Nigel Bethel II
Ht./Wt.: 5-9, 178
High school: Miami (Fla.) Washington
Ht./Wt.: 5-10, 174
High school: Corona, Calif., Santiago
Last year: Nguema played in nine games as a redshirt freshman, when he was ostensibly the team’s fifth or sixth cornerback. He made a touchdown-saving tackle at the 1-yard line on the last play of the Red Raiders’ 41-23 victory at SMU and broke up a pass against Stephen F. Austin. He started spring practice as a first-team cornerback.
Ht./Wt.: 6-1, 201
High school: Lancaster
Last year: Newbold made his career debut, getting into three games and making one tackle. Tech lost seniors Bruce Jones, Olauluwa Falemi and Derrick Mays, who accounted for 23 starts last year (out of a possible 26) at the the two positions. In the spring, Newbold jumped into the wide-open competition to replace them.
Tech Roster Analysis
Position: Defensive lineman
Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 283
High school: Milwaukee, Wis., Homestead
Last year: Phillips played in only one game and made a tackle. He got more time in March and April and was listed second-team at noseguard coming out of spring practice.
Position: Offensive tackle
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 315
High school: Redlands, Calif., East Valley
Last year: Robertson anchored the line for a Riverside City College team that went 10-2, winning the seven-team National Conference Central Division of the Southern California Football Association. He committed to Kansas State but had a change of heart and signed with Tech in February.
Tech Roster Analysis
Position: Middle linebacker
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 226
Class-Exp.: Redshirt freshman
High school: Plano Prestonwood Christian
Position: Running back
Ht./Wt.: 5-7, 179
High school: Spring Dekaney
Last year: Dekaney dipped to 2-8, but not for lack of effort on Felton’s part. He carried 227 times for 1,783 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Outlook for 2014: Though not as acclaimed as fellow freshman running back Justin Stockton, Felton also is making a case to get on the field this year, according to his position coach.
Position: Bandit outside linebacker
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 236
High school: Longview
Last year: Robertson broke into the lineup as a sophomore and started all 13 games. He was fifth on the team with 60 tackles, which is second most among 2014 returnees. His numbers got a boost with a career-high 11 tackles, eight solo, and two tackles for loss in the Holiday Bowl upset of Arizona State.
Position: Defensive tackle
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 284
High school: Tucker, Ga.
Last year: In his second season at Highland (Kan.) Community College, Thorpe was credited with 31 tackles, three sacks, 3 1/2 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles and a recovery.
Justin Stockton, a 2,000-yard rusher each of the last two years at Cibolo Steele, will play as a true freshman this year, running backs coach Mike Jinks said. Demarcus Felton, who ran for 1,700 yards last year at Spring Dekaney, might, too.
But Stockton’s speed ensures he won’t redshirt.
“It’s elite. It’s special,” Jinks said. “He can go 60 in the blink of an eye with his ability to accelerate.”
Jinks said Felton has plus speed as well.