Tech's Crabtree not aiming to repeat prolific 2007 Print
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Thursday, 28 August 2008 22:56
NCAAF Headline News

 LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree isn't worried about trying to top his record-breaking redshirt freshman season.
It's a goal too large for the Red Raiders wildly gifted All-American. How in the world could he do better than 1,962 yards and 22 touchdowns and becoming the first freshman to win the Biletnikoff Award as the best pass catcher in the country?
Last season, he had 11 games with more than 100 receiving yards and in Tech's first six games Crabtree caught three TDs each in four of them.
The numbers are simply outrageous, and Crabtree just shrugs when he hears about how much better this season could be for him.
Crab, as some on his team call him, is going to keep it simple.
``It'll be hard to top last season but it won't be hard to be me - just work hard every day at practice, every time I get a chance to and, hopefully, I'll do better than last year,'' Crabtree said.
He'll begin his season Saturday when No. 12 Texas Tech plays host to Eastern Washington in each team's season opener.
Crabtree, who turns 20 next month and already has the size, speed and jumping abilities of an NFL receiver, was the favorite target of Graham Harrell, the nation's leading passer last year.
The 6-foot-3, 206-pound receiver hears talk of the pros almost daily. He gives the notion little thought, worrying instead about his team and winning games.
``I want to win. I've never won a championship, so that's one thing I really want to do,'' Crabtree said. ``That's the only thing I'm looking at right now.''
Texas Tech coach Mike Leach hears the NFL question regularly, too. He's quick to toss out his unabashed opinion, which includes that money in the NFL goes up each year.
``It would be astronomically stupid if he doesn't stay,'' Leach said. ``If playing his four years are good enough for Jerry Rice, it's pretty much good enough for anybody.''
Rice was a 13-time Pro Bowler after playing four seasons at Mississippi Valley State University.
Harrell knows that eventually Crabtree will be playing on Sundays.
``Will it be next year? Will it be in a couple of years?'' he said. ``I don't know that but he's going to have to make that decision at the end of the season.''
Crabtree will be Harrell's beneficiary. As just the second Tech quarterback to start a third season under Leach, Harrell has all but one of his receivers back. Only Danny Amendola, who caught 109 catches for 1,245 yards, is gone.
Harrell said he expects defenders to key on Crabtree but that will come with a price.
``We have so many weapons we feel ... teams are going to have trouble defending us,'' said Harrell, who passed for 48 touchdowns and 5,705 yards last season. ``I don't think anyone's going to be able to just prepare for Crab.''
Crabtree, who averaged 151 yards per game last season, agreed unequivocally.
``If they focus on me then they will have a problem,'' he said. ``We'll probably beat them by 70 if they do that. They need to focus on Tech.''
M alone.
Mention the Heisman Trophy and there's no change in Crabtree's countenance. His focus is on helping Tech break through to win the Big 12 South, which will require the Raiders to outgun No. 11 Texas and No. 4 Oklahoma.
``It would mean a lot to me but there's so much stuff that has to do with the Heisman that I don't even want to put myself in that situation to even worry about that,'' he said. ``I just go hard every game and if my numbers end up to be a Heisman Trophy winner than it's meant to be.''
 

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