If all goes well, these three Texas Tech football players could surprise the experts and become first-team All-Big 12 selections.
Every summer, we think we know what is going to happen in the fall. Then the college football season actually begins and almost always, what we thought we knew turns out to be laughable.
Such is usually the case with the preseason All-Big 12 teams, which are merely educated guesses. But because these rosters are some of the first football news we get in the summer, they make larger news than they should.
This year, only three Red Raiders made the preseason team. Right guard Jack Anderson got the nod despite missing nine games in 2019. Defensive end Eli Howard was also included thanks to the strength of a six-sack season last fall. The third Red Raider honored was punter Austin McNamara who set a Texas Tech freshman record for net punting last year at 45 yards per kick.
But history suggests that all three of these Red Raiders will not make the first-team All-Big 12 postseason team. And that’s the list that really matters.
In all, 39 times a Red Raider has earned first-team All-Big 12 honors. That includes three last year, McNamara, LB Jordyn Brooks, and safety Douglas Coleman.
That was the second-straight year in which there were three Red Raiders on the first-team All-Conference roster. In 2018, LB Dakota Allen, corner Adrian Frye, and placekicker Clayton Hatfield made the cut.
But prior to that, you have to go back to 2008 to find the last time a trio of Red Raiders were named first-team All-Big 12. That year, WR Michael Crabtree, safety Darcel McBath, and defensive end Brandon Williams each played their way onto the first team.
Interestingly, that too was the second-straight year in which Tech had three first-team all-conference honorees. In 2007, Crabtree, kicker Alex Trilica, and OL Louis Vasquez were recognized.
If you are wondering, the most first-team All