Jalen Rhodes chooses Texas Tech

Texas Tech scored its first running back of the 2013 recruiting class, as Jalen Rhodes (Rowlett, Texas/Rowlett) verbally committed to the Red Raiders on Friday.

Rhodes committed to Tommy Tuberville and the rest of the Red Raiders staff during an unofficial visit to the Lubbock, Texas, campus. A 5-foot-9, 175-pound running back, Rhodes had additional offers from North Texas, Colorado State, New Mexico, New Mexico State and UTSA. Texas Tech and UTSA made Rhodes’ final cut.

“I feel great,” said Rhodes, who also is the Red Raiders’ eighth overall commit of the 2013 class. “I can’t wait to put on the red and black.”

Rhodes brings a workman’s attitude to Texas Tech. He rushed 229 times for 1,491 yards and scored 22 touchdowns on the ground last season. He also caught 19 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Rhodes helped Rowlett advance three rounds in the Texas Class 5A Division II playoffs.

Along with his durability, Rhodes will bring speed and shiftiness to the Texas Tech backfield. Rhodes showed that speed at a June 10 Texas Tech satellite camp in Rockwall, Texas, as he was clocked in the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds. Two days later, Rhodes scored an offer from the Red Raiders.

Athletically, Rhodes has built a good relationship with both running backs coach Chad Scott and his primary recruiting contact, offensive line coach Chris Thomsen. Rhodes, however, said it was the academic advantages that won him over.

Rhodes cited Texas Tech’s graduation rate, which ranks among the best in the Big 12 Conference, as a big reason why he chose to go west. He is looking to pursue a degree either in business or in mass communication.

“The education they offer,” Rhodes said, “it’s just a great opportunity.”