July 17, 2006

The buzzsaw is healthy

There are many important backups on the Texas Tech football team, but none may be more crucial than senior defensive tackle, Dek Bake. The second-string quarterback is always important, of course. Backup tailbacks, Kobey Lewis and Baron Batch will be key, particularly if starter Shannon Woods doesn't pan out. And newcomer, Ofa Mohetau will be a major asset to the interior of the offensive line.

But as the recent departure of backup defensive end, Rashad Hunt, and the continuing academic saga of projected starter, McKinner Dixon make clear, the defensive line, which most had considered a team strength, is now on the verge of becoming a source of concern.

Given the intrinsic importance of the defensive line along with Bake's versatility (he played defensive end for Tech in 2004) and talent, it then becomes readily apparent why he is so valuable to the Red Raider squad.

And fortunately, his health is sound for the first time in ages and he looks to make a big splash in 2006, regardless of McKinner Dixon's ultimate status.

A healthy Bake (6-5, 270) adds many positive qualities to the Tech defensive line. The first is raw talent. Defensive coordinator, Lyle Setencich, after seeing him perform in 2004 fall workouts, singled Bake out has having NFL potential. The second is aggressiveness. Bake immediately turned heads with his take-no-prisoners on-field mentality and a streak of nastiness that coaches love to see in linemen. Perhaps closely related to this, and certainly uppermost in defensive tackle coach, Ruffin McNeill's mind is sheer toughness.

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