LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech had three players from its defense tabbed to Bruce Feldman’s annual “Freaks” list, revealed on TheAthletic.com on Tuesday.
All three coined “super-seniors” in 2023, were led by defensive back Tyler Owens checking in at No. 29. Outside linebacker Myles Cole ranked No. 35 while defensive tackle Jaylon Hutchings rounded out the trio at No. 63.
The three Red Raider “Freaks” checked in tied for the third-most in the nation as named to the list by Feldman. Penn State led with six, followed by Michigan with four followed by six other programs who claimed three in addition to Texas Tech – Cincinnati, NC State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon and TCU.
Last year, Hutchings was the sole Red Raider on the 2022 list, which gives him back back-to-back seasons on the Feldman list.
Via Bruce Feldman, The Athletic: College Football Freaks List 2023:
To view the complete list, visit TheAthletic.com
29. Tyler Owens, defensive back
The former Texas Longhorn made some impact plays for the Red Raiders last year, forcing two fumbles and picking off a pass. He had an impressive showing in the TaxAct Texas Bowl, making a career-high six tackles to go along with his first career interception and a key forced fumble. Owens, 6-2, 205 pounds, is an eye-catching talent who vertical-jumped over 40 inches this offseason and also was running at more than 23 MPH in a game.
35. Myles Cole, edge rusher
Last year, the Red Raiders had a Freaky, long defensive end in Tyree Wilson, who at 6-6, 271 pounds, with 35 5/8-inch arms, went No. 7 to the Las Vegas Raiders in the first round of the NFL Draft. Tech has another super long edge guy who is even bigger in the 6-6, 285-pound Cole, whose wingspan has measured at 86 inches. Cole’s numbers speed-wise would be right up there (if not slightly better) with Wilson’s from last year, according to Tech’s staff. Cole’s max speed is 20.3 MPH, and that’s an area he’s really improved upon since he got to Lubbock after transferring from Louisiana-Monroe. Tech is hoping Cole (12 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, three quarterback hurries and a blocked kick) takes a big step forward for what should be a Top 25 squad.
Word inside the Tech program is Cole’s more fluid in space than Wilson and probably bends a little better than the first-rounder. There’s also not much difference in the two at the point of attack, but Wilson really played with an edge like he was The Guy, and that showed up on film. Still, the Red Raiders are excited about Cole’s development. They feel like he’s made light years of improvement.
63. Jaylon Hutchings, defensive tackle
A 6-0, 295-pound strong man who was once a nifty high school running back, now he’s got a 500-pound bench, a 700-pound squat, but he has been clocked at 18 miles per hour. That skill set has translated very well for the Red Raiders defense, where he made 50 tackles and 5.5 TFLs in 2022 and was graded out at 84.5 overall by PFF a year ago, making him the second-highest graded defensive tackle returning in the Big 12 and was easily Texas Tech’s highest-graded performer by PFF.
“He’s really light on his feet and plays extremely hard,” says Tech defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter. “He can burst and go and moves well enough where he could probably play some goal-line fullback in some packages at the next level.”
Release provided by MATT BURKHOLDER Texas Tech Athletics