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Michael Crabtree

Crabtree (no. 15) in November 2009
No. 15     San Francisco 49ers
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: September 14, 1987 (1987-09-14) (age 22)
Place of birth: Dallas, Texas
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) Weight: 214 lb (97 kg)
Career information
College: Texas Tech
NFL Draft: 2009 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10
Debuted in 2009 for the San Francisco 49ers
Career history
 As player:
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2009
Receptions     48
Receiving Yards     625
Receiving Average     13.0
Receiving TDs     2
Stats at NFL.com

Michael Crabtree (born September 14, 1987 in Dallas, Texas) is an American football wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League. He was drafted by the 49ers with the 10th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He played college football for Texas Tech, where he received recognition as one of the nation's most prolific wide receivers. He was a 2007 unanimous first-team All-American and the winner of the 2007 and 2008 Paul Warfield and Biletnikoff Awards, which are given to the nation's top college receiver. He is also featured on the cover of EA Sports NCAA Football 10 for Xbox 360.

Contents

Early years

Crabtree attended David W. Carter High School in Dallas and played quarterback for the football team. As a senior, he passed for 870 yards and eleven touchdowns on 45 completions out of 100 attempts. He also ran for 646 yards and nine touchdowns on 100 carries. He was a four-star football recruit as an athlete.[1][2]

In addition to playing football in high school, Michael Crabtree was also on the basketball team and ranked among the top 50 recruits in the state of Texas going into college.[1] During a visit in 2004, Texas Tech basketball coach Bob Knight asked Crabtree which sport he was going to choose. Though the decision was not an easy one, he opted to play college football exclusively.[3]

Crabtree was offered football scholarships by Baylor, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Kansas. He was also recruited by Texas, whose coaches wanted him to play defense. Crabtree refused, stating that he wanted to score touchdowns.[4] He accepted a scholarship offered by Texas Tech.[1]

College career

Freshman season

Michael Crabtree redshirted his freshman season of 2006 due to a transcript glitch.[5]

In 2007, Crabtree started his redshirt-freshman season against SMU. The Red Raiders won 49–9, and Crabtree stood out with 106 yards receiving on twelve receptions for three touchdowns. The next week, in a 45–31 win over UTEP, Crabtree continued his performance with 15 receptions, 188 yards, and two touchdowns. Against the Rice Owls, Crabtree put up 244 yards on eleven receptions for three touchdowns. In Tech's first loss of the season, against Oklahoma State, he had 14 receptions for 237 yards and three touchdowns. In a 75–7 win over Northwestern State, Crabtree had 145 yards on eight receptions for three touchdowns in only two and a half quarters of playing time. In the contest against Iowa State, Crabtree had 10 receptions for 154 yards and three touchdowns.[6]

During the Iowa State game, Crabtree broke the season record for most touchdown receptions by a freshman receiver. The previous record of 14 was shared by Jabar Gaffney in 2000, Mike Williams in 2002, and Davone Bess in 2005.[7] In the October 14, 2007 game, Crabtree tacked on 170 more receiving yards on eight receptions but had no touchdowns in a 35–7 win over the Texas A&M Aggies. This brought his total yardage to 1,244. In the next game, against Missouri, he again did not score but still added 76 more yards on ten catches.[6] In spite of having two consecutive games without a touchdown, CBS Sports still ranked Crabtree as the top freshman in the nation.[8]

During the game against Colorado, Crabtree made his 99th catch. This set three records simultaneously—most single-season receptions by a freshman in I-A, most single-season receptions by a Red Raider, and most single-season touchdowns by a Big 12 player (18). Crabtree finished his freshman season with 134 receptions, 1,962 yards and 22 TDs.[9]

Sophomore season

Crabtree in action during the Texas Tech at Kansas game in 2008
Crabtree featured on the cover of NCAA Football 10 for Xbox 360

Before the beginning of his sophomore season, CBS Sports listed Crabtree as a Heisman hopeful. Tech quarterback Graham Harrell's name also appeared on the list.[10] Crabtree, along with Harrell and head coach Mike Leach, were featured on the cover of the 2008 edition of Dave Campbell's Texas Football.[11] His name has also appeared on the Maxwell Award preseason watchlist along with Harrell.[12] To support the Heisman campaign of both Harrell and Crabtree, Texas Tech created a website called PassOrCatch2008.com, which is modelled after political campaigns. The site has garnered national attention and was awarded a Telly Award which honors the best in local, regional, and cable commercials and programs, as well as online videos, films, and commercials.[13][14] Crabtree finished fifth in the Heisman race behind Harrell at fourth.[15]

Crabtree began his sophomore campaign in the 49-24 win over Eastern Washington, recording 9 receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown in limited playing time. In the following 35-19 win over Nevada, he totaled 7 receptions for 158 yards and an 82-yard touchdown catch. Crabtree was selected as the AT&T ESPN All-America Player of the Week for following 43-7 win over Southern Methodist for totaling a season-high 164 yards and 3 touchdowns from 8 receptions.

