Texas Tech University Red Raiders
Carter High School
In just 26 games at the university, Crabtree went on to re-write school and Big Twelve Conference records, while also etching his name in the NCAA books. His success on the football field saw him receive Fred Biletnikoff Award honors in each of his two college seasons. A model of consistency, he put together a string of thirteen consecutive games with at least one touchdown and five receptions, tying an NCAA mark.
Crabtree's 231 receptions in his first two seasons topped the old college record of 227 catches over a two-year span that was previously held by Nevada's Alex Van Dyke (1994-95). He ranks tied for sixth in NCAA annals with 41 touchdown catches, an average of 1.58 scores per game. That total also set a collegiate record for most touchdowns during a two-year span, surpassing the previous mark of 34 scoring catches by Larry Fitzgerald of Pittsburgh (2002-03).
Being a featured receiver was something new for Crabtree when he arrived at Texas Tech. During his prep days at Carter High School, he competed as a quarterback, where he was ranked as the nation's 16th-best overall athlete and received a four-star rating from Rivals.com. The member of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal Fab 44 team, he also earned All-Area accolades from the Dallas Morning News.
Crabtree threw for 870 yards and eleven touchdowns on 45-of-100 passing in his final season. That year, he also ran for 646 yards and nine touchdowns on 100 carries. As a junior, he completed 30-of-67 passes for 897 yards and eight touchdowns with just one interception.
In addition to excelling in football, Crabtree was also a nationally ranked basketball player at Carter High. He was rated among the top 50 hoops prospects in the state and received several scholarship offers in that sport from major colleges.
But, Crabtree was determined to play football, accepting a scholarship from Texas Tech while bypassing offers from Baylor, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Kansas. He spent the 2006 season performing on the scout team, acclimating to life as a wide receiver.
Texas Tech featured three seniors ahead of Crabtree on their 2006 depth chart entering fall drills, but the red-shirt freshman beat out Joel Filani for the "Z" receiver position, starting every game. He earned Biletnikoff Award honors, given to the nation's top receiver, the first time a freshman ever captured that award. The unanimous All-American and All-Big Twelve Conference first-team choice set NCAA freshman records, leading the nation with 134 receptions for 1,962 yards (14.6 avg) and 22 touchdowns, as he also led the major college ranks with an average of 10.31 receptions and 150.92 yards receiving per game.
While Crabtree did not match his lofty 2007 totals in 2008, he still had a banner sophomore campaign. He was again the Biletnikoff Award recipient, in addition to garnering first-team All-American and All-Big Twelve recognition. He ranked sixth in the nation with a team-high 97 receptions, good for 1,165 yards and 19 touchdowns, despite battling late season ankle issues.
2008 Worst Games: Oklahoma, Baylor, Mississippi.
Crabtree has a shorter frame than the school advertised (Tech listed him at 6:03), but he has good muscle tone and thickness on a linear frame that can carry more bulk without impacting his quickness. He has good shoulder definition, tight waist and hips to go with defined thighs and calves. He also displays good arm length with large, soft hands to secure the ball before turning and running after the catch.
Crabtree is an outstanding athlete with good field savvy to compensate for a lack of explosive speed. He has good body flexibility getting under the ball and is a strong open field runner with good leaping ability and body adjustment skills to reach for the pass at its highest point. He is more quick than fast, but shows smooth movement skills, a decent short area burst and some strength to break arm tackles. He displays the natural ability and arm extension to catch the ball outside his frame. He might not have great weight room numbers, but uses his frame and size effectively to defeat the jam. He has deceptive speed, as his long legs let him ride up on the defender quickly while looking effortless in his long stride. He has very good agility and balance with the change of direction agility and good overall body control to come up with the ball inside his body when working in a crowd…GRADE-7.9
Crabtree was very much in sync with QB Graham Harrell, evident by the large amount of times he was successful catching the ball when having to work back when the passer was pressured. He shows great effort and concentration going for the ball in a crowd, with no flinch in him when defenders are closing in on him. He makes the tough catches look easy and has no problems taking plays from the chalk board to the playing field. He plays with good vision and instincts, but needs to improve his timing on jump ball situations. He understands the coverages and will have no problems grasping the mental side of the playbook…GRADE-7.8
Crabtree is a "good soldier" who responds well to hard coaching, but is not the type that has a "take charge" leadership ability. He is close to his father and has spent a large amount of his time in the off-season working with fellow NFL players on honing his skills. Some might question his entourage, but he has no known off-field issues. What separates him from most elite receivers is his competitiveness and desire to work on every aspect of his game. With his size and athletic ability, he could have swagger in his play, but lets his performance speak for itself…GRADE-6.8
