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Crabtree Nabs Biletnikoff Award

Texas Tech wide receiver first freshman finalist, winner in award's 14-year history.

Athletics

Written by Chris Cook

Texas Tech football player

Crabtree is the national leader in receiving yards (1,861), receptions (125) and touchdown receptions (21) and is on pace to become one of the most decorated football student-athletes in school history.

Texas Tech fans knew it all along– Red Raider wide receiver Michael Crabtree is the best receiver in college football.

The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation made it official by naming Crabtree the 2007 Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation’s top wide receiver.

Crabtree, a 6-foot-2, 208-pound redshirt freshman from Dallas Carter, Crabtree is the national leader in receiving yards (1,861), receptions (125) and touchdown receptions (21) and is on pace to become one of the most decorated football student-athletes in school history.

No freshman has ever won the coveted Biletnikoff Trophy. Crabtree’s performance in his inaugural collegiate season has arguably translated into the best receiving season in NCAA history by a freshman.

The award was presented live Dec. 6 on ESPN during the Home depot College Football Awards show.

"I am very excited and honored to take this award home to Texas Tech," said Crabtree. "I have to give thanks to my parents, coaches and teammates because without them this would not have been possible."

Crabtree became the first freshman to win the coveted trophy and the 14th overall winner. The Tallahassee Quarterback Club gave out the first trophy back in 1994 to Bobby Engram of Penn State and last year's award went to Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech. Along with the Biletnikoff Award, he was also named to the Walter Camp All-American Team at wide receiver and is Tech's first player on that team since Montae Reagor (defensive end) back in 1998.

The last Red Raider to take home a major award was Byron Hanspard in 1996 when he was named recipient of the Doak Walker Award for the nation's top running back.

"This is the culmination of two years of hard work for Michael," said Texas Tech Head Coach Mike Leach. "He is one of the hardest working guys in practice, day-in and day-out, and it translated into him being the best receiver in the country. I congratulate the other finalists and Michael is very deserving of this honor."

On the night, a total of nine awards were distributed at the Atlantic Dance Hall on the Disney Boardwalk including the Maxwell, Doak Walker and Davey O'Brien awards. The show was hosted by the ESPN College Gameday crew.

The Biletnikoff Award has been presented since 1994. It is named in honor of Fred Biletnikoff, a former football wide receiver and coach. He spent the majority of his professional playing and coaching days with the Oakland Raiders. Biletnikoff retired as a Pro Football player after the 1980 season.

 

Photo by Artie Limmer.