LUBBOCK, Texas – Zech McPhearson became the fifth Red Raider to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft on the final day of 2020 as the Texas Tech senior defensive back made his intentions known with a post on Twitter.
McPhearson, an All-Big 12 first team selection this past season, joins fellow seniors Eli Howard, Thomas Leggett and T.J. Vasher in preparing for the upcoming draft as well as junior Jack Anderson. All three decided to forego remaining eligibility in order to begin the draft process.
McPhearson developed into one of the nation's top defensive backs since arriving in Lubbock as a Penn State transfer prior to the 2019 season. He started in 21 of 22 games during that span at cornerback, providing a veteran presence as he totaled 104 tackles over his two seasons.
A native of Columbia, Maryland, McPhearson was constantly near the ball this past season as he closed the regular season tied for the Big 12 high in both interceptions (4) and fumble recoveries (2). With several bowl games still remaining, McPhearson is currently one of four FBS players to have recorded at least four interceptions and two fumble recoveries this season.
His two fumble recoveries don't include the blocked field goal he returned 90 yards for a touchdown against Iowa State, either. McPhearson was part of three blocked kicks over his Red Raider tenure as he got his hands on a pair of field goal/extra point attempts as a junior in 2019.
McPhearson will now look to become the latest family member to join the professional ranks as his father played for the New England Patriots and his brother, Gerrick McPhearson Jr., was picked in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, while two other brothers, Derrick and Matthew McPhearson, both played professional baseball.