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Red Raiders Elite DL Duo Set to Return For 2023 Season

Tony Bradford Jr. and Jaylon Hutchings will use their super senior year to help anchor the Red Raiders defense.

In their first year under coach Joey McGuire, the Texas Tech Red Raiders managed a solid 7-5 record. Of course, while conference championships are the ultimate goal for McGuire and his staff, the improvement shown this year is reason to be optimistic moving forward. 

That improvement was arguably most notable on the defensive side of the ball, with new defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter turning things around in Lubbock. Now, as the Red Raiders look to build upon that defensive foundation, they will do so with the return of two key defenders.

Seniors Tony Bradford Jr. and Jaylon Hutchings announced they both planned to utilize their super senior year as afforded by the NCAA, giving the Red Raiders a massive boost to their defensive front ahead of 2023.

Now, with Bradford and Hutchings set to return the Red Raiders boast one of the most experienced defensive lines. 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. Over his career Hutchings has recorded 143 tackles, with 17.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. This season he recorded 44 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. 

Bradford, meanwhile, had the best season of his career. He recorded 27 tackles, with nine being tackles for loss to go with 5.5 sacks. He recorded his 100th career tackle in a win over Oklahoma. 

The Red Raiders held opponents to 29.5 points per game this season, their best clip since the 2009 season. With Bradford and Hutchings returning in 2023, those numbers will likely only improve.

You can find Connor Zimmerlee on Twitter @Connorjz98

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