Texas Tech football: The most underrated players of the Mike Leach era

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 26: Running back Baron Batch #25 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders scores a touchdown against the Houston Cougars at Robertson Stadium on September 26, 2009 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 26: Running back Baron Batch #25 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders scores a touchdown against the Houston Cougars at Robertson Stadium on September 26, 2009 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images) /
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The Texas Tech Red Raiders cheerleaders (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
The Texas Tech Red Raiders cheerleaders (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

LB Brock Stratton

Not enrolling at Texas Tech until two years after high school because of a Mormon mission, LB Brock Stratton was an older player the moment he stepped on campus.  That allowed him to be a steadying presence for his entire career.

As a freshman in 2003, he was the Big 12 coaches’ choice as Defensive Freshman of the Year and a Sporting News Freshman All-American Second Team member.  That season, he racked up an impressive 95 tackles.

He followed that up with 62 tackles as a sophomore to earn honorable-mention All-Big 12 honors.  That included a season-high 13 tackles against Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns.

According to Sports Reference, he was limited to just four games as a junior but he came back strong in 2006.  As a senior, the San Antonio native racked up 88 tackles and two interceptions helping the Red Raiders to an 8-5 record.

That year, he had a pair of monster games with a career-high 15 tackles at Colorado and 13 tackles at home against Oklahoma State.  But perhaps more importantly, he was extremely reliable as he never had fewer than four tackles in any of that season’s 13 games.

Now a chiropractor back in his hometown, he’s trying to help others recover from the type of injuries that he played through in college.  But despite being an old man by NCAA football standards and playing through nagging ailments for most of his time in Lubbock, he was one of the better linebackers of the Leach era.