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Monday, January 25, 2010
Tuberville's recruiting helps Tech gain and lose a late recruit

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

It's not that unusual when recruits make switches in late January.

They happen for a variety of reasons. We'll see them happening across the Big 12 and the nation during the next two weeks.

But two were notable that involved Texas Tech over the weekend.

New Tech coach Tommy Tuberville got his first "true" commitment at his new school when underrated Arkansas quarterback/linebacker Joe Carmical of Monticello, Ark., hooked up with the Red Raiders.

That recruiting attraction was important because Tech had earlier lost defensive end Kedrick Dial of Sulphur Springs, Texas, to conference rival Baylor.

Carmical is an interesting prospect. His 6-foot-2, 231-pound size makes it unlikely he would be used at quarterback or defensive end -- his two primary positions during most of his high school career.

Despite accounting for 39 touchdowns, leading his team to a state championship and playing like a dominant player at times, Carmical didn't garner much recruiting interest. He played a little linebacker as a senior and that's where most college recruiters project him.

But he was intrigued by Tuberville and the schemes of new Texas Tech defensive coordinator James Willis.

“Coach James Willis came to our house on Monday and we talked for a solid three hours, and the whole time it felt like he was reading my mind,’’ Carmical told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. "We agreed on everything.

“Then we got out there and it was a beautiful campus, a strong fan base, people everywhere wearing their hats and talking Tech ball. The stadium was great. That’s where I belong. It fit. It clicked. It was the place I needed to be.’’

Tuberville's defensive reputation clearly helped him land Carmical in the whirlwind courtship. It will be his first recruiting product that Tuberville solely attracted to Lubbock without any groundwork from the previous coaching staff.

Earlier, Dial said he chose to attend Baylor when Ruffin McNeill didn't receive Tech's head coaching job. McNeill was one of two finalists for the vacancy after Mike Leach was fired.

That led to Dial opting for Baylor when Tuberville was hired.

“Coach McNeill was like my dad, and he left,” Dial told the Waco Tribune-Herald. “Baylor had tried to recruit me before I committed to Texas Tech last April. But when I visited Baylor this weekend, I loved it. The people here are great, and it’s closer to home.”

Tuberville's reputation as a defensive genius helped him gain one prospect. But it came after he lost another player who wanted to play in more familiar surroundings, rather than with Tuberville and his new staff.