In the 56–14 win over Massachusetts, Crabtree recorded 62 yards and a touchdown off of 5 receptions in limited playing time. In the following 58-28 win over Kansas State, he totaled 107 yards on 9 receptions for 2 touchdowns. The Red Raiders then defeated Nebraska 37-31, in which he had 5 receptions for 89 yards and two touchdowns. In the following 43-25 win over Texas A&M, he totaled 71 yards and two touchdowns from 8 receptions. He also compiled his first kickoff return of his career in the game, running the ball for 50 yards. On the return however, he tweaked his left ankle and hobbled off the field.[16]

Crabtree partially recovered from his ankle sprain enough to play at Kansas, where he amassed 70 yards and two touchdowns off of 9 receptions in a 63-21 Tech victory. The Red Raiders then upset #1 Texas 39-33. Down 33-32, Tech drove down into Longhorns' territory with 8 seconds left in the game. Quarterback Graham Harrell threw to Crabtree in double coverage inside the 10-yard line. Crabtree grabbed the pass, shook a defender on the sideline, and ran into the endzone for the game-winning touchdown with a second left in the game.[17] As the Red Raiders won, Crabtree finished with 127 yards and a touchdown off of 10 receptions. In Oklahoma State game, Crabtree recorded 89 yards and three touchdowns on eight catches. He extended his streak of at least five receptions and a touchdown catch to 13 games, placing him in a tie for second-longest all time.[18] In these three games, he hobbled off the field at times after making catches.[19] He used the bye week before the Oklahoma game to fully recover from the injury.[20] On December 2, 2008, Crabtree and teammate Graham Harrell were named as Walter Camp Award finalists.[21] Crabtree started the year with the expectation that he would compete for the Heisman trophy, and in the end he finished fifth in the Heisman voting, garnering 3 first place votes.[22]

On April 23, 2009, EA Sports announced that Crabtree will be featured on the cover of NCAA Football 10 for Xbox 360.[23] Cover athletes for the other editions of the game are Brian Johnson of the Utah Utes (PlayStation 3), Brian Orakpo of the Texas Longhorns (PlayStation 2), and Mark Sanchez of the USC Trojans (PlayStation Portable). The game is expected to be available in stores beginning July 14, 2009.[24][25]

Recognition

Michael Crabtree has received multiple honors. In addition to being a two-time unanimous first-team All-American, he is a two-time Biletnikoff Award and Paul Warfield Award winner.

Recognition
Season Honor Status Notes
2007 All-Big 12 Selected for first team [26]
2007 AFCA Coaches' All-America Selected One of two wide receivers selected; first Freshman to earn the honor since Herschel Walker in 1980[27]
2007 AP All-America Selected for first team Garnered Unanimous All-America status by being selected for a fifth NCAA-recognized All-America team[28][29]
2007 AP Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year Selected [30][31]
2007 AT&T ESPN All-America Player of the Year Winner First freshman to win the award[32]
2007 Biletnikoff Award Winner First freshman and first Big 12 player ever chosen for the honor[33]
2007 CBSSports.com All-America Selected to first team [34]
2007 CBSSports.com Freshman of the Year Selected Unanimous first place selection[35]
2007 ESPN All-America Selected [36]
2007 FWAA All-America Selected for team [37]
2007 Maxwell Award Chosen as a semifinalist Only freshman chosen as semifinalist in 2007[38][39]
2007 Paul Warfield Award Winner [34]
2007 Rivals.com National Freshman of the Year Selected [40]
2007 SI.com All-America Selected for first team [41]
2007 Sporting News All-America Selected for first team Garnered Consensus All-America status by being selected for a third NCAA-recognized All-America team[42]
2007 Sporting News Big 12 All-Freshman Team Selected [43]
2007 Touchdown Club of Columbus Freshman of the Year Selected [34]
2007 Walter Camp All-America Selected for first team [44]
2008 Playboy All-America Selected [45]
2008 Preseason All-Big 12 Selected for first team Only unanimous selection[46][47]
2008 All-Big 12 Selected for first team Only offensive unanimous selection[48]
2008 AFCA Coaches' All-America Selected One of three returnees from last year's list[49]
2008 Biletnikoff Award Winner First ever two-time winner[50]
2008 Walter Camp All-America Selected for first team [51]
2008 FWAA All-America Selected for team Garnered Consensus All-America status by being selected for a third NCAA-recognized All-America team[52]
2008 SI.com All-America Selected for first team [53]
2008 AP All-America Selected for first team [54]
2008 Sporting News All-America Selected for first team Garnered Unanimous All-America status by being selected for a fifth NCAA-recognized All-America team[55]
2008 Paul Warfield Award Winner [56]
2008 NCAA Football 10 cover athlete Xbox 360 release [24][25]

Professional career

Pre-draft

Shortly before the deadline, Crabtree declared himself eligible for the 2009 NFL Draft, after discussions with his current coach Mike Leach, and with representatives of the NFL who advised that "he would be a first-round pick".[57] At the press conference to announce his plans to enter the NFL draft, Crabtree was accompanied by his Texas Tech Red Raider teammate Brandon Williams, who made a similar announcement. Williams had led the Big 12 Conference in sacks.[58] Mel Kiper had projected Crabtree to be selected by the Seattle Seahawks as the fourth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.[59]

