November 30, 2011

Nguema set to enroll

Corona (Calif.) Santiago High School cornerback and Texas Tech commit Thierry Nguema is still on pace to join the Red Raiders in January after an in-home visit from Red Raider defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow and reigning Big 12 Recruiter of the Year and defensive ends coach Robert Prunty.

Nguema is expected to be a contributor in the Tech secondary as a true freshman after going through the spring football practice sessions in Lubbock.

"We watched the secondary throughout the course of the season in keeping track of them and watching their games," Nguema's guardian and Santiago assistant football coach Mark Dye said. "We had an initial understanding of their roster concerns and changing positions. They had a converted receiver playing corner and some of those things.

"Basically the direction of the conversation (with Glasgow and Prunty) was they were making sure he's ready to go because they're going to need him to be ready. He's going to get plenty of reps this spring and I fully expect he'll have no problems earning his position as well as doing some kick returning because he's done that as well. So they're excited about the prospects of what he has and he's excited about being able to show what he has."

Nguema had 47 tackles, four interceptions two touchdowns on kickoff return and one touchdown on punt return his senior season.

The in-home visit left a good impression with Dye.

"I like them, I like them a lot," Dye said. "Being a coach myself and having been around different staffs, one of the things I find interesting and exciting about them is they're not stuck into old routines because they're a new staff to each other. There's some excitement that goes with that. There's a lot of out-of-the-box thinking and some of those kinds of things that I really like in them."

The Tech coaching staff recognizes that there's a severe depth issue at cornerback and it's likely Nguema won't be the only corner picked up by the Red Raiders this offseason. There also are some junior college cornerbacks that are getting looked at.

Nguema and his family don't have any problems with it.

"We didn't talk specifics about who or anything or those kinds of things, and I certainly expect them to," Dye said. "They should. If you can bring experience into your program, you're better for it. It works out to your benefit because you're bringing in some guys who have college experience and with that comes the knowledge and ability to understand what it's like to go through college classes all day and then come out to practice that afternoon. It's a little different when you go through a high school schedule.

"I think it will definitely benefit the program, no question. I don't know where they are in respect to that or how close they are to brining in those sorts of guys, but I think it's beneficial if you can do that."

Dye said Nguema will be ready to compete with the other corners for playing time when he arrives on campus.

"Everything is set still and he'll be reporting Jan. 15," Dye said.

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