College Confidential

This Fresh Five should impact Texas Tech football in 2016

Texas Tech QB Mahomes on his weight gain this offseason

Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes added some weight to enhance his durability through weight room efforts in the offseason. It marked the first offseason that Mahomes, who also played baseball in previous years at Tech, has focused on football. Video
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Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes added some weight to enhance his durability through weight room efforts in the offseason. It marked the first offseason that Mahomes, who also played baseball in previous years at Tech, has focused on football. Video

College basketball gave us the Fab Five. USA Gymnastics, during the last two Olympic Games, provided gold-medal-winning contingents dubbed the Fierce Five and the Final Five.

As we approach the start of college football season, it’s time to focus on the Fresh Five. The best part: every major-college program has such a list.

We’re talking about five newcomers who have yet to suit up for your favorite team but are being counted on, based on performances during fall drills, to make on-field impacts during the 2016 season.

Today’s Fresh Five is from Texas Tech:

Ondre Pipkins, DT: Transfer from Michigan has been the team’s most improved player during fall drills in the estimation of coach Kliff Kingsbury. Pipkins (6-foot-3, 325 pounds), a senior, projects to start and has dropped 30 pounds since arriving in Lubbock and sitting out last season under NCAA transfer rules. His best game at Michigan included a career-high five tackles against Appalachian State in 2014.

Terence Steele, LT: Redshirt freshman from Cibolo Steele has emerged as the likely player to protect the blind side of heralded QB Patrick Mahomes. Steele (6-6, 300), a three-star prospect, graded out at 96 percent in his final high school season with 42 pancake blocks.

Kolin Hill, DE/OLB: Transfer from Notre Dame is expected to infuse some pressure to the pass rush. A sophomore from Schertz Clemens, Hill (6-2, 250) played in nine games and registered two sacks for the Irish during the 2014 season.

Derrick Willies, WR: Upsized target enrolled in January after earning JC All-America honors at Trinity Valley CC last season (49 catches, 1,115 yards, 14 TDs, 23.6 yards per catch). Willies (6-3, 205), a four-star prospect in high school, played one season at Iowa before heading to the JC ranks.

Luke Stice, LB: Graduate transfer from Houston adds another veteran presence to a unit that needs it. Stice (6-0, 230), a Midland Lee graduate, was a fullback and special teams performer for the Cougars but projects to play linebacker for the Red Raiders.

Jimmy Burch: 817-390-7760, @Jimmy_Burch

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