March 29, 2011

Addison had 'A-plus' Tech visit

Missouri City (Texas) Hightower athlete Bralon Addison made the long drive from Houston to Lubbock over the weekend to take in Texas Tech's spring game, and the time spent in the car and on the road seemed to have paid off for the Addison family.

"We got there Friday morning around noon and we've been on a few other unofficial visits, but this was by far the most impressive," according to his father Julius. "The fact that we got to meet Chancellor Hance was really what put it over the top. We sat in his office and talked with him for a long while. He told us some old school stories about his basketball playing days, and we also talked about some of Tech's famous graduates. He told us about Ed Whitacre and I thought it was impressive that our government called on a Texas Tech guy to basically save General Motors. We really, really enjoyed Chancellor Hance and it made us feel special because we were talking to the guy at the top of the ladder at the university."

Addison and his father were also able to visit with several members of Tech's offensive staff.

"We went to Coach Neal Brown's office and he showed us some film of what he did in his days at Troy, and also what Tech has been doing for the past decade with slot receivers like Bralon would be. He talked to us about how they would use him and I know Texas Tech has really made a lot out of their slot receivers. When you talk about guys like Wes Welker and Danny Amendola, you're talking about some guys that are having a lot of success in the NFL right now."

"Then we got to talk with Coach Tommy Tuberville in the evening and he was fantastic to visit with. He gave us some very informative stuff and he let Bralon know that they'd love to have him there. Of course, the legendary Coach Tuberville is going to be able to get your attention, but I really liked his answers to a lot of my questions," Mr. Addison said. "I asked him about his commitment to the program and he sounded like a guy who wasn't going anywhere. He talked about coming to Lubbock and signing the one-year contract, but then working with the administration on an extension after his first year. He talked about how much his family loved it there and how he felt like Tech was set up to win a lot of games if they can get the right people on board. I asked him he was planning on going anywhere and he told me no. His belief in the system they're putting in place really made us feel a lot better about the stability there."

Chad Scott has been the primary recruiter for Bralon, and he also was able to spend some time in conversation with the Addison family.

"Of course Chad Scott has been the guy recruiting Bralon and he's always been great with him. They've got a really strong relationship," he said. "I know Bralon loved the visit, and I really loved it too because it gave me the opportunity to match voices with faces. The eight and a half hour drive up was definitely worth it. It was not at all what we had heard or envisioned Lubbock to be. We thought it was a great place. It was an awesome trip."

The idea of what Lubbock is seems to be something that becomes more of a myth than a reality the further down south one might reside in the State of Texas.

"It was the first time any of us had been out to Lubbock and Bralon was just as surprised as I was at how nice the city turned out to be. Being from Houston we always thought Lubbock was a little bitty town and just real country. I expected to see a lot of dirt and not much modern progress, but I was completely wrong," he said. "We just didn't envision it being what we saw. It was completely modern and there are almost 250,000 people in the vicinity, which I wasn't aware of. And those people were extremely nice and welcoming, and all about Texas Tech. It was very impressive."

"We were just wowed by it all and so glad we came to check it out. I guess coaches will tell you anything to make themselves sound better, and Lubbock had definitely been undersold to us prior to the trip. It was as good or better than any other college towns we've been to. We just had a ball."

Bralon is tentatively scheduled to visit TCU and Texas this weekend for their spring games, with a possible trip later in April to College Station to visit A&M.

So did the visit to Lubbock change Bralon's relationship with Oklahoma State?

"I wasn't with Bralon when he verbally committed and he actually told me himself after this visit that half of the things the OSU coaches talked to him about haven't really materialized since his commitment," his father said. "I'd say that Bralon feels just as good about Tech as he does Oklahoma State right now. His recruitment is actually pretty wide open."

"He's got some concerns about Dana Holgorsen leaving Oklahoma State when he was the one responsible for their great offense last year, and as we found out, he actually started crafting that offense at Tech. They were the original with it. With the new coordinator at OSU who knows what they're going to do on offense this year. So it would be tough for him not to open his eyes to all of his options, especially Texas Tech."

"Tech and Oklahoma State have always been the top two schools that have shown Bralon the most interest, so he's always reciprocated that interest as well. The thing is, he didn't expect to find what he found in Lubbock and with the Tech coaching staff. It wasn't the type of deal where the coaches were trying to sell themselves to Bralon like some others have. They were just straight up with him and we respected that. I think it kind of opened Bralon's eyes to the fact that he may have jumped the gun on his commitment because he hadn't been anywhere else at that point. Texas Tech did and said all the right things this weekend and we're feeling really good about them moving forward. It was A+ all the way around."

Bralon currently holds offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Houston, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Utah.

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