The game is changing. At least that’s what some of Texas Tech’s assistant coaches tweet out after a recruit gives his pledge to the Red Raiders.
On paper, there is evidence they could be on to something, as the caliber of recruit Texas Tech is bringing in continues to trend upward. Breiden Fehoko, a 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive tackle from Honolulu Farrington, put his guns up on Monday and made an oral commitment.
Fehoko is a four-star prospect with a 97 grade by 247Sports.com, the No. 45-ranked recruit in the country.
“It’s been a crazy recruiting process,” Fehoko said. “I’m humbled for everything I’ve accomplished. When I first came out here and stepped foot in Lubbock, it was a different feeling and it just felt like home. The coaches were very welcoming and it felt like home.
“It’s not just football. It’s way beyond that. The way they treat me and the way they’ve treated my family, I said, ‘You know what? I’m ready to commit. I want to play ball in Lubbock for the next three or four years and I’m excited.’”
Fehoko is the No. 8 defensive tackle prospect in the nation in the 247Sports.com rankings. He chose the Red Raiders over offers from Alabama, Stanford, Oklahoma, Clemson, Ole Miss and many others.
Several factors played into his decision and family ties were somewhere near the top of that list. His older brother, Sam, is a former linebacker for the Red Raiders and is back on campus to finish his degree. Another brother, linebacker V.J. Fehoko, transferred from Utah this spring and is contending for a starting spot.
“It’s big to have my brothers playing here, having two of them that played here,” Breiden Fehoko said. “Sam played here; now he’s coaching. V.J. is playing here. It’s kind of easing on the heart. I know when they come here, they’ll keep it hard on me and be a big brother and take care of me. As far as I am from Hawaii, it’s real good to have them here.”
Fehoko has had coaches from several schools tell him his game is more college-ready than most college freshmen and he still has one season of high school ball left. He reps 225 pounds on bench press more than 40 times and has a chance to help Tech quickly.
“The thing is, the defensive line is a big need for them,” Fehoko said. “Next year, January when I get in, they told me, ‘Breiden, you’re going to come in and be a big factor. You’re going to come in a be a game-changer.’ Of course I’m going to have to work for it and I will, but they have all been so sincere and good coaches, I love them and they love my family. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
During his visit, Fehoko caught up with Texas Tech five-star quarterback commitment Jarrett Stidham of Stephenville and Mike Mitchell, a former Ohio State linebacker who attended the Red Raiders’ spring game Saturday. Mitchell was a four-star recruit from Plano Prestonwood Christian who decided after his first semester to transfer somewhere closer to home.
“I’ve been in contact with Jarrett for a while,” Fehoko said. “He’s my boy. I’ve been close with him and we sat with each other and decided we’re going to start something great. It’s going to be special here at Tech.
“I got to meet Mike too. He’s a real good kid. We’re going to get a lot closer. I’m going to build that relationship with him and eventually try to get him to Tech.”
Fehoko will graduate in December and go through spring ball at Texas Tech one year from now. He’s also planning to come back to Lubbock again this fall when the Red Raiders host Oklahoma.
“I originally planned for the Under Armour (High School All-America) game to make my decision,” Fehoko said. “As of right now, my gut feeling in my heart I feel like this is the place for me. I may take one more visit to Tech, but in my heart I feel like Tech is the place for me.”
Stidham was also selected and plans to play in the Under Armour game.
Fehoko’s commitment gives the Red Raiders six for 2015 and two in two days after Texas City linebacker D’Vonta Hinton pledged on Sunday. Those two commitments bumped Texas Tech’s class up 14 spots to No. 22 nationally.
Follow Landon on Twitter