Crabtree is the type that willingly sacrifices himself to make the play, evident by the way he gamely kept competing despite nagging foot and ankle woes in 2008. What really impressed me was the 2008 Texas game, as he had to leave several times to get his ankle re-taped, yet not only came up with the game-winning touchdown in the last second, but produced eight first downs, including five for 20 yards or longer, on ten catches, despite playing with a noticeable limp…GRADE-8.1
Crabtree could use more weight room strength, but is the hard worker that coaches know does not need to be monitored. He does all the "little extras" to improve his game and worked tirelessly to get back on the field, despite nagging injuries the second half of 2008. He sees the big picture and is not the type who will play with swagger or talk trash on the field. He has good practice habits and is committed to the game…GRADE-7.9
Crabtree has a little jump/hitch in his release and needs to show a better sudden burst coming off the line. Like most long striders, he will false step and need time to build to top speed, but he uses his hands and size effectively to defeat the jam. His footwork is solid, but he just lacks suddenness. He uses his body well to shield the ball from defenders once he gets into his patterns. He also displays the loose hips and lateral quickness to get by the short area cornerbacks, just lacking the second gear to separate from the defender on outside routes. Being the savvy player that he is, he knows how to use his size and arm extension to get a quick release off the snap. He shows good closing speed running under sideline throws and enough quickness to get into his routes without being impeded. His size and adequate strength lets him consistently beat the jam and with his deceptive speed, he can run up a cornerback in an instant…GRADE-6.6
In the short area, Crabtree needs space to build to top speed. His long stride prevents him from getting consistent separation in the open, but he shows very good ball concentration skills to get under the ball in a hurry. He does a fine job of tracking and making the over-the-shoulder catch, but won't win many foot races when trying to threaten the deep third of the secondary. He does a good job of settling underneath for the short throws, but uses his body to shield the ball and power through rather than put on the after-burners to escape. He is a big target going over the middle, but just fails to separate with any consistency on deep patterns. He is a good power receiver on crossers and sideline throws and has strong hands to secure the ball before running, but fails to generate the second gear to turn a short pass into a long gainer (uses size and power to break tackles, but will need to get stronger in order to do the same vs. the more physical NFL corners). Even with his long stride, he could surprise a lethargic defender (see 2008 Nevada and Texas games). He uses his quickness well to get deep, but is best when used on crossers and sideline routes than when going up the seam, as he does not have that explosive second gear and has to run a double move to get open…GRADE-6.6
Crabtree is more quick than fast. He has good hand positioning and balance to defeat the jam and shows good movement skills throughout his routes. He just won't explode off the line and with his long stride, he takes a bit to reach top speed. He is a bit long-legged, but still is capable of getting into his patterns, as his get-off and long arms lets him keep defenders away from his body in attempts to reroute. He shows good stop-&-start quickness working in the flats and underneath. Few players with his long body are capable of generating the elusiveness to avoid, but he is effective breaking free down the sidelines when he powers through tackles…GRADE-6.8
Crabtree excels at taking quick slants and generating positive yardage after the catch. He has crisp stop-&-go action to redirect and uses his body well to protect the ball. He tends to dance and try to out-juke opponents at times, but generally settles and breaks off his routes well (rare to see him round off). He does a fine job of lowering his weight getting into his breaks and is a physical receiver that makes it tough for defenders to push him off his routes. He makes sharp cuts in the open and does a very good job of using his body to gain position. He is especially effective working on fade routes, as he is more effective when used on controlled routes, stops and quick slants. He does show good body control to break down, but is best when operating along the sidelines where he can build to top speed and maintain it throughout his route…GRADE-8.4
For a player that lacks suddenness, he does a good job of using his body to shield the ball. He does a good job of keeping his legs and side-stepping low tackles, as his stride allows him to turn a short pass into a long gainer. He will never be confused for being an explosive player, but does a good job of using body lean and contact to create separation. Once he gets to top speed, his power-through tackles makes it tough to bring him down. He is a savvy player with the hip snap and head fakes to fool the cornerback. His ability to execute hesitation moves is where he gains success in setting up the opponent. Working along the sidelines, he is much more effective at using his speed to elude. He also knows how to use his body and has a knack for finding the open spots in the zone…GRADE-8.2
