Texas Tech football: The biggest JUCO flops in Red Raider history

LUBBOCK, TX - SEPTEMBER 12: The Texas Tech Red Raiders mascot Fearless Champion leads the team onto the field prior to the game against the UTEP Miners September 12, 2015 at Jones AT
LUBBOCK, TX - SEPTEMBER 12: The Texas Tech Red Raiders mascot Fearless Champion leads the team onto the field prior to the game against the UTEP Miners September 12, 2015 at Jones AT /
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DE Leon Mackey 2011

Before the 2018 season, the most famous collapsed lung in Texas Tech football history belonged to former defensive end Leon Mackey, a 2011 JUCO signee who never lived up to the considerable hype that accompanied this signing.

The Delaware native had to go to Hinds Community College in Mississippi after failing to qualify academically at three different Division-I schools out of high school.  Two years later, he picked Texas Tech over offers from Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Auburn.

In 2011, he made 28 tackles while starting six games, a respectable first season.  But as a senior, he did not start a game and managed just six tackles.

After bouncing around various Arena Football League levels after college, he had a tryout with the Minnesota Vikings in 2014 but was not signed.  He has spent the years since back in the AFL.

At 6-foot-5, 265-pounds, Mackey was the type of physical specimen that fans tend to become obsessed with.  Unfortunately, he never put together the type of play on the field that warranted the fanfare that surrounded his signing.

During a time when Texas Tech was starved for talent at defensive end, it was worth taking a shot on a player with such a high upside.  But as is so often the case with JUCO players, Leon Mackey never managed to make much of an impact for the Red Raiders.