On February 21, 2009, it was reported that Michael Crabtree sustained a Jones fracture in his left foot, which would require surgery to insert a screw and would leave him unable to perform for the next six to ten weeks including the NFL Combine and Texas Tech's pro day.[60] Doctors found that the injury happened recently, and possibly during his training for the combine.[61] However, Crabtree stated that the stress fracture had been there for a year and did not cause him pain.[62] On March 1, Crabtree stated he would have surgery and forgo the workout at Texas Tech's pro day on March 26.[63]

At the 2009 NFL Combine, Crabtree weighed 214 pounds; his height was reported at 6′1⅜″.[64] He later scored 15 on the Wonderlic Test.[65]

San Francisco 49ers

Crabtree was selected 10th overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2009 NFL Draft.[66] Although 49er rookies were expected to report to training camp on July 28, 2009, Crabtree was a no show. He failed to report because he had yet to sign a contract and even several days later his agent, Eugene Parker,[67][68] still had not reached a contract agreement with the team.[69] Crabtree became the first 49er rookie to be a no show at training camp since 2005.[70] Sources close to Crabtree indicated that he was prepared to sit out the 2009-2010 NFL season and re-enter the 2010 NFL Draft.[71] However, Crabtree's agent, Eugene Parker, went on record to state that he never threatened the 49ers with the possibility of Crabtree sitting out the season and reentering the draft.[72]

On August 30, 2009, Crabtree became the very last holdout and unsigned draft pick from the 2009 NFL draft when Andre Smith, the 6th overall pick, signed with the Bengals.[73][74] That day was also the 32nd day of Crabtree's holdout,[73] and only 10 days short of the all time long holdout for any 49er rookie in the franchise's history.[70] Beat reporter Matt Maiocco had reported rumors that the signing could have happened around Labor Day, but that did not occur as the sides remained at a complete impasse.[73] Over Labor Day weekend Deion Sanders, an NFL reporter and Crabtree counselor,[75] stated on the NFL Total Access show that Crabtree was indeed willing to sit out the entire season.[75][76] Sanders also claimed that the rookie receiver was not in "dire need" of money at that time.[75]

By September 9, 2009, Crabtree set a San Francisco 49ers record by becoming the longest rookie holdout in franchise history.[77] The last first round draft pick to holdout for an entire season was quarterback Kelly Stouffer in 1987 when he refused to sign with the Cardinals.[76][77] Stouffer was eventually traded in April 1988 to the Seahawks for three draft picks, including a first pick in the 1989 draft.[77] The 49ers would have had the option to trade the rights to Crabtree only after March 1, 2010, and up until the next draft. If a team were to trade for the rights, that team would not be able to sign such a player before the 2010 NFL Draft. If he was not signed by the 49ers and then traded to another team, his contract would have then counted against that team's 2010 rookie pool.[77][78]

On September 21, 2009, the 49ers filed charges against the New York Jets for attempting to tamper with their negotiations with Crabtree. The 49ers may believe the Jets contacted Crabtree's agent to let him know they'd be interested in trading for his rights, or in drafting him in 2010 with a better salary than the 49ers were offering.[79][80] The 49ers had until November 17 to sign Crabtree or he wouldn't be allowed to play in the 2009 season along with it being considered a non-accrued season for contract purposes.

On October 7, 2009, ESPN reported that Crabtree and the 49ers had agreed to a six-year contract. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the deal would be worth $32 million, with $17 million guaranteed, $8 million more than offered by the team in August 2009, but also a year longer.[81]

On October 25, 2009, Crabtree made his first career NFL start against the Houston Texans catching 5 passes for 56 yards and playing more snaps[82] than any other 49ers receiver in the game.[83]

2009 Post Season and Comparison to Darrius Heyward-Bey

The San Francisco 49ers finished their season with an 8-8 record, second place in the NFC West and were eliminated from playoff contention. Crabtree finished his rookie season with 48 receptions for 625 yards, averaging 13 yards per catch and two touchdowns. The first touchdown was made against the Green Bay Packers in Week 11 and the second, his first touchdown at Candlestick Park, was during Week 14 against the Arizona Cardinals. On paper, Crabtree had a more successful season than that of Darrius Heyward-Bey, the speedy receiver out of the University of Maryland who was chosen three slots ahead of Crabtree. Heyward-Bey had nine receptions for 124 yards averaging 13.8 yards per catch and one touchdown. [84]

Endorsements

Crabtree teamed up with Subway restaurants in 2009 in his first national endorsement. The deal involves a variety of endeavors including personal appearances and behind-the-scenes webisodes which debuted the week of the 2009 NFL Draft.[85] Crabtree also has contracts with EA Sports, Nike's Jordan Brand sneakers, three trading card companies, and MogoTXT.[86]

References

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External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Michael Crabtree
Biletnikoff Award Winner
2008
Succeeded by
Golden Tate
Preceded by
Michael Crabtree
Paul Warfield Trophy Winner
2008
Succeeded by
Jordan Shipley
Preceded by
Darren McFadden
NCAA Football Cover Athlete (Xbox 360)
2010
Succeeded by
Incumbent







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