Crabtree has great field vision, doing a nice job of looking the ball in and making the over-the-shoulder grabs. He will not hesitate to go vertical to make the catch and has the athletic agility to make proper adjustments. He is very adept at catching the ball waist high without having to throttle down. He will generally maintain focus on the ball in flight. He has the long arms and body control to go over people to get to the ball and is doing it with regularity in 2008 (see Nevada, SMU and Nebraska games). He does know how to get open and understands sticks and boundaries, doing a nice job of keeping his feet in bounds, as he is also very good at coming back to help when the QB is pressured…GRADE-8.3
Crabtree is the type that feeds off of making the tough catches. He is used mostly on slants, but shows good urgency turning and heading up field after the catch. He has the body control to make the difficult off-target catches, especially on those thrown low or behind him. He gets his feet down properly when working along the side-lines and is alert to the quarterback scramble. He is a big target who can't be rerouted by a strong hand push and knows how to use his long arms to go over defenders. He tracks the ball well in flight and has the athleticism to contort his body to make the grab. With his leaping ability and size, he should be able to win more jump ball battles than he has done, though… GRADE-8.5
Crabtree has a verified 34-inch vertical leap that is further used to his advantage by his long arms. He shows very good body control to high point the pass and will contort his body and sacrifice it to get to the tough throws in a crowd. He uses those long legs and arms, combined with excellent elevation to get to the pass and can be very explosive in his rise. He also shows natural hand extension to reach and pluck away from the frame. He uses his size well in man coverage attacking the high pass…GRADE-7.8
Crabtree has some of the best hands in the business. If he drops a ball, it is due to it being a difficult throw or that a defender somehow managed to reach around and knock it away from him. He can catch away from his frame or use his body to secure the ball inside. He makes all the catches he should and more than a few that he shouldn't. Even when he drops the ball every now and then, he forgets about the bad play and maintains good focus. He shows he can reach and pluck for the ball away from his frame. He also generates a strong jolt with his hands to defeat the press. He is simply a natural hands catcher that can make the difficult grab, as he is perfectly capable of extending for the ball…GRADE-9.0
Run After the Catch
Crabtree is not going to ever be a world class sprinter, but he is more elusive than one would expect from a long strider, thanks to an array of moves that he uses often (especially head fakes) to set up the defender. He might lack great weight room strength, but his natural power lets him bounce off arm tackles and he has good lower body strength to power through a crowd. Teams just need to realize that he is better suited running through arm tackles rather than attempt to make the first defender miss. Even though there is not a lot of shake in his hips and he is a bit of a long strider, he runs with the power needed to break tackles consistently…GRADE-8.4
This is Crabtree's area that needs the most improvement. He is an adequate position blocker, but needs to give better effort. He has good toughness for a wide receiver and will execute good cut blocks, but at the line of scrimmage, he just fails to stalk with much consistency…GRADE-5.5
ANQUAN BOLDIN-Arizona… Like Boldin, Crabtree is a bit of a long strider, but has good field savvy to gain separation. He is a bit slower in his release than one would like, but uses his body well to break tackles. He is used mostly on slants, but has the ability to gain lots of real estate after the catch. His recent foot surgery is going to be a concern, but without that problem, is there any doubt that he would have been the best draft prospect in 2009?
In just two seasons at Texas Tech, Crabtree hauled in 231 passes for 3,127 yards (13.54 avg) and 41 touchdowns…His 231 catches broke the old NCAA two-year record of 227 grabs by Alex Van Dyke of Nevada (1994-95) and rank fifth in Big Twelve Conference history, topped by Taurean Henderson (303; 2002-05) and Wes Welker (259; 2000-03) of Texas Tech, Rashaun Woods of Oklahoma State (293; 2000-03) and Roy Williams of Texas (241; 2000-03)…His 3,127 yards receiving surpassed the old school career-record of 3,069 yards by Wes Welker, as he joined Welker, Rashaun Woods (4,414), Roy Williams (3,866), Mark Clayton of Oklahoma (3,421; 2001-04), Todd Blythe of Iowa State (3,096; 2004-07) and Carlos Francis of Texas Tech (3,007; 2000-03) as the only players in conference history to gain over 3,000 yards receiving in a career…His average of 8.88 receptions per game rank fifth in NCAA history behind Manny Hazard of Houston (10.48 rpg, 1989-90), Alex Van Dyke of Nevada (10.32 rpg, 1994-95), Howard Twilley of Tulsa (10.04 rpg, 1963-65) and Jason Phillips of Houston (9.51 rpg, 1987-88)…his 41 touchdown receptions rank sixth in NCAA annals and second on the Big Twelve all-time record chart behind Rashaun Woods of Oklahoma State (42, 2000-03) while shattering the old school mark of 30 scoring grabs by Jarrett Hicks (2003-06)…Averaged 120.27 yards receiving during his career, the fifth-best career average in NCAA history, surpassed by Alex Van Dyke of Nevada (140.91 ypg, 1994-95), Troy Edwards of Louisiana Tech (128.0 ypg, 1996-98), Kevin Curtis of Utah State (126.77 ypg, 2001-02) and Manny Hazard of Houston (125.48 ypg, 1989-90)…Crabtree's 134 receptions and average of 10.31 catches per game in 2007 set NCAA season-records for freshmen, topping the old marks