Texas Tech Football: 50 Greatest Red Raiders of all time

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Sept 15, 2012; Lubbock, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders cheerleaders lead the Raider Walk to Jones AT&T Stadium before the game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the New Mexico Lobos. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

No. 45 James Hadnot (Running back 1976-1979)

 The 45th best player in Texas Tech history became an unintended star when called upon by his coach. Texas Tech’s 6th all-time leading rusher, James Hadnot had no plans to carry the ball in college. Recruited to Tech as a tight end, in 1978 the team was desperate for a running back after multiple injuries on the team.

Therfore, head coach Rex Dockery convinced the large tight end to try toting the rock. The experiment worked and Hadnot led the Southwest Conference in rushing in 1978 (1,369 yards) and in 1979 (1,371 yards).

Hadnot was a bruising back who played at 230-pounds his senior season. He left school possessing four of the top seven rushing games in Tech history. However, his most memorable play was a reception.

In 1978, Tech scored a late touchdown to pull within one point of 6th ranked Houston. Tech went for two (in an era where there was no overtime) throwing a screen pass to Hadnot who broke several tackles on his way to the end zone to secure the upset.

The Kansas City Chiefs drafted the Jasper, TX native, who played for them from 1980 – 1983. He is in the Tech Hall of Honor and has lived in Lubbock since the end of his football career.

“Being in Lubbock is better than being in Houston or Dallas,” he said in a 2005 interview with the Lubbock Avalanche Journal. “I just like it here, ever since I was recruited here as a freshman.”

Next: Carlos Francis