When Joey McGuire was hired as the next Texas Tech football head coach, he made it a point to emphasize that recruiting West Texas talent was going to be one of his priorities. Now, less than a week since he was introduced at his new job, he’s flipped one of the top players in the region away from Baylor.

Sunday night, McGuire and the Red Raiders picked up a verbal commitment from Isaiah Crawford, a 4-star defensive end/linebacker from nearby Post.  Crawford was at one time a commit to Baylor but decommitted on the same day that McGuire was officially introduced as head coach, a move that made many Red Raider fans confident that this top prospect was going to stay close to home.

Rated by the 247Sports.com composite rankings as the No. 167 player in the class of 2023 and the No. 25 player in Texas, Crawford is easily one of the best prospects to come from West Texas in recent years.  In addition to Tech and Baylor, he holds offers from the likes of  Arizona State, Colorado, Illinois, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, SMU, and Utah.  He’s also Tech’s first pledge in the 2023 recruiting cycle.

This is a significant development because it is important for McGuire to start keeping West Texas talent at home.  In recent years, some of the state’s top prospects have come from the region and almost all have decided to go somewhere other than Texas Tech for college.

What’s more, several key local players in the class of 2022 are set to leave West Texas.  That includes linebacker Kobie McKenzie and defensive lineman Kyler Jordan from Lubbock Cooper who are set to attend Oklahoma and Baylor respectively.  Also, Amarillo athlete Major Everhart recently committed to TCU.

All three of those players are legitimate FBS prospects with both Everhart and McKenzie being high 4-star talents.  That’s the type of player that Tech can’t allow to leave the area anymore, especially for rival programs.

Joey McGuire is well aware of that and he aims to start changing that pattern.  And pulling Crawford away from Baylor is a huge start in that process. Here’s betting that it won’t be the last time this year that the new head coach pulls off a coup on the recruiting trail.

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