of 98 grabs by Taurean Henderson of Texas Tech in 2002 and average 7.18 receptions per game by Earl Bennett of Vanderbilt in 2005…His 134 catches topped the previous Big Twelve season-record of 107 grabs by Rashaun Woods of Oklahoma State in 2002 and tied Howard Twilley of Tulsa (1965) and Trevor Insley of Nevada (1999) for fourth on the NCAA season-record chart behind Manny Hazzard of Houston (142 in 1989), Troy Edwards of Louisiana Tech (140 in 1998) and Nate Burleson of Nevada (138 in 2002)…That year, Crabtree combined with Danny Amendola (109) to grab 243 passes, the best total by two players on the same team in the same season in NCAA annals, breaking the old mark of 236 catches by J.R. Tolver (128) and Kassim Osgood (108) of San Diego State in 2002..His 22 touchdown catches in 2007 set an NCAA season-record for freshmen, as only Troy Edwards of Louisiana Tech (27 in 1998) and Randy Moss of Marshall (25 in 1997) had more touchdown receptions in a season on the major college record charts…His 41 touchdown catches during his first two seasons shattered the old NCAA two-year record of 34 by Larry Fitzgerald of Pittsburgh (2002-03)…His 1,962 yards receiving in 2007 set the NCAA freshman season-record, bypassing the previous mark of 1,265 yards by Mike Williams of Southern California in 2002…Those 1,962 yards are the third-best season total in NCAA annals behind Trevor Insley of Nevada (2,060 in 1999) and Troy Edwards of Louisiana Tech (1,996 in 1998) and established a Big Twelve Conference record, besting the old mark of 1,695 yards by Rashaun Woods of Oklahoma State in 2002…His average of 10.31 catches per game in 2007 set the NCAA freshman record and placed eighth on the major college season-record chart…Set the Big Twelve Conference freshman scoring record with 132 points in 2007, breaking the previous mark of 78 points by Cedric Benson of Texas in 2001…His 132 points also tied the school season-record that was first set by Taurean Henderson in 2005…Those 132 points placed fifth on the league overall annual record chart…Caught fifteen passes vs. Texas-El Paso in 2007 (second game as a collegian), tying the school game-record that was first set by Robert Johnson vs. Southern Methodist in 2006…Those fifteen grabs were the most by an NCAA freshman since Game Richard Woodley of Texas Christian snared 18 balls vs. Texas Tech in 1990…
Gained 244 yards receiving vs. Rice in 2007, a Big Twelve freshman record that also ranks second on the school record list behind Joel Filani (255 vs. Kansas State in 2005) and third overall in Big Twelve annals behind Filani and Adarius Bowman of Oklahoma State (300 vs. Kansas in 2006)…His 244 yards were the most by an NCAA freshman in a game since Corey Alston of Western Michigan amassed 263 yards vs. Eastern Michigan in 1997… Caught 231-of-327 passes targeted to him (70.64%), as 22 of those throws were deflected by the opposition (6.73%)…Produced 153 first downs on those 231 grabs (66.23%), as 120 of those receptions (51.95%) were good for at least 10 yards, including 44 for 20 yards or longer (19.05%)…Helped set up 59 touchdown drives and three other series that ended in field goals, as he converted 28-of-51 third-down throws (54.9%) and 6-of-10 fourth-down tosses…Made 31 of his catches (13.42%) inside the red zone for first downs (had 50 total catches inside the red zone).
Unanimous All-American first-team selection…Rated the best receiver prospect in the country by The NFL Draft Report…Unanimous All-Big Twelve Conference first-team pick, earning Biletnikoff Award honors (nation's top receiver) for the second consecutive year…
Ranked sixth in the nation and second in the league with an average of 7.46 receptions per game…Placed 16th nationally with an average of 89.62 yards per game and finished 14th in scoring with 8.77 points per contest…Led the team as he caught 97-of-145 passes targeted to him (66.9%) for 1,165 yards (12.0 avg) and twelve touchdowns…Registered 60 first-down grabs, as he converted 11-of-20 third-down throws and 3-of-4 fourth-down tosses… Had 44 catches for at least ten yards, including eleven for 20 yards or longer…Converted 16 catches into first downs inside the red zone, including eleven on goal-line snaps…Set up 29 touchdowns and one field goal with key receptions…Turned the ball over once on three fumbles and had nine passes targeted to him that were deflected by the opposition… Carried twice for a 1-yard gain and returned a kickoff 50 yards while scoring 114 points.
2008 GAME ANALYSIS
Eastern Washington…Crabtree opened the season in explosive fashion, hauling in nine passes for 73 yards and a touchdown…Late in the first quarter, he scored the first of his nineteen touchdowns for the season, snaring a 4-yard bubble screen from QB Graham Harrell that ended a 90-yard, 10-play series with 0:48 left in the opening stanza…Head to Head Competotion-CB#35-Adam Macomber (5:06-170)-Two solo tackles…Offensive Impact-Crabtree caught three passes for first downs, converting 0-of-0 third-down plays while making two catches for at least 10 yards.
Nevada…QB Graham Harrell and Crabtree hooked up for an 82-yard touchdown pass to lead No. 12 Texas Tech to a 35-19 victory…The Red Raiders overcame an off night for Harrell to score 30 or more points for the 18th time in their last 20 games…His favorite target made seven catches for 158 yards that also included a 50-yarder midway through the second quarter…Head to Head Competition-CB#45-Antoine Thompson (6:01-197)-Three tackles (2 solos), two pass deflections…Offensive Impact-Crabtree caught three passes for first downs, converting 0-of-1 third-down plays while making two catches for at least 20 yards.
