Double-T Nation News:
No "DTN's Top ____" this morning, but I do bring to you a pretty good Michael Crabtree highlight video:
Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree Official Highlight Reel (via CollegeFootballLive)
Texas Tech Football:
Last night was autograph night for the Red Raiders and from all accounts, there were a bunch of fans in attendance. LAJ's Don Williams recaps the evening and here's Captain Leach on how his team looks:
"I think what I’ve been impressed with about this group is they work together, they listen to coaching and as a result, since they’re very committed to doing the best they can, you can coach them hard," Leach said. "You can ask more of them than some of the other groups I’ve dealt with. As a result, we’re looking forward to seeing where it takes us."
The LAJ's Maggie Kiely also has an article from the fans perspective along with some video (thank you LAJ for making this easy to share).
In football news, which there's not much of this morning, LAJ's Don Williams' Red Raiders Football Notebook has a few notes from last night's festivities, Rashad Hawk (ran a 4.3 40 in the spring) on Usain Bolt, and the kicking battle is still undecided.
USA Today's/the AP's Betsy Blaney has a short preview of Texas Tech. Nothing too exciting.
ESPN Big 12 Blogger Tim Griffin continues his ranking the best of the Big 12, starting with the best offensive linemen (I hope I haven't linked to this before) and Louis Vasquez and Rylan Reed check in:
3. Texas Tech G Louis Vasquez: Started 24 games in his career. Has emerged as anchor of the Red Raiders' line that allowed only 18 sacks last season.
5. Texas Tech T Rylan Reed: Might be ranked a tad low, although he's coming off major ankle surgery after his injury in the Gator Bowl. Former pitcher in the Chicago White Sox organization who has beaten cancer and broken the school's bench-press record.
Up next is the best special teams players, which rightfully includes special teams demon L.A. Reed and punter Jonathan LaCour:
5. Texas Tech CB L.A. Reed: Devastating special teams player earned himself a defensive starting position after starting his career at wide receiver because of his head-hunting propensity in covering kicks.
10. Texas Tech P Jonathan LeCour: Seldom used because of the Red Raiders' explosive offensive attack, but still averaged 43.2 yard per kick in conference games to lead all returning players.
Last but not least, the Big 12 coaching jobs, with Texas Tech at #7:
7. Texas Tech -- Lubbock's isolated location might be a negative to some, but the locals seem to love the place. Growing area, but still perceived by many as wind-swept and flat. And progressives might fear this fact: According to the Bay Area Center for Voting Research, Lubbock is the second most conservative city in the United States with a population of more than 100,000. But they love their Tech football.
This is perhaps the most controversial and I can understand why TB at Bring On The Cats just doesn't get ranking Baylor ahead of K-State (neither do I for that matter). I suppose the thing I like about the list is that TAMU is #4 on that list (lots of advantages, close to recruiting hotbed, great facilities, etc.) but hasn't lived up to expectations.
Hat-tip to Barking Carnival (I had no idea that this had been released until I saw their link) but College Football News's Pete Fiutak previews the Big 12, and here's a couple of the more interesting items:
One Bold Prediction
Texas will finish third, at best, in the Big 12 South. Oklahoma is good enough to win the national title and Texas Tech is loaded from top to bottom. With the Longhorns having to travel to Lubbock to face the Red Raiders, and with at trip to Colorado and Kansas from the North along with the home game against Missouri, the schedule isn’t a plus. This isn’t Mack Brown’s best team. It’s good, and the coaching staff is the best it’s been in years, but the overall talent level is just above-average until the young talent kicks in.
And this on the top 5 best pro prospects:
5 Best Pro Prospects
1. FS William Moore, Sr. Missouri
2. TE Brandon Pettigrew, Sr. Oklahoma State
3. TE Jermaine Gresham, Jr. Oklahoma
4. WR Michael Crabtree, Soph. Texas Tech
5. OG Duke Robinson, Sr. Oklahoma
Is Pettigrew that much better of a pro-prospect, as well as Gresham? I was thinking that Maclin might find his way in there as well, but what the hell do I know.