Texas Tech Hall of Famer and Ring of Honor member Michael Crabtree was formally inducted into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday night during a ceremony held at Bellagio Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Crabtree became the sixth Red Raider in program history and the first from the Big 12 era to be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame as he joins the likes of E.J. Holub (1986 inductee) Donny Anderson (1989), Dave Parks (2008), Gabe Rivera (2012) and Zach Thomas (2015. Former head coach Jerry Moore was inducted as part of the 2014 class.
"I don't think it hit me until I was on stage (for press conference) and seeing all the guys next to me," Crabtree said of his induction. "I was like 'this is Hall of Fame. This is major.' The coaches, 30-40 years removed getting inducted into the Hall of Fame. It's major. It's definitely hitting me now."
The first two-time recipient of the Biletnikoff Award in history, Crabtree transformed the wide receiver position during his two seasons as a Red Raider (2007-08), leading Texas Tech to new heights in the process. The Red Raiders were a combined 20-6 during his two seasons, which was highlighted by an 11-2 campaign that pushed Texas Tech to as high as No. 2 in the national rankings.
"On behalf of Texas Tech University, we could not be prouder that Michael Crabtree will be the latest Red Raider enshrined in the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame," Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt said. "His accomplishments as a Red Raider speak clearly for themselves, as evidence by the fact he was selected in only his first year on the national ballot. We can't congratulate him and his family enough on this tremendous accomplishment."
Crabtree remains the only two-time unanimous All-American in school history as he was also a two-time All-Big 12 first team honoree, a 2007 Freshman All-American and the AT&T All-America Player of the Year in 2007. He finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting following the memorable 2008 campaign where he ultimately set the Texas Tech career records for receiving yards (3,127) and receiving touchdowns (41). His record for career receiving yards has since been snapped by current Pro Bowl wide receiver Jakeem Grant.
It didn't take long for Crabtree to find the national spotlight as a redshirt freshman in 2007 as he set the Texas Tech single-season marks as well as the NCAA freshman records for receptions (134), receiving yards (1,962) and receiving touchdowns. His impressive debut has not been matched to this date as he still ranks third all-time in NCAA history for single-season receiving yards and first among power-five receivers.
Crabtree followed with 1,165 yards and 19 touchdowns through the air as a sophomore en route to leading the Red Raiders to an appearance in the Cotton Bowl. His highlight moment came against Texas that season where he hauled in the game-winning catch from Graham Harrell, a 28-yard strike with one second remaining to top No. 1 Texas. It marked the first time in school history Texas Tech had defeated a top-ranked opponent.
The San Francisco 49ers utilized the No. 10 overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft to select Crabtree, whose early success allowed him to forego his final two collegiate seasons to join the professional ranks. Crabtree caught 637 passes for 7,499 yards and 54 touchdowns over his professional career, which featured stints with not only the 49ers but also the Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals. He caught 40 or more passes in nine of his 11 NFL seasons and twice eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in a regular season.
In addition to Crabtree, the remaining members of the 2022 class include linebacker LaVar Arrington (Penn State), defensive back Champ Bailey (Georgia), center Sylvester Croom (Alabama), safety Mike Doss (Ohio State), quarterback Chuck Ealey (Toledo), running back Kevin Faulk (LSU), defensive tackle Moe Gardner (Illinois), linebacker Boomer Grigsby (Illinois State), wide receiver Mike Hass (Oregon State), linebacker Marvin Jones (Florida State), quarterback Andrew Luck (Stanford), defensive tackle Mark Messner (Michigan), running back Terry Miller (Oklahoma State), running back Rashaan Salaam (Colorado), center Dennis Thomas (Alcorn State), offensive lineman Zach Wiegert (Nebraska) and defensive back Roy Williams (Oklahoma).
The class also features John Luckhardt, the former head coach at Washington and Jefferson (PA) and California University of Pennsylvania, former Memphis head coach Billy Jack Murphy and longtime Toledo and Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel.