There’s only 25 days until Texas Tech football! Today, we will be talking about one of the best running backs in Texas Tech history, Baron Batch. Batch was recruited to Tech by Mike Leach and Sonny Dykes in 2005. He was a 3-star recruit coming out of Midland. Batch became one of the best running backs in the Air Raid Era for the Red Raiders as he totaled 3,612 all-purpose yards and 32 touchdowns as a Red Raider.
He came into Lubbock and only played 6 games as a freshman, totaling only 84 all-purpose yards and one touchdown as he sat behind Shannon Woods for that season. It appeared as Woods was going to be the running back of the future as Woods was only a sophomore in Batch’s freshman season. Both running backs would have stellar careers at Tech, but Batch’s would have to wait his turn.
Batch would redshirt the 2007 season, and by the time the Red Raider’s 11 win 2008 season came around, Batch was ready for the limelight. He led the team as a sophomore in all-purpose yards with 758 rushing yards and 449 receiving yards for a total of 1,207 all-purpose yards for the season. Batch also scored 8 times on the year. This is extremely impressive because he was still splitting time in the backfield with Shannon Woods, who also had 1,113 all-purpose yards throughout the season. Woods even received 19 more touches on the season than Batch. This was a team that also had Wide Receiver Micheal Crabtree and Quarterback Graham Harrell.
Batch became the guy for the next two years as his junior year was his best as a Red Raider. He totaled 1279 all-purpose yards including 57 catches and 168 rushing attempts. He led the team and the Big 12 with 14 rushing touchdowns and also led the team with 884 rushing yards. Batch was beginning to gain national attention leading up to his senior year as he was named to the Doak Walker Award watch list in August of 2010.
His senior year was a slight letdown compared to the stellar junior season that he had. With the slight change to the offense due to a new coach, Batch’s production took a small hit as he only gained 1042 all-purpose yards as a senior, scoring 8 touchdowns. His production as a Red Raider was enough to convince the Pittsburgh Steelers to take a chance on Batch in the 7th round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, Batch tore his ACL during his rookie year and sat out the entire 2011 season. He had a small role in the Steelers’ offense in 2012, rushing the ball 25 times and scoring once. He retired from the game of football in 2013.
Batch was truly one of the best all-purpose running backs in Texas Tech history, being a huge threat both running the ball and as a receiving threat out of the backfield. Batch is currently ninth on the Texas Tech all-time career rushing list with 2,501 yards.
Who do you think is the next great Texas Tech running back? Let us know in the comment section below!