Trent told me that Crabtree was quite possibly the best receiver he had ever seen. I laughed and asked him if he was better then current Red Raiders wide receivers Jarrett Hicks, Joel Filani, and Robert Johnson? He said yes. I figured he was pulling my leg.
Then I had the opportunity to watch the incredible 6 foot 3 inch red shirt freshman during spring and fall practice. Needless to say, I was impressed but wondered what he could do once he had to face the complete attention of an opposing team.
Then the season started. He began to put up gaudy numbers but the general consensus was that his numbers would come down in Big XII play. Needless to say, they did nothing of the sort. There was some drop in production but Crabtree had over 300 yards receiving and scored 3 touchdowns against the University of Texas and also Oklahoma University.
Crabtree has been named a consensus All-American and will most likely become a unanimous All-American when the Associated Press releases their roster shortly. Crabtree became the first Texas Tech offensive All-American since Byron Hanspard and the first freshman since Herschel Walker to garner the coveted All-American status.
And then he won the Biletnikoff. Crabtree became the first freshman to win this coveted award and first player in the Big XII to do so, a distinction none of the other tremendous receivers in arguably the nation's toughest conference haven't been able to do. Mark Clayton, Roy Williams, Mark Bradley, Malcolm Kelly, Adarius Bowman and not a one of them was able to win the Biletnikoff.
125 receptions, 1,861 yards, 21 touchdowns and 12 games later, I would agree with Trent that Crabtree is the best receiver I've ever seen.
More explosive, bigger, stronger, faster, shiftier, just an all around nightmare for anyone who has the responsibility of covering number 5. Crabtree is as fast as Joel Filani, as shifty as Robert Johnson, and as physical as Jarrett Hicks. He can make the big play or the routine play.
Michael Crabtree has just about destroyed every receiving record for freshman ever created, along with the "system" label that so often accompanied Tech skill position players.
Crabtree is by far the best receiver in the Big XII or NCAA football for that matter. And folks, this is just year one. I'm smiling imaging what he'll be able to do with another year.
So consider this my official apology to my good friend Trent Wycoff for doubting his professional opinion about Michael Crabtree. I'll eat crow all day long for that mistake.
Now it's my turn to sum Crabtree up in just one word. "Crabtrabulous!"