The Texas Tech Defense Will Be Just Fine in 2023
In the middle of 2022, I was worried about the 2023 Texas Tech defense. Tyree Wilson, Muddy Waters, Adrian Frye, Malik Dunlap, Reggie Pearson, Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, Rayshad Williams, Krishon Merriweather, Tony Bradford, and Jaylon Hutchings were all out of eligibility or potentially leaving this offseason for an opportunity with the NFL.
Late in the season both Reggie Pearson and Dadrion Taylor-Demerson said they planned to return for another year of Texas Tech football. There's still a possibility of Williams and Dunlap returning. That alone makes me feel much better about the Texas Tech defense in 2023, but the news that trickled out on December, 6th, made me feel 10 times better.
Both Jaylon Hutchings and Tony Bradford will return to the Red Raiders in 2023.
First Hutchings announced on social media. Good news.
Then Tony Bradford announced his return. Great news.
Bradford has been a very consistent performer for Texas Tech over the past three seasons, but 2022 was definitely his best with career highs in both TFLs and sacks. Hutchings has also been a consistent piece to the Texas Tech defense with his second straight season of 40+ tackles. Hutchings also set a career-high in fumble recoveries and rushing touchdowns.
The Red Raiders' defense in 2023 now shapes up to have four returning starters on the defensive line from the final game of the season. They also return the two safety's in Reggie Pearson and Rabbit. With contributors like Philip Blidi, Myles Cole, and Jacob Rodriguez.