Southern Methodist…The sophomore "Z" receiver snatched eight passes for 164 yards that included three touchdowns, adding 3 yards on a reverse…With 5:39 left in the first quarter, he beat a pair of defenders to snare a 23-yard scoring strike from QB Graham Harrell, followed by a 47-yard touchdown that capped a 6-play, 98-yard second quarter possession…On the team's first drive of the second half, he added a 50-yard score to conclude a 4-play, 72-yard series…SMU head coach June Jones gushed over Crabtree's performance, stating, "He's a big time player, but like I said, I was proud of our defense. He's going to get that on a lot of people. But we made enough plays on defense; we stopped him, stopped the ball. We did enough things to keep the game interesting, at least."…Head to Head Competition-CB#12-Derrius Bell (5:10-170)-Six tackles (4 solos), two pass deflections…Offensive Impact-Crabtree caught five passes for first downs, converting 0-of-0 third-down plays while making five catches for at least 10 yards, including three for 20 yards or longer.
Massachusetts…Crabtree had a quiet game, at least by his standards, managing 62 yards with a score on five catches…He found the end zone on a 2-yard lob from QB Graham Harrell that ended a 68-yard, 5-play series…Head to Head Competition-CB#4-Courtney Robinson (6:00-200)-Three tackles (2 solos), one pass deflection…Offensive Impact-Crabtree caught five passes for first downs, converting 1-of-1 third-down plays while making three catches for at least 10 yards, including one for longer than 20 yards.
Kansas State…The sophomore pulled in nine passes for 107 yards and a pair of touch-downs, beginning a string of four consecutive multiple touchdown contests…He made a third-&-10 grab for a 10-yard touchdown in the first quarter, followed by a 29-yard score with 0:44 left in the first half that ended a 54-yard, 7-play possession…Record Watch-Crabtree's scoring grabs gave him 30 for his career, tying the all-time school record that was first set by Jarrett Hicks (1999-2002)…Head to Head Competition-CB#4-Joshua Moore (5:11-184)-Seven tackles (6 solos), three pass deflections…Offensive Impact-Crabtree caught six passes for first downs, converting 2-of-4 third-down plays while making six catches for at least 10 yards, including one for longer than 20 yards.
Nebraska…Crabtree had five receptions for 89 yards and two touchdowns in a 37-31 overtime victory…Late in the opening frame, a wide-open Crabtree was found by QB Graham Harrell on a 35-yard scoring strike…Harrell again found his target open in the end zone, lobbing a 4-yard touchdown to the "Z" receiver to stake Tech to a 24-10 third quarter lead…Harrell commented on Crabtree's ability to get open vs. triple coverage, noting, "I'm surprised with how open he was and if he was just a little guy I would go to him. You know, Crabtree is our go- to guy. I knew he was open and he was; I threw it up there and he made a play."…Record Watch-Crabtree's two touchdowns set a school career-record at 32 and marked the 10th time in 19 games that he had a multiple touchdown performance… Head to Head Competition-CB#6-Armando Murillo (6:00-190)-One solo tackle, one pass deflection…Offensive Impact-Crabtree caught three passes for first downs, converting 0-of-0 third-down plays while making one catch for at least 20 yards.
Texas A&M…Crabtree would begin to experience injury problems, as he missed most of the second half with a right ankle sprain that he suffered when twisting his leg returning a kickoff 50 yards…He finished with 71 yards on eight catches, scoring twice…Graham Harrell connected with the sophomore on a first quarter 25-yard scoring pass and came back to Crabtree with a 3-yard scoring lob that finished a 77-yard, 9-play early third quarter drive…Head to Head Competition-CB#25-Jordan Pugh (5:11-191)-Six tackles (3 solos), one fumble recovery…Offensive Impact-Crabtree caught three passes for first downs, converting 0-of-0 third-down plays and 1-of-1 fourth-down tosses while making one catch for at least 20 yards.
Kansas…Despite being limited in practice by his ankle injury, Crabtree caught nine passes for 70 yards and two scores before spraining his left ankle…He ended a late first quarter possession with a 4-yard scoring grab and then hooked up with Graham Harrell on a 16-yard third quarter touchdown, marking the 36th time that duo completed a scoring play for the Red Raiders…His third-&-4 catch for 11 yards set up Harrell's 10-yard touchdown pass to Eric Morris late in the first half…Head to Head Competition-CB#26-Phil Strozier (6:00-196)-Five assisted tackles…Offensive Impact-Crabtree caught five passes for first downs, converting 3-of-3 third-down plays while making four catches for at least 10 yards.
