College Confidential

This Fresh Five should impact Texas Tech football in 2016

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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