Texas Tech's Tuberville ventures into SEC land

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by BETSY BLANEY

Associated Press

Posted on February 1, 2012 at 8:40 PM

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Texas Tech on Wednesday picked up recruits from coach Tommy Tuberville's old stomping grounds in the Southeastern Conference.
 
The Red Raiders, coming off their first losing season since 1992, announced the signings of 26 players from seven states, including South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Florida. Fourteen players are from Texas.
 
Tuberville said players from SEC states he'll be interested in are receivers, defensive backs and those who've played against more wide-open offenses.
 
"I know a lot about some of those areas," he said. "We'll cover this state as much as we possibly can, but if we find players, as we have the last two years, outside of this state on either coast, we'll go after them.  I think we'll continue to have success with that."
 
Tuberville said the staff looked for speed and quickness, with defensive and offensive linemen the biggest needs.
 
But the team needed help at every position, and Tuberville said junior college players were added in areas of immediate need.
 
Some of the junior college players will have three years of eligibility, Tuberville said.
 
"It will still give us an opportunity to have more guys out there with ability that have some maturity," he said. "They understand a little bit of the speed of the ball in terms of college football and (will) help us. We definitely need some help in some areas."
 
The Red Raiders were abysmal on defense last season, finishing No. 114 out of 120 Division I programs. In total offense, they finished No. 13. Under Tuberville's predecessor, Mike Leach, Tech's pass-happy offense typically finished in the top five nationally in total offense.
 
Seth Doege, last year's starting quarterback, will likely have an edge going into spring practice. Last year's backup, Jacob Karam, transferred to Memphis at the end of the year, and Scotty Young also is leaving.
 
Michael Brewer will start spring workouts at No. 2 on the depth chart, Tuberville said.
 
"We're in pretty good shape," he said. "We're not in the best shape you'd probably want to be in going into spring practice, but I like the two guys that we've got going in, and there is going to be a lot of competition there."
 
Texas Tech got a surprise too. Casey Gladney, a 6-foot-1, 177-pound receiver from South Carolina, picked Texas Tech over national champion Alabama. Tuberville said Gladney could face academic troubles, though.
 
Fifteen signees were on defense, eight on offense. Three were listed as athletes.
 
The Red Raiders looked for such versatile players as Reginald Davis, who led Tenaha to a Class 1A Division II championship and 15-0 record in 2011. Davis, 6-foot-1, 188-pounder, could play receiver, slot or defensive back, Tuberville said.
 
"We've tried to sign as many of those as we possibly can," he said. "We weren't the fastest team in the Big 12 last year. I think after this recruiting class, we'll move up in that rank in terms of speed that we put on the field on both sides of the ball."

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