Texas…Crabtree had to leave the field several times to re-tape his injured right ankle, but he was credited with a season-high ten receptions for 127 yards, as he came up with the game-winning touchdown in the closing seconds of a 39-33 decision…He turned the ball over on a fumble after a 15-yard catch, but made up for that miscue with a last second 28-yard touchdown that ended a 6-play, 62-yard drive…"All we needed was a field goal, but a touchdown's even sweeter," QB Graham Harrell said. Harrell drove the Red Raiders to the touchdown in six plays, slinging the long pass to Crabtree, who broke the tackle of Curtis Brown, kept his balance, stayed in bounds and scooted the last few yards for a score. Crabtree said, "On the sideline, I kind of dreamed that I would catch a pass and go in the end zone for a game-winning score. I do that, like every game, but it happened. It kind of shocked me." "It's the biggest catch I ever made," said Crabtree…Talking about the celebration afterwards, he stated, "To tell you the truth, after the celebration, I fell on the ground and I couldn't breathe. The whole time I was telling everybody to get off me, get off me.' It was great, though."…Asked about the touchdown, he noted, "We run a fade route all the time, but this time Graham (Harrell) saw me running, and he connected with me for the score."…On whether he knew how close he was to the sideline, he replied, "My eyes were on the sidelines the whole time. I was trying not to step out of bounds because the safety had fallen down, and it worked."…Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp said that on the last play, "We were mixing up cover four and cover two rushing four guys and we didn't want to get in single coverage on (Michael) Crabtree and we doubled him on the last play. We had some opportunities to deny the ball and when we got them into pressure situation he (Graham Harrell) went directly to him (Michael Crabtree) and he is a good player so we had to stay rolled up on him and keep him doubled. They made the plays when they had to."…Head to Head Competition-CB#8-Chykie Brown (6:01-188)-One solo tackle…Offensive Impact-Crabtree caught eight passes for first downs, converting 2-of-3 third-down plays while making six catches for at least 10 yards.
Oklahoma State…Crabtree gained 89 yards on eight receptions that included three touchdowns…He grabbed scoring strikes of 9 yards in the second quarter and 1 and 8 yards in the third stanza…He also set up Graham Harrell's 16-yard scoring toss to Ed Britton in the first quarter with a 12-yard grab, despite playing with a sore left foot…Record Watch-Crabtree's three touchdowns gave him 40 for his career, moving to ninth place on the NCAA career-record list…Tied an NCAA record with his 13th-straight game of catching at least five passes with one touchdown…His ratio of 1.7 touchdown catches per game also established an NCAA best…Head to Head Competition-CB#16-Perrish Cox (6:00-191)-Five solo tackles, one stop for a 1-yard loss…Offensive Impact-Crabtree caught nine passes for first downs, converting 0-of-0 third-down plays while making five catches for at least 10 yards.
Oklahoma…Tech's hopes for a national title ended in a 56-20 loss that also saw Crabtree being kept out of the end zone for the first time in fourteen games, finishing with 62 yards on six grabs…Head to Head Competition-CB#15-Dominque Franks (6:00-189)-Four tackles (2 solos), two pass deflections…Offensive Impact-Crabtree caught three passes for first downs, converting 0-of-2 third-down plays while making four catches for at least 10 yards.
Baylor…Crabtree sat out the second half of the season finale with a right foot sprain, but still managed to snatch nine passes for 63 yards…Head coach Mike Leach was asked how it felt without having his star receiver play in the second half and stated, "It always hurts, but that second half we played really well without Crabtree out there. Everyone else just stepped up. All the receivers played well and the offensive line played really well in the second half. I had all day to throw back there."…Head to Head Competition-CB#2-Trentson Hill (6:01-180)-Four solo tackles…Offensive Impact-Crabtree caught three passes for first downs, converting 1-of-2 third-down plays while making two catches for at least 10 yards.
Mississippi (Cotton Bowl)…Crabtree was limited in practices leading up to the game because of his high ankle sprain, finishing his career with a career-low 30 yards on four catches…Midway through the second quarter, he capped a 75-yard, 11-play series with a 2-yard scoring grab…Head to Head Competition-CB#8-Marshay Green (5:09-170)-Three tackles (2 solos), a 65-yard interception return…Offensive Impact-Crabtree caught two passes for first downs, converting 0-of-2 third-down plays while making one catch for at least 10 yards.
Crabtree became the most decorated freshman in school history, becoming the first first-year player to capture the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation's top receiver…Added unanimous All-American and All-Big Twelve Conference first-team honors, in addition to being the first freshman named the league's Offensive Player of the Year...Also chosen National Freshman of the Year by several publications and was named Big Twelve Offensive Newcomer of the Year…Set school and league overall season-records, in addition to breaking the NCAA freshmen marks with 134 receptions for 1,962 yards (14.6 avg) and 22 touchdowns…Set the team scoring record with 132 points…Added 16 yards on a kickoff return, along with two solo tackles while causing a fumble…Caught 73.63% of the 182 passes targeted to him, as 13 of those attempts were deflected by the defense…
Registered 93 first-down catches (69.4%), as he converted 17-of-31 third down plays (54.83%) and 3-of-6 fourth-down tosses…Had 76 catches for at least 10 yards, including 33 for 20 yards or longer…Came up with key grabs to set up 30 touchdown drives and two series that ended with field goals…28 of his receptions came inside the red zone, as 15 of them resulted in first downs.
