The Top 50 Red Raiders of All-Time: No. 39 – 35

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I’ve already discussed numbers 50-45 here, and numbers 44-40 here, so as I continue our countdown of the fifty greatest Texas Tech Red Raider football players ever, we discuss players 39 – 35.

ct 11, 2014; Lubbock, TX, USA; A Texas Tech Red Raiders cheerleader shows her support in the game with the West Virginia Mountaineers at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

No. 39 — Brandon Williams (DE 2006 – 2008):

Lost in the glow from superstars like Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree, Brandon Williams was one of the most important members of the 2008 Texas Tech team that spent two weeks at No. 2 in the national polls. His 13 sacks that season is the third-best single-season total in program history.

Even more impressive is that the Ft. Worth native is No. 4 on the Red Raiders’ career sacks list with 22.5 in only three seasons. Williams declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season foregoing a shot at overtaking Adell Duckett as the top quarterback sacker to ever dawn the scarlet and black.

The Dallas Cowboys, who planned to move him to outside linebacker in their 3-4 scheme, selected Williams in the fourth round of the draft. Unfortunately, in just his second preseason game as a pro, the rookie tore the ACL in his left knee and missed the entire season. Following the 2010 season in which he played only four games recording four tackles, Dallas waived the former Tech standout.

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Williams was the first legitimate pass-rush threat to come along since Duckett graduated in 2004. His speed around the edge and relentless motor disrupted opposing quarterbacks throughout 2008. Though other members of that team garnered more national publicity, postseason honors, and fanfare, without Williams coming off the edge with the speed of a bullet train, the 2008 defense would not have been capable of keeping up with the team’s star-studded offense.