Matt Wells and his staff added five impact transfers for the spring semester Saturday
LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells announced Saturday the addition of five transfer student-athletes to the Red Raider roster, all of which will be joining the program for the spring semester.
Among the transfers, three arrive from power-five programs in sophomore defensive back Malik Dunlap (N.C. State), freshman linebacker Jesiah Pierre (Florida) and senior defensive back Marquis Waters (Duke). Wells and his staff also landed two freshmen in the trenches in Coffeyville Community College offensive lineman Matt Keeler and former L.D. Bell High School defensive lineman Bobby Young.
“We are pleased to welcome these five new Red Raiders and their families to our football program,” Wells said. “We feel this group is an excellent addition to the class we have already built for 2021, and we look forward to integrating them quickly into our offseason program.”
In addition to the five transfers, Texas Tech will have four of its high school signees enroll at the university when classes begin next Wednesday. That group includes a pair of tight ends in Jed Castles (Wichita Falls Rider) and Mason Tharp (Klein), wide receiver Jerand Bradley (DeSoto) and quarterback Behren Morton (Eastland). All four signed with the Red Raiders in December.
2021 JANUARY MID-YEAR ENROLEES
So. | 6-3 | 215 | DB | Charlotte, N.C./Harding/N.C. State
PRIOR TO TEXAS TECH
Arrives at Texas Tech following three years at N.C. State … will have three years of eligibility remaining with the Red Raiders … played in 23 games overall with 10 starts from his spot at cornerback … compiled 41 tackles during that time with 13 pass breakups and 2.5 tackles for a loss … listed as a potential starter entering the 2020 season as a corner … appeared in nine games as a sophomore in 2020 with five starts, totaling 20 tackles to go along with six pass breakups … his six pass breakups ranked fourth on the team … started over five-consecutive games, beginning against Pitt and running against contests against Virginia, Duke, North Carolina and Miami … recorded a season-high four tackles twice on the year against both Virginia and Miami … performance against Virginia also included his first-career sack … posted at least two tackles in seven of nine games … previously appeared in 12 games with five starts as a redshirt freshman in 2019 … earned the start in five of the last six games at cornerback … closed the season with 20 tackles, including 1.5 that went for a loss, and seven pass breakups … put together his best performance of his N.C. State tenure against Wake Forest that year, notching career highs with six tackles and three pass breakups … had at least two tackles in five games overall, all late in the season … redshirted the 2018 season after seeing action in only two games … inserted mainly on special teams that season … was listed as a safety before moving to cornerback in 2019.
Attended Harding University High School in his hometown of Charlotte, N.C. … helped lead the school to a 15-1 record as a senior and the 2017 North Carolina Class 4A state title … posted 45 tackles as a senior over seven games … named a team captain prior to his senior year … was selected to represent his home state in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas following senior season … was a consensus three-star prospect by the likes of ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports … listed as the No. 35 prospect in the state of North Carolina by Rivals and No. 43 overall by 247Sports … committed to N.C. State over offers from Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and West Virginia.
Fr. | 6-2 | 245 | LB | Mount Dora, Fla./Mount Dora Christian Academy/Florida
PRIOR TO TEXAS TECH
Joins the Red Raiders following two seasons at the University of Florida … will have four years of eligibility remaining with the Red Raiders … appeared in 13 games over his time in Gainesville, totaling eight tackles during that span … all his tackles came during his 2020 redshirt freshman season … made a career-high four tackles in the win at Vanderbilt, which included a shared takedown for a four-yard loss … also had tackles at Missouri and Tennessee and two against Kentucky … redshirted the 2019 season after playing in two games as a true freshman … made appearances against both UT-Martin and Towson … tabbed to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.
Attended Mount Dora Christian Academy in Mount Dora, Fla. … played on both sides of the ball during prep career … named Defensive Player of the Year by the Leesburg Daily Commercial following both his junior and senior seasons … compiled 131 tackles and 4.5 sacks in his freshman and sophomore seasons alone … helped lead school to the 2018 Sunshine State Athletic Conference semifinal game and the quarterfinal round in 2017 … also a member of the school’s track and field program where he was a two-time state champion in the discus as a sophomore and junior … consensus three-star prospect by the likes of ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports … was the No. 40 outside linebacker in his class according to Rivals … listed as the No. 64 outside linebacker in the country and the No. 94 player in Florida by 247Sports coming out of high school … ranked as the No. 2 player in the Orlando Sentinel’s Super60 of Central Florida athletes … chose to attend Florida over offers from Georgia, Kentucky, Miami, Ole Miss and others.