2007 GAME ANALYSIS
Southern Methodist…It was a debut to remember for Crabtree, as he hauled in twelve passes for 106 yards and three touchdowns in his first game as a Red Raider…His first score came with one second left in the first half, a 1-yard lob from Graham Harrell…The QB fired a 42-yard third quarter touchdown pass to the freshman, who later ended a 7-play, 67-yard series with a 2-yard touchdown.
Texas-El Paso…Crabtree tied the school game-record (Robert Johnson vs. SMU in 2006) with fifteen catches, good for 188 yards and two touchdowns…A second quarter 80-yard, 13-play series ended with the receiver catching a 6-yard bubble screen…He later added a 9-yard score in the third quarter…Tech head coach Mike Leach praised Crabtree, stating,
"I think it's better than average. He has done some good things. He has a quality that you'd like all football players to have. Anytime there is a game he hates to come off the field. He loves to be out there in some capacity. He's got all those things you would like in a player, and the enthusiasm has definitely rubbed off on the other players."…UTEP coach Mike Price chimed in, "We kind of knew about him, he's really good. [L.A.] Reed made a nice catch too and then you've got those other two little rugrats running around there catching balls all over the place and you can't stop them."…Record Watch-Crabtree became the first freshman to log multiple touchdowns in his first two games in school and league history…His 294 yards and 27 receptions are the best totals of any NCAA freshman to begin a career.
Rice…Crabtree continued his assault on the record books, becoming the first player to catch at least ten passes in his first three college games, as he tallied a career-high 244 yards with three touchdowns on eleven receptions…QB Graham Harrell connected with the freshman on scoring tosses of 74, 9 and 25 yards…Record Watch-Crabtree is the first collegian to begin his career with at least ten catches and two touchdowns in each of his first three games…His 244 yards set a Big Twelve freshman record that also ranks second on the school record list behind Joel Filani (255 vs. Kansas State in 2005) and third overall in Big Twelve annals behind Filani and Adarius Bowman of Oklahoma State (300 vs. Kansas in 2006)…His 244 yards were the most by an NCAA freshman in a game since Corey Alston of Western Michigan amassed 263 yards vs. Eastern Michigan in 1997.
Oklahoma State…The receiver again went over the ten-catch, multiple touchdown level, hauling in fourteen passes for 237 yards and three scores…He had a 75-yard grab down the right sideline to set up Shannon Woods' 6-yard scoring run, in addition to catching a pair of 2-yard touchdowns and capping a 6-play, 69-yard drive with a 9-yard touchdown grab…Record Watch-His 237 yards rank sixth on the school game-record list and his fourteen grabs rank third on Tech's game-record chart.
Northwestern State…Crabtree had another three touchdowns to go with 145 yards on eight receptions…In the first quarter, he ended an 8-play, 86-yard drive with a 34-yard scoring catch, followed by a 30-yard touchdown in the third stanza and a 6-yard score on the team's next series…Tech head coach Mike Leach praised Crabtree after the game, stating, "He is definitely better than average. I think one of the greatest catches I have ever seen was the one that negated, and that is about as good as you get. Considering we have the fourth best quarterback and eighth best receiver in the Big 12, we're going to plug away and do the best we can."…NSU head coach Head Coach Scott Stoker also noted, "Well he's done it to everybody else too, that's why he had 52 catches and however many touchdowns coming into the game. You know he's going to get his catches, and he made some great catches. What a great athlete, he's going to be a special player here for a very long time because he's hard to match up against with either a zone or man-to-man."…The freshman receiver talked about breaking the school touchdown reception record and tying the NCAA freshman mark, saying, "I really didn't know until close to the end of the game when coaches started coming up to me and telling me. I was like, `freshman record? I didn't know anything about it.' I was kind of shocked at the end, but we still got a lot of games to go and I'm looking forward to that."…Record Watch-In just his fifth career game, Crabtree tied the NCAA freshman touchdown reception record with fourteen, matching a mark held by Jabar Gaffney of Florida in 2000, Mike Williams of Southern California in 2002 and Davone Bess of Hawaii in 2005. Crabtree also surpassed former Red Raiders Jarrett Hicks and Joel Filani in the Tech record books, topping their touchdown season-record of thirteen apiece.
