Texas Tech football: Best JUCO tranfers in program history

LUBBOCK, TX - OCTOBER 31: Dakota Allen
LUBBOCK, TX - OCTOBER 31: Dakota Allen /
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(Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images)
(Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images) /

No. 1: Safety Dwayne Slay2004-05

Speaking of great players who provided us with a moment we will never forget, the No. 1 player on our list is Dwayne Slay.  The 2005 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year quickly became a fan-favorite because of his jarring hits from the safety position, most of which would be deemed illegal in today’s game.

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The most memorable of those came in 2005 when he nearly decapitated Kansas State QB Alan Everidge in Lubbock.  But huge hits aside, Slay was one of the most productive defensive backs the Red Raiders have ever produced.

Another Reedley College product to become a star for the Red Raiders, Slay was only a one-year starter in Lubbock but it was one of the best seasons we have seen from a Texas Tech defensive player.  In 2005, he racked up 114 tackles, one sack, one interception, and forced a school and conference-record eight fumbles.

For his efforts, he was awarded first-team All-American honors.  He was the first Texas Tech first-team All-American since Montae Reagor in 1998.

"“In crucial moments, everybody looked at me to make a big play,” Slay told Juis Ojeda Jr. of Fox Sports in 2014. “I loved that pressure. I loved the challenge and loved the pressure of my guys depending on me to come through in clutch situations.”"

The game against KSU in 2005 was his signature performance.  In addition to knocking Everidge out of the game and forcing a fumble on his signature play, he also forced another fumble when he thumped a KSU receiver who was coming across the middle of the field right after making a reception.

The KSU game was one of seven double-digit tackle games he had in his senior season.  That included a career-high 18 against Baylor and 13 against Alabama in the 2006 Cotton Bowl

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A throwback player the likes of which we will never see again because of the way the game of football has changed, Dwayne Slay was the biggest hitter the Big 12 has ever seen.  And though he was only a starter for one year, he will forever be one of the most popular players in the history of Texas Tech football.