Texas Tech Football: 50 Greatest Red Raiders of all time

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Oct 31, 2015; Lubbock, TX, USA; A Texas Tech Red Raiders cheerleader celebrates the Red Raiders scoring a touchdown against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

No. 36 Tyrone Thurman (Wide receiver / Kick returner 1985 – 1988)

A player tiny in stature but huge on excitement checks in next on our countdown of the 50 greatest Texas Tech players.

The former high school running back that followed Spike Dykes from Midland Lee to Texas Tech is one of the most popular players in Red Raider history. This is due in large part to his small stature (5’4” 126-pounds), because everyone loves the little guy.

However, Thurman is also fondly remembered for his prowess as an All-American punt returner. When he left Texas Tech in 1988, he held most of the school’s punt return records including longest punt return (96-yards), return yards in a season (444 in 1986), number of punt returns in a career (126) and total return yards in a career (1,466).

For his career at Tech, Thurman averaged 11.6-yards per punt return. He also returned four punts to touchdowns, a mark that would stand until the arrival of Wes Welker in the early 2000’s.

Thurman was signed as an undrafted free agent in 1988 by the Dallas Cowboys but did not make the roster. He went on to play in the Canadian Football League for two seasons before playing in the Arena Football League for another five seasons.

Next: Ecomet Burley