All but convinced Texas Tech was the school for him, Adrian Archie went out to West Texas late last month just to make sure.

He wanted to see the campus, the football stadium, the law school. He also wondered if the horror stories he’d heard about the whipping winds and tumbling tumbleweeds were true.

Last week, Archie returned from his lone recruiting trip completely sold on Texas Tech. On Wednesday morning, the 6-foot-5, 310-pound offensive lineman from Huntsville made official his commitment to the Red Raiders, signing a scholarship offer from Texas Tech and head coach Mike Leach.

“Texas Tech was the first school to offer me a full scholarship,” Archie said late last week. “I wanted to go to Texas Tech because I want to get a law degree. They have a law school right there on campus.

“Everybody is nice, everybody is cooI. I like it up there, they’ve got nice facilities and it is a good school. It’s different, but I like it,” Archie said of Lubbock. “There are a lot of cotton fields and a lot of agriculture.”

With nimble feet and all-state skills, Archie attracted attention from all across the U.S. The three-year starter at HHS received letters from Arizona on one side of the country to Alabama on the other. He also drew interest from LSU, Northwestern, Missouri, Oklahoma, Baylor, Tulane, North Texas and others.

“My arms are tired from carrying all of Adrian’s mail,” Huntsville head coach Mitchell Coey said.

All along, Archie leaned toward Texas Tech, which went 9-3 last season and finished tied for second in the Big 12 South with Oklahoma at 6-2. He likes the Red Raiders’ wide-open offense and says their style of play suits him well.

“I like the scheme they run,” Archie said. “They run a passing offense, and Coach (Scott) Stoughton told me that’s what I’m best at, pass blocking.”

“They haven’t said anything about me starting. They want me to hit the weightroom and go to summer school. They want me to start running and conditioning and lifting weights.”

The Red Raiders badly wanted to ink Archie. After the senior returned home from Lubbock last week, Leach made the long trip to Huntsville and talked to Archie’s parents.

“He wanted us to see who would have our boy,” Adrian’s father, Alexander Archie, said last week. “Coach Leach seems like a really nice man. We met the whole coaching staff (during the recruiting process).”

Out of 38 players signed Tuesday, seven were offensive linemen. Tech also landed Lufkin defensive back Leonard Hewitt and Klein Collins safety Franklin Mitchem, District 14-5A foes of the Hornets’ in what Leach is calling, “the best recruiting class that we have had since I’ve been here.”

Before his senior season kicked off, Archie said Texas Tech was likely his next destination. After considering all of his options, he stuck to his guns and chose the Red Raiders, despite some encouragement to pick a school a little closer to Huntsville.

“Basically, I kind of left it up to him,” Alexander Archie said. “I tried talking Adrian into staying a little closer to home, but that’s where he wants to be and we let him have the final say-so.”

Augustine Archie, Adrian’s mother, added, “We’ll try to get out there as much as possible.”

Coey was also hoping his big lineman would change his mind and choose a school closer to home, maybe even Sam Houston State. Archie would have looked good, Coey joked, in an orange-and-white Bearkat uniform.

Coey said he supports Archie’s decision and says Texas Tech should be a good fit for the talented lineman.

“I’m selfish. I wanted Adrian to play where I could go see him,” the coach said. “But I told him, ‘Wherever you go, that’s where you’ve got to be comfortable. Don’t come back to Huntsville.’

“Adrian will truly be missed. He takes care of his business and shows up at practice every day. He practices as hard as he plays, and that’s a rare commodity these days.”

It’s that kind of dedication and desire to do well, Coey says, that will make Archie a standout college player and possibly land him a job in professional football in a few years.

“He’ll be successful at Tech, and after he’s done there, he’ll probably have an opportunity to play some more,” Coey said. “Just like I told Derrick Ross when he was here, if Adrian takes care of his business, there’s no reason he can’t play (in the NFL) on Sundays.”

Recommended for you