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Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Texas Tech adds defensive muscle

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

After watching his team get bullied in late losses to Mississippi and Oklahoma, coach Mike Leach knew Texas Tech needed a defensive talent upgrade.

The Red Raiders have done just that with the most notable defensive recruiting additions during Leach's coaching tenure.

Pearlie Graves, a 260-pound all-state defensive tackle from Tulsa, Okla., and Myles Wade, a top national recruit two years ago who failed to qualify academically at Oregon, are just what the Red Raiders need to add some defensive depth and muscle in the trenches.

Graves and Wade are a part of a 25-player recruiting class that includes six defensive linemen, five defensive backs and three linebackers.

"Some specific needs include the defensive line and secondary, two areas I feel we did an outstanding job in landing some tremendous talent," Leach said.

Leach didn't neglect his offense, adding quarterback Jacob Karam, Scouts Inc.'s No. 17 quarterback, from Friendswood, Texas. And Eric Stephens, a 5-foot-8, 178-pounder from Mansfield Timberview has been favorably compared to Shannon Woods because of his size and abilities as a receiver and runner.

The Red Raiders saw a recruiting bounce from last season's 11-2 record in which Tech notched a share of the South Division championship for the first time in school history and matched a school record for victories in a season.

"Each year we keep improving with the classes we bring in," Leach said. "I'm excited about this group and getting them in here. Our coaching staff deserves the credit for staying with these guys and remaining committed to them through the process. We were able to address some areas of need with some of the top high school and junior college talent."