Iowa State…For the fifth time in six games, Crabtree registered three touchdowns, adding 154 yards on ten receptions…He began the game with a 32-yard scoring grab, adding a 2-yard touchdown to cap a late first quarter, 4-play, 71-yard series…He also found the end zone with a 15-yarder with 9:24 left to play…Head coach Mike Leach talked about his receiver's exploits, noting, "He just needs to continue to improve as anybody who does good things needs to try and find ways to get better. There is no sense on putting a ceiling on potential because something good has happened. He does good, and a lot of it is enthusiasm for the game. He has a contagious enthusiasm for the game. I think that is gigantic and really what makes Michael Crabtree. He hasn't come close to playing a perfect game, but the thing is he goes full speed, expects and makes things happen."…ISU head coach Gene Chizik said, "I think he's a great player and he's got a great career ahead of him. You just look at his numbers right now before he even got into our game and you know that."…Record Watch-Crabtree's three touchdowns gave him seventeen for the season, establishing an NCAA freshman season-record while tying the Big Twelve overall mark that was first set by Rashaun Woods of Oklahoma State in 2002.
Texas A&M…Crabtree ended his string of six consecutive games in finding the end zone, but still managed to total 170 yards on eight receptions.
Missouri…The receiver was held to 76 yards, but still managed to secure ten passes.
Colorado…After a two-game drought, Crabtree scored on a 19-yard pass from Graham Harrell with 0:07 left in the first half, finishing with twelve receptions for 131 yards…He also caused a fumble after tackling cornerback Terrence Wheatley after the defender picked off a Graham Harrell pass… Record Watch-Crabtree's scoring grab was his 18th for the season, breaking the Big Twelve season-record that he was sharing with Rashaun Woods…His twelve catches gave him 100 receptions, breaking the old NCAA freshman season-record of 98 by Taurean Henderson of Texas Tech in 2002.
Baylor…In his quietest game for the season, the "Z" receiver held on to four balls for 61 yards, but he joined teammate Danny Amendola in becoming the 24th tandem from the same team to gain over 1,000 yards receiving in the same season in NCAA annals.
Texas…Crabtree followed with 195 yards and a pair of touchdowns on nine catches…He ended a 5-play, 74-yard fourth quarter series with a 26-yard scoring grab and had a 69-yard touchdown snatch with 1:01 left in the game.
Oklahoma…The Sooners saw their national title hopes dashed, as Tech handed Oklahoma a 34-27 loss, thanks to Crabtree's twelve receptions for 154 yards…He finished off a 66-yard, 10-play series in the second quarter with a 13-yard touchdown…Record Watch-This marked the tenth time in twelve games that Crabtree gained over 100 yards receiving.
Virginia (Gator Bowl)…Crabtree amassed 101 yards with a touchdown on nine catches…With 3:31 left in a 31-28 victory, the receiver put the Red Raiders ahead with a 20-yard scoring grab…Record Watch-His touchdown was his 22nd for the season, the third-berst season total in NCAA history behind Troy Edwards of Louisiana Tech (27 in 1998) and Randy Moss of Marshall (25 in 1997).
Red-shirted as a freshman, adjusting to wide receiver after playing quarterback in high school.
2008-Suffered a right ankle sprain after twisting his leg returning a second quarter kickoff vs. Texas A&M (10/18)…Left the Kansas clash (10/25) with a left foot strain and after re-injuring his ankle…Had to leave the field several times to have his right ankle re-taped vs. Texas (11/01)…Did not play in the second half vs. Baylor (11/29) due to a high right ankle sprain…Wore a boot to help his right ankle heal, missing several practices leading up to the Cotton Bowl clash vs. Mississippi.
2009-At the NFL Combine, doctors discovered a slight stress fracture in his left foot and the injury required early March surgery to insert a screw. Doctors believe that with the precautions the All-American wide receiver is willing to take, Crabtree will be sufficiently recovered in time for training camp this summer. After doctors found the slight stress fracture, they conducted more testing on Crabtree, including a bone scan that revealed that the injury happened only recently, possibly during training for the combine. Since finding it, Crabtree has been investigating the best and smartest way to treat the injury. There now will be concerns about Crabtree and his foot. But one doctor said Saturday that there would have been more concerns if Crabtree were not going to have the surgery, because then teams would know at some point his foot would break.
4.54 in the 40-yard dash…1.61 10-yard dash…2.62 20-yard dash…4.06 20-yard shuttle… 6.87 three-cone drill…270-pound bench press…350-pound squat…34-inch vertical jump.
Attended Carter (Dallas, Tex.) High School, playing football for head coach Allen Wilson…
Competed as a quarterback, where he was ranked as the nation's 16th-best overall athlete and received a four-star rating from Rivals.com…Member of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal Fab 44 team…Earned All-Area accolades from the Dallas Morning News…Threw for 870 yards and eleven touchdowns on 45-of-100 passing in his final season…That year, he also ran for 646 yards and nine touchdowns on 100 carries…As a junior, he completed 30-of-67 passes for 897 yards and eight touchdowns with just one interception…Also a nationally ranked basketball player…Rated among the top 50 hoops prospects in the state and received several scholarship offers in that sport from major colleges.
General Studies major…Related to former Texas Tech running back, Ricky Williams (1997-2001)…Son of Bessie Turner and Michael Crabtree…Born 9/14/87 in Dallas, Texas.