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Baron Batch at #25
ESPN's Tim Griffin is ranking the top 40 players in the Big 12 and Texas Tech's Baron Batch checks in at #25:
Why he was picked: Batch developed into a proficient threat for the Red Raiders last season, leading them in rushing with 758 yards and seven touchdowns and adding 45 receptions for 449 yards. Batch averaged 6.78 yards per carry to lead all rushers in the league. And he also led the Red Raiders' running backs in receptions. And all of this was done while sharing playing time with Shannon Woods last season.
What 2009 will hold: With the loss of quarterback Graham Harrell, wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Woods, look for the Red Raiders to lean on Batch more than ever.
It's hard to believe that he will ever be used as a ball carrier like many of the other elite backs in the conference, but Leach might tweak his role a little bit this season with the lack of other proven playmakers around him and new quarterback Taylor Potts trying to break in as a starter. If Woods [ed. probably meant Batch] can stay healthy, it's not a reach to think he could flirt with a 1,000-yard rushing season and serve as the team's primary offensive catalyst.
Odds and Ends
dedfischer did something that I intended to do, which is take a look at the scrimmage boxscore from earlier this week while Sporting News' Dave Curtis likes the way that Mike Leach motivates his team (hat-tip T. Griffin). I'm going to have quite a bit more on Leach next week as I've been working on something for most of this week.
Neglected Video, Audio and Photos
The DT Sports Report looks at running back and safety:
The DT Sports Report Episode 7: running back, safety preview from Daily Toreador on Vimeo.