiders in the upcoming season. Many of the players having the ability to be leaders, versatile, and experience sets this group of linebackers aside from other teams in the Big 12. These players will definitely be exciting to watch as some of them go into their final season.