In the early days of Joey McGuire’s tenure as Texas Tech’s head football coach, there was a flurry of activity on the recruiting front. So much so that at one point McGuire had the nation’s No. 2 for the 2023 cycle.
That momentum slowed somewhat over the summer months, however, as Tech only received five verbal acceptances during the time of year when many of the nation’s top players make their college choices. That worried some Red Raider fans, who had quickly become spoiled by McGuire’s instant recruiting success (he, for example, landed six verbal acceptances in April alone).
But much of Tech’s slowdown on the recruitment path has been due to Class of 2023 nearing completion. With 23 players already in the mix ahead of Thursday, McGuire and his staff can afford to be picky with the rest of their available seats.
If a special player wants to join your program, however, make sure they’re welcome, and that’s exactly what happened on Thursday night when 4-star defender Jordan Sanford announced his intention to become a Red Raider.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Arlington, Texas native is rated No. 23 safety in his class and No. 46 overall in Texas by 247Sports.com. That makes him the third-highest commitment in the current class of Tech behind edge rusher Isaiah Crawford of Post, Texas and safety Brenden Jordan of Mansfield, Texas.
As for Sanford, the nation’s 266th player for 2023, he has offers from companies like Northwestern, Oklahoma State, SMU, Washington, Arizona State, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Louisville, Michigan, Nebraska, TCU, Utah, and other. In June he visited Washington and was considered strongly inclined towards the Huskies, but McGuire and his coaching staff were able to win this important recruiting battle.
Replenishing the defensive ranks in this class is crucial for Tech as the Red Raiders look set to exhaust their eligibility this season in 2022 given Adrian Frye and Marquis Waters, two of this year’s suspected starters.
It was also important for Tech to add another star recruit to the defensive backfield after 4-star recruit Calvin Simpson-Hunt made the move from Tech to Ohio State earlier this summer. His loss was a major blow to Tech’s recruiting class, but Sanford’s addition helps offset that recruiting loss.
Currently, the Red Raiders have the No. 17 recruiting class in the nation, according to 247Sports.com. This ranks Tech 4th in the Big 12 behind Texas, OU and Baylor.
Included in this Red Raider tier are three defenders, all of whom are among the top 65 players in the country at their individual positions. It’s proof that Joey McGuire’s recruit class is shaping up to be one of the strongest in Texas Tech football history, even if signings aren’t coming in as quickly as they were a few months ago.