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Red Raiders Sign All-CUSA Transfer Center Rusty Staats

Coach Joey McGuire continues to bulk up the Red Raiders offensive line for 2023.
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The Texas Tech Red Raiders signed a top 25 recruiting class for just the second time in program history after closing out Early National Signing Day on Wednesday at No. 23 per SI99 rankings.

Coach Joey McGuire and staff bolstered several offensive positions including wide receiver, running back, and the offensive line.

On Thursday, the offensive line got even better, with the signing of offensive line transfer Rusty Staats from Western Kentucky. Staats was one of the best centers in the nation this past season while with the Hilltopers. 

Staats reunites with Tech offensive line coach Stephen Hamby and offensive coordinator Zach Kittley, who both coached him at Western Kentucky before they joined McGuire in Lubbock.

“Rusty is one of the top centers in the country who really understands this offense well,” McGuire said. “We really like the depth we’ve added in our offensive line in the last two days. We can’t wait to get Rusty on campus here in a few weeks.”

Staats has one year of eligibility left after closing out his time with the Hilltoppers with a 44-23 win over the South Alabama Jaguars in the New Orleans Bowl on Wednesday. Staats was the starter for WKU the past two seasons, making 27 starts and being honored as a two-time All-Conference USA selection.

Per Pro Football Focus, Staats finished seventh among centers nationally in pass-blocking efficiency, something the Red Raiders have struggled with this past season. The 6-4, 310-pounder allowed just one sack and one quarterback hit, along with seven quarterback hurries and nine quarterback pressures over 651 opportunities.

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