Player at position of need interested in Red Raiders

Oklahoma defensive tackle Melvin Swindle is seeing his recruitment pick up steam and he continues to have interest in the Texas Tech football program.

You can’t have a successful 3-man defensive line the likes of which defensive coordinator Keith Patterson likes to utilize without strong play at nose tackle.  That’s why Texas Tech football fans need to know the name of Melvin Swindle.

According to Michael Swain of 247Sports, 6-foot, 290-pound nose tackle Melvin Swindle of Oklahoma City is a player that has Texas Tech high on his interest list.  In fact, he told Swain that he is interested in finding out more about Texas Tech, Kansas, Iowa State, Arkansas State, and Memphis.

Rated by 247Sports as a 3-star player, Swindle is the No. 42 defensive tackle in the nation and the No. 14 player in Oklahoma in the class of 2021.  Of course, as his recruitment picks up, as it has in recent weeks, both Big 12 schools in his home state might come sniffing around, which might change the way this race shapes up.

He picked up his offer from Matt Wells and the Red Raiders at the end of March and now this is a recruit that would make a nice addition to the 2021 class.  That’s because his power and athleticism make him a potentially disruptive force on the o-line.

Gabe Brooks has the following scouting report on Swindle’s 247Sports profile page: “Broad-bodied, burly interior defensive line prospect with close to college-ready size for expected role at the next level. Not tall or long but stout and densely built. Two-way high school lineman who holds his own on both sides, but projects better to the defensive interior long-term.

“Quick off the ball relative to mass. Shows encouraging short-range lateral mobility, as evidenced by verified 4.85-second shuttle. Plays low and consistently wins the leverage battle. Flashes some heavy-handedness that disables opponents at point of attack. Likely a scheme-versatile defensive tackle with potential to play multiple interior spots in different fronts.

“Hand placement can improve to help disengaging ability. Raw technically as a defender, but that could help ceiling. Frame-limited so physical potential could be muted. Strong, physical scheme-flexible interior defender who could become multi-year Power 5 starter.”

Tech enters this fall with only two true nose tackles on the roster.  Senior Nick McCann and sophomore Jaylon Hutchings will be the two players asked to do battle on the inside of the line.  Though other players might see some snaps at NT in obvious passing situations, this duo of 300-pounders is going to form the middle of the Red Raider d-line in 2020.

Making the battle for Swindle even more critical is the fact that Tech didn’t add any interior defensive linemen to the roster this offseason.  Wells did bring three new defensive linemen to Lubbock but all are ends, not tackles.

That only compounds the fact that the 2019 recruiting class also did not bring any defensive tackles into the pipeline.  In fact, since the 2016 signing class, Tech has signed only three defensive tackles with McCann (2016) and Hutchings (2018) joining 2016 JUCO signee Mych Thomas.

So whether or not Swindle eventually calls West Texas home, Wells has to find some beef to add to the interior of his defensive line.  Adding one of the strongest players in Oklahoma would be a great way to do that.


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