It’s officially game week folks, and with only five days left until the big day, we talk about one of the best to play the game in a Red and Black uniform, Michael Crabtree.
Crabtree played quarterback for Carter High School in Dallas, Texas and was recruited as an athlete as he was a tad bit small to play quarterback at the collegiate level as he was only 6’1”. He was recruited by many Big 12 schools including Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Kansas State, Kansas, and Texas, who wanted him to play defense, for some reason. Fortunately, he chose a school that didn’t want to hinder his abilities in Texas Tech.
He was redshirted in 2006 due to a problem with Crabtree’s high school transcript. This also helped him get acclimated to his new position at wideout. The problem that kept him out the 2006 season might have been a blessing in disguise as he set the college football landscape on fire in 2007. Crabtree set 7 of his 8 NCAA records in that 2007 season, including most catches by a freshman with 134, most yards by a freshman with 1,962, and most touchdowns caught by a freshman with 22. All of those marks are also the single season highs in Texas Tech history. That year he also won the Biletnikoff Award that year, the first freshman and first player from the Big 12 to win the award. He also won the Paul Warfield Trophy and was selected to the First Team Big 12 at receiver, Unanimous First Team All American by AP, and was given the Big 12’s Newcomer of the Year Award.
Michael Crabtree Texas Tech Highlights pic.twitter.com/Zaa4aox90H— Aaron Nash 0️⃣ (@gifted0prez) August 16, 2018
In the legendary 2008 season by the Red Raiders, Crabtree didn’t miss a beat as he still caught 97 passes for 1,165 yards that season for the Red Raiders. The drop in numbers is most likely due to the team sitting Crabtree out if the team was ahead by a ton as he was by far the team’s best player. He helped lead the team to an 11 win season and an appearance in the Cotton Bowl. He became the first player ever to win the Biletnikoff Award two years in a row and two times period. He concluded his stellar two year career at Texas Tech by declaring for the 2009 NFL Draft. He left Texas Tech as one of the best receivers of all time by the numbers, finishing first in receiving touchdowns with 41 for a career, and second in receiving yards with 3,127. He was also selected as a cover athlete for the Xbox 360 version of the popular video game NCAA 10.
Michael Crabtree wins the game for the Texas Tech Red Raiders, the greatest play in the team's history? pic.twitter.com/W2Ky9YNMAO— LeadingNCAA ™ (@LeadingNCAA) September 27, 2016
Crabtree was selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. He steadily increased his numbers with the team over his first few seasons with his best season in the team’s 2012 season, ending with an appearance in the Super Bowl. Crabtree had 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2012. His numbers steadily decreased after that and he appeared to want a change in scenery as he signed with the Oakland Raiders before the 2015 season. This seemed to have restarted his career, as he had 85 and 89 receptions in his first two seasons there. In three seasons in Oakland, Crabtree had over 2,500 yards and averaged 8.3 touchdowns per season for the team. This past off-season, he signed a two year deal with the Baltimore Ravens.
WHAT A FINISH IN OAKLAND!!!!— TITANIC TD (@TitanicTD) October 20, 2017
DEREK CARR'S TOUCHDOWN PASS TO MICHAEL CRABTREE IS EVEN BETTER WITH TITANIC MUSIC!!! WHAT A GAME!!!
Crabtree has been and should be highly regarded as one of the best wide receivers and players to ever play for the Red Raiders. Setting 8 NCAA records and multiple Texas Tech records in only two seasons is not easy task. He also helped lead this team through what was the Golden Age of Texas Tech football in many fan’s eyes. His career will always be looked as one of the best not only in the school’s history, but in all of college football’s history as one of the best.