June 14, 2007
Key Red Raiders: #19 David Neill
A huge number of factors go into the success of any football team. In this series, we will be examining 25 of them. More specifically, we will be taking a reverse-order look at the 25 players who will be most crucial if the Texas Tech Red Raiders are to have a successful 2007 season, however that may be defined.
This is not, however, a list of the best players on the team. Rather, this series takes into consideration the importance of a given position on the team, depth issues, experience and inexperience, and the historic strengths and weaknesses of Mike Leach's program. The results, therefore, may surprise many readers, and will hopefully spur spirited discussion and debate.
David Neill: From the moment defensive tackles Dek Bake, Chris Hudler, and Ken Scott graduated, and Dan'Tay Ward transferred to Navarro Junior College, any incoming defensive tackle prospect was going to be potentially important to the 2007 Texas Tech football team. The frightening lack of depth created opportunities for newcomers.
Flower Mound Marcus's David Neill, therefore, was on the proverbial radar screen. But given that he played his senior season at around 245 pounds stretched across a six-foot-five frame, Neill was a mere blip on that screen, not a strong signal.
Fast forward to 2007 spring workouts. Neill shows up on the Red Raider practice field looking like the Incredible Hulk and every bit the D-1 defensive tackle. Word quickly got around that Neill was then pushing the 290-pound mark.
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