Let’s look back at five players that Texas Tech football fans didn’t appreciate enough during their Red Raider careers.
Sports fans love superstars. But without their supporting cast of characters, those transcendent players would never get the opportunity to shine their brightest. Texas Tech football fans saw that first hand from 2014-16.
That’s because, during those three years, Tech went just 16-21 overall and 9-18 in Big 12 play despite having Patrick Mahomes to play QB. Those seasons proved that even a future NFL and Super Bowl MVP is incapable of winning on his own.
That’s what makes football different. It is the only team sport in which one player is truly unable to single-handedly carrying his team to victory.
In hockey, a goalie can steal a game in which his team is seriously outplayed. In baseball, a pitcher can completely shut down the opposing lineup. In basketball, a player with a hot hand can shoot his team past a more talented squad.
But in football, every player’s ability to do his job is dependant upon his teammates. A QB or running back needs his offensive line to protect him or open up running lanes. A wide receiver can’t catch passes that the QB throws off-target. A linebacker can’t make tackles if the defensive line doesn’t keep blockers off of him.
So while we love superstars, we have to appreciate the worker bees that often determine how games turn out. The problem is that during the Kliff Kingsbury era, Tech was unable to surround its superstars with enough quality in the ranks of the supporting cast.
In fact, there were plenty of stars. During that six-season span, we saw Mahomes, Jakeem Grant, Jace Amaro, DeAndre Washington, Dakota Allen, and Jordyn Brooks represent the Scarlet and Black.
But while there was not enough talent around those players to fill in the gap in order for Tech to field teams capable of winning the Big 12, there were some players who were very good but who were often overlooked because they weren’t all-conference players. So let’s give five of them their due by taking a moment to celebrate some of the most underrated players of the Kliff Kingsbury era.