Fr. | 6-6 | 295 | OL | Chicago, Ill./Nazareth Academy/Coffeyville C.C.
PRIOR TO TEXAS TECH
Attended Coffeyville Community College in Kansas in fall of 2020 prior to enrolling at Texas Tech … will have four full years of eligibility remaining with the Red Raiders as Coffeyville moved its season to the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic … attended St. Thomas More School (prep school) in Connecticut prior to moving to Coffeyville … listed as a three-star prospect by both Rivals and 247Sports … CHOSE TEXAS TECH OVER: Arizona State, East Carolina, Louisiana-Lafayette, Mississippi State and Virginia Tech.
Attended Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park, Ill. … played for one of the top high school programs in the state of Illinois … helped lead Nazareth to its third state title in its history as a senior in 2018 … school fell in the state title game his junior year … garnered All-Conference and All-State honors as a senior … younger brother, Ryan Keeler, signed with Rutgers during the early signing period in December.
Sr. | 6-1 | 200 | DB | Delray Beach, Fla./Atlantic/Duke
PRIOR TO TEXAS TECH
Arrives at Texas Tech with significant experience in the secondary after four seasons at Duke … played in 49 games over his career as a Blue Devil, which included 35 starts … recorded 234 tackles, 13.0 tackles for a loss, three interceptions, one fumble recovery, 18 pass breakups, seven quarterback hurries and one blocked field goal during Duke career … reached double digits in tackles four times during career, which came against Pittsburgh in 2018 (10), Wake Forest in 2019 (13), Virginia Tech in 2020 (10) and North Carolina in 2020 (10) … played in 2,869 snaps while in Durham … has started at safety over the past 24-consecutive games heading into the 2021 season … finished second on the team in 2020 with 71 tackles … added 7.0 tackles for a loss, 1.0 sacks, seven pass breakups and two quarterback pressures that season … previously had 73 tackles, two interceptions and seven pass breakups as a junior in 2019 … totaled 68 tackles, an interception, a fumble recovery and four pass breakups as a sophomore in 2018 … played in all 13 games as a true freshman in 2017 with one start, resulting in 22 tackles and a tackle for a loss … was recruited by and coached by current Texas Tech associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator Derek Jones from 2017-19 … earned his degree in sociology with a minor in education from Duke in 2020 … also received a certificate in markets and management … two-time Academic All-ACC selection.
Attended Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, Fla. … one of the top players in the state of Florida coming out of high school … earned first team All-County honors from the Sun Sentinel and Super 11 accolades from the Palm Beach Post as a senior … recorded four interceptions, nine pass breakups and two forced fumbles that season en route to helping Atlantic to a 9-4 record … helped Atlantic to a 9-3 record and a share of the District 13-7A title as a sophomore … in between, attended Village Academy as a junior, registering 40 tackles and an interception with 950 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on offense … also participated in track and field throughout prep career … placed seventh in the 200-meter finals (22.24) and fifth in the 4×400 relay (3:19.66) at the 2016 Florida Class 4A state championships … consensus three-star prospect by ESPN, Rivals, Scott and 247Sports … listed as the No. 67 athlete in the nation by ESPN … graduated from high school early to enroll at Duke in January 2017 … chose to attend Duke over other power-five others from the likes of California, Iowa State, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, N.C. State, Nebraska, Purdue, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Fr. | 6-4 | 235 | DL | Hurst, Texas/L.D. Bell/Elite Sports Prep
PRIOR TO TEXAS TECH
Attended Elite Sports Prep, a prep school in Florida, prior to enrolling at Texas Tech … will enroll essentially like any other high school prospect with five years to play four seasons … graduate of L.D. Bell High School in Hurst, Texas … selected to play in the Blue-Grey All-American Game following his senior season … was a second team All-District 3-6A honoree that season … also a member of the L.D. Bell basketball program.
Release provided by Texas Tech Athletics Matt Dowdy