With Zach Thomas being the latest Red Raider to join the Ring of Honor, it got me thinking: Who else will likely be joining him in the future? There are so many great football players in Tech history to remember it's hard to narrow it down to just three. I came up with three players I believe Red Raider fans would love to see immortalized at Jones AT&T Stadium.
1. Wes Welker
I have no doubt he'll be joining the Ring of Honor soon as he was recently selected to be a member of the 2016 Texas Tech hall of fame class. Every Red Raider football fan remembers his punt return for a touchdown against Texas A&M. Over his career as a Red Raider Welker had 259 catches for 3,019 yards and scored 21 touchdowns. He also had eight touchdowns on punt returns, which is still tied for the NCAA record. He's had a successful NFL career as well. Over his 11-year career Welker has played for the Chargers, Dolphins, Patriots, Broncos, and last year with the Rams. He's a 5-time pro bowler, 2-time 1st-team All-Pro and 2-time 2nd-team All-Pro. For his career he's tallied 903 catches for 9,924 yards and 50 receiving touchdowns. While he is still a free agent and could play again, Welker has already built a great NFL resume to go along with his college one.
2. Michael Crabtree
He only played for the Red Raiders for two seasons but he left the fans with some great memories. No doubt the most iconic has to be his game-winning touchdown catch against #1 Texas in 2008. The play-by-play call by college football broadcaster Brent Musburger, "Crabtree pulls free touchdown Red Raiders!" will stick with me forever. Crabtree was a 2-time All-American both of his college seasons as well as a Biletnikoff Award and Paul Warfield Trophy winner. Crabtree was drafted 10th overall in the 2009 draft by the 49ers where he had 347 catches for 4,327 yards and 26 touchdowns along with a Super Bowl appearance in 2012. Now entering his second season with the Oakland Raiders, Crabtree is looking to have a big year for the Silver and Black.
3. Kliff Kingsbury
While his time at Texas Tech is not nearly done, I just know he'll have his name displayed in Jones at some point. As a quarterback Kliff threw for 12,423 yards and 95 touchdowns. At the end of his college football career, he held 39 school records, 13 Big 12 Conference records, and seven NCAA FBS records. Kingsbury was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2003 draft. He did not see the field for them that season, but he got a Super Bowl ring out of it. After being waived by the Patriots, spending all of 2004 on the Saints practice squad, and being released by the Broncos in September 2005, he finally made his NFL debut for the Jets in November completing one of two passes for 17 yards. After brief stints in NFL Europe and the CFL, Kingsbury went into coaching.
There's plenty of other names I can think off that could be added to the Ring of Honor, but Welker, Crabtree, and Kingsbury are three I believe are lock-ins to be given that honor at some point in the future. I look forward to possibly seeing them in the Texas Tech Ring of Honor!