Bradford, Hutchings announce return to Texas Tech
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Texas Tech solidified two key pieces to its defensive front for the 2023 season Tuesday as seniors Tony Bradford Jr. and Jaylon Hutchings announced they both planned to utilize their super senior year as afforded by the NCAA.
With their return, Texas Tech will likely have one of the most veteran defensive fronts in the country next season as the duo has combined for 69 starts the past four seasons, including in all 12 games this year. Hutchings leads the Red Raiders with 45 consecutive games dating back to his 2019 redshirt freshman season.
Hutchings has notched 143 tackles over his career, including 17.5 that have resulted in a loss and 7.5 sacks, over 49 games the past four seasons. He has recorded the bulk of those numbers the past two years alone as Hutchings has followed his 47 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks from 2021 with 44 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks already this season.
His effect hasn’t just been felt on defense, however, as Hutchings found the end zone for the first time in his career in the regular-season finale against Oklahoma. Hutchings, a former high school running back in his hometown of Forney, Texas, took a handoff from one yard out to give the Red Raiders their first touchdown of the game in the 51-48 come-from-behind win over the Sooners.
Bradford, meanwhile, will return to his hometown of Houston later this month coming off, easily, the best season of his career. Bradford has 27 tackles already this season, including 9.0 for a loss and 5.5 sacks, both career bests. He notched his 100th career tackle in the win over Oklahoma as he also has 25.0 tackles for a loss over four seasons and 11.0 sacks.
In addition to his role on the field, Bradford has also been recognized this year as a member of the AFCA Good Works Team, one of the most prestigious community service accolades in college football. He was also a semifinalist for Wuerrfel Trophy as well as an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection with Hutchings.
Opponents are only averaging 29.5 points per game against the Red Raiders this season, which is on pace to be Texas Tech’s lowest clip since the 2009 campaign heading into the Dec. 28 TaxAct Texas Bowl against Ole Miss.
Kickoff between the Red Raiders and Rebels is slated for 8 p.m. with coverage provided nationally on ESPN as well as the Texas Tech Sports Network.
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