RECRUITING SPOTLIGHT: DE Gilbert Ibeneme

Texas Tech defensive players celebrate a sack versus West Virginia. Elise Bressler photo

Pearland High School native commits to Red Raiders in late July.

Texas Tech received a hard commit from four-star defensive end Gilbert Ibeneme in late July. Ibeneme, a native of Pearland Texas, is the 30th ranked strong-side defensive end in the nation. He’s also the third defensive end commit that the Red Raiders have landed in their 2019 recruiting class. The defensive star chose Texas Tech over Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Houston, TCU and others.

Ibeneme (6-foot-3, 255) has the ideal size for a defensive end coming out of high school. The Pearland product is best known for his quick first step and overall tackling ability. Most project Ibeneme to be a weak-side defensive end for the Red Raiders or an edge-rusher. With the departure of senior Tony Jones, Ibeneme could be asked to make an immediate impact next fall.

Through four games of the 2018 season, the Red Raiders currently ranked dead-last in the Big 12 in pass defense (NOTE: all four of Texas Tech’s FBS opponents this season rank No. 17 or higher in passing offense). Although the Red Raiders rank fifth in the conference in team sacks, consistent pressure has been an ailing problem for the Red Raiders in recent years. Quarterback pressure and pass defense go hand-in-hand. Without quarterback pressure, defensive backs are facced with the difficult task of covering for an excessive amount of time.

Ibeneme has the potential to be a quarterback wrecker for the Red Raiders, and he will likely get his opportunity early on. Expect Ibeneme to be a rotational player next fall, and a productive member of a rising pass rush defense.

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