When Texas Tech played at Texas A&M this year, the Tech coaching staff decided to let Michael Crabtree return kicks. Hey, why not? He is the Red Raiders best play-maker. He is a phenomenal runner in the open field. He has plenty of speed.
On his first kick return he took the ball past midfield! Sweet! Just another way to get the ball into his hands. On his second return he was tackled after a short run. No big deal.
Oops. He limped very gingerly off the field.
He hasn't been one-hundred percent since. He's had to take plays off and have his ankles re-taped against A&M, then Kansas and tonight against the University of Texas.
So bad ankle, everyone knowing he is the man Tech wants to get the ball, and what does he do? He makes the play of his short but amazingly great college career and one of the greatest plays in Texas Tech football history.
With eight seconds left Tech could have made the easy play, and tried for a five or ten yard gain to set up a chance for the winning field goal. But then Graham Harrell looked up and saw single coverage on No. 5. So he throws the fade to Crabtree.
Crabtree could have caught it and fallen out of bounds for the chip shot field goal from the three yard line. But, Michael Crabtree is better than that. He is stronger than that.
He uses his great strength and incredible balance to break a tackle, stay in bounds and run into the endzone with one second left.
There are other great receivers in College football right now. I'm not sure if any other would have made that play. I shouldn't be surprised that Michael Crabtree did. I won't be surprised by anything he does from here on out.
When you see him play you learn that he is a complete football player and receiver. He makes big plays. He has speed. He has great hands. He runs good routes. His quickness in and out of cuts is fantastic. His size and strength is ideal. He blocks like a demon. He makes big plays.
Red Raiders coach Mike Leach will tell you that football players play in games. Michael Crabtree is a football player. Good ankle, bad ankle, he will play in games. And he will be amazing.