Maybe the Texas Tech football program is finally starting to pick up some momentum on the recruiting trail now that the unprecedented15 month-long dead period has been lifted. After being the only team in the Big 12 with no 2022 commitments into June, Tech has now landed its first verbal pledge of the current recruiting cycle.
Hudson “Hut” Graham, who is listed by the recruiting sites as an athlete, announced his commitment to Texas Tech on Thursday morning making him the first member of the Red Raiders’ 2022 class. The Gunter, Texas product will be a defensive back at Tech but he has also played QB for his high school team.
Listed by Rivals.com as a 3-star safety but currently unranked by 247Sports, Graham also holds offers from Air Force, Army, Dartmouth, Hawaii, NAU, South Dakota State, and UTSA. He recently visited Lubbock as part of the first wave of prospects to check out campus after the lifting of the dead period.
Last season, according to Max Preps, he passed for 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns while rushing for 654 rushing yards and 14 more scores. On the other side of the ball, he amassed 17 tackles and a tackle-for-loss.
The Red Raiders will be set to lose starting safeties Eric Monroe and Marquis Waters after this season so adding some help at that position is going to be important for Matt Wells and his coaching staff. While we can be fairly confident that Wells will once again go fishing in the transfer portal to add immediate help at the position (as he’s done each of the past two offseasons) bringing in quality high school talent is something that this staff can’t ignore despite the recent success of the transfer portal.
Under Wells, Tech has solidified the secondary more than any other position by adding transfers. In the last three years, Tech has brought in defensive backs such as Zech McPhearson from Penn State, JaMarcus Ingram from Utah State, Eric Monroe from LSU, Marquis Waters from Duke, Rayshod Williams from UCLA, Reggie Pearson from Wisconsin, and Malik Dunlap from N.C. State.
But during that same time period, Tech has not added much quality to the secondary through the high school ranks. For instance, in the class of 2021, Wells and Co. added only one high school DB, Imari Jones from Lubbock Coronado. Meanwhile, in the class of 2020, Tech added six HS defensive backs but none have yet been able to break into the program’s two-deep rotation and at least two have left the program altogether.
Tech now pulls even with TCU in the number of recruits in the 2022 class as each program sits at the bottom of the Big 12 class rankings with just one player in the fold. But that’s likely to change for both given that the dead period is over. And as far as Tech is concerned, there’s been a flurry of activity on campus this month and that isn’t likely to cease in the upcoming weeks. Thus, Graham could be the first of many players to commit to the Red Raiders this summer.