Texas Tech Football: All-time Red Raiders roster

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Sep 12, 2015; Lubbock, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders Hall of Fame members Donny Anderson, E.J. Holub and Gabe Rivera are introduced during the game with the University of Texas at El Paso Miners at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Tackle

Starter: Gabe Rivera

Originally recruited as a linebacker, the greatest defensive lineman in Texas Tech history is an obvious choice to be atop the Texas Tech all-time roster. After growing to 300-pounds, Gabe Rivera of San Antonio, TX evolved into one of the most dominant defenders in college football history.

The man known affectionately as “Senor Sack” was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2012 making him the 4th Red Raider to earn that honor. Fast enough to run down most offensive players and strong enough to dominate any opposing lineman, Rivera made 321 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, 11 pass deflections, and 6 fumble recoveries in his career.

Rivera was named the 1982 Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He was also a consensus all-American that year and was honored as part of the Southwest Conference all-decade team for the 1980’s.

Unfortunately, Rivera’s football career was cut short during his rookie season in the NFL. The Pittsburgh Steeler’s 1983 first round pick was paralyzed in a single car accident putting an end to what was an electric football career.

Backup: Don Rives

Despite being only 200 pounds, Rives was a disruptive force for Texas Tech in the 1970’s. Making 194 tackles in his junior season of 1971, Rives was named all-Southwest Conference and second-team all-American in 1972. He was also named a member of the Southwest Conference all-decade team of the 1970’s.

Next: Rush Defensive End - Aaron Hunt