There is a bit of bad news and good news for the Red Raiders this week after falling to USF in the Birmingham Bowl.
Let’s start with the good news. Linebacker Dakota Allen has been a cornerstone of an improving defensive unit all season. If you’re familiar with college football, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the defensive struggles Texas Tech has become famous for. However, under defensive coordinator David Gibbs, the unit took a much-needed step forward this season and it looks like Allen wants to keep it rolling into next season.
He announced via social media that he will return to Lubbock for his senior season.
Love my team! Love my school! Love these fans! I want to thank all the seniors for a memorable year. With that being said, I will be returning to Texas Tech next season. #TTVE #2018 🏈
— dakota allen (@dakota_allen40) December 23, 2017
Allen’s rise into a leadership role has been unconventional, to say the least. After a phenomenal freshman season, Allen was arrested for a home burglary and was dismissed from the team. For most, that would have been the end of the story for an athlete at a particular school. However, that’s not how Allen wanted his story to end. He transferred to East Mississippi Community College in 2016 where he was featured on HBO’s Last Chance U.
Having paid for his mistakes and seeking redemption, Allen transferred back to Texas Tech and his return to Lubbock was highly anticipated. For good reason, too. He led the team in tackles this season with 92 total tackles, recorded a forced fumble and fumble recovery, picked off a couple of passes, and was named to the second team All-Big 12 Team.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news for the Red Raiders. We said there was good and bad news, and here’s the bad news. Receiver Keke Coutee has announced he will forgo his senior year and has declared for the NFL Draft.
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Red Raider Nation, With so much thought and prayer through this difficult process, I have decided to enter the 2018 NFL Draft. This was such a difficult decision I had to make for me and my family. Thank you all for an amazing 3 years at the best University there is. Lubbock will always have a special place in my heart and I will always call Lubbock home. #GUNSUPFOREVER!!
Coutee has been a big piece of the Red Raider’s offense this season. At 1,429 yards, he leads the entire Big 12 in receiving yards and ranks second in the conference in catches with 93 grabs. And in what has become his last game in Texas Tech uniform, Coutee showed what he is capable of in the bowl game against USF. He gave the Bull’s defense fits with 11 receptions for 187 yards and a touchdown.
We, along with Red Raider Nation, hate to see him go, but can’t wait to see him compete at the next level.