All weekend, for no reason in particular, I found myself quietly imitating Brent Musburger's call of Texas Tech's winning touchdown against Texas, that breathless, "Crab-trehhhhh!" I guess if they replay it often enough, it worms its way in and just keeps echoing:
Well, at some point, probably, the call will fade, but hopefully not for Crabtree himself, who brought them out of the stands for two years in Lubbock and now apparently will take his game pro ($) at some point this week. Rumor (key word) has Crabtree hiring a "pro staff" -- including a "personal assistant" who worked with Michael Irvin during the Playmaker's NFL career-- and attending a Deion Sanders clinic before the combine. Because he redshirted, somehow, Crabtree has two years of eligibility remaining, but given the buzz and his exceptionally high grade, the waiting seems like a formality.
It's common enough for obscure, scout team redshirts to draw "Next Big Thing" raves, but almost unheard of for them to actually exceed the "fool-hearted" visions of grandeur from their own eager fans. Crabtree obliterated every standard, put Texas Tech on the national map and made Mike Leach a national figure, for which everyone should be grateful.
More concretely, another prolific wideout from the Class of 2006, North Carolina's Hakeem Nicks, has already filed the necessary paperwork to enter the draft, where he's likely to be the first receiver off the board after Crabtree.
Nicks probably deserves to be known for something more than the ridiculous behind-the-back catch he hauled in during a career game in the Car Care Bowl: Coaches named him first team All-ACC two years in a row, and he led the conference in receiving by almost 400 yards over the runner-up; Nicks was the only ACC receiver over 1,000 yards, the only one to haul in more than 12 touchdowns and one of only two with double-digit receptions to average more than 17 yards per grab. If his combine numbers are anywhere near as impressive, he'll be justly rewarded on the first day.