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Kingsbury suffers tough blow before his debut season

Texas Tech loses its defensive anchor to a transfer. Dave Miller

Print This May 20, 2013, 10:55 AM EST

Kliff Kingsbury's first season as Texas Tech head coach became a little bit more difficult over the weekend when it became apparent that starting defensive tackle Delvon Simmons decided to transfer, according to multiple reports.

The 6-5, 290-pounder leaves a big hole in the middle of a Red Raiders defense that was vastly improved last fall. The Pennsylvania native recorded 27 tackles, including six stops for loss, and two sacks in 2012.

The former four-star recruit in the Class of 2011, Simmons was a the top-rated player in the state of Pennsylvania and a Top 5 defensive tackle nationally who arrived in Lubbock after signing with North Carolina originally but never playing for the Tar Heels. He played 10 games as a true freshman in 2011 and started all 13 games for the Red Raiders in 2012.

The rising junior has a ton of upside and was expected to anchor the Red Raiders' defense this fall. While he may not have been a household name nationally, he was considered a breakout player candidate in 2013. Now the Red Raiders have a serious issue up front at tackle.

Simmons will have to sit out the 2013 season if he goes to an FBS school, and he will have two years of eligibility left beginning in 2014.

Various reports have Simmons being interested in USC, Miami (FL), Penn State and Pittsburgh as potential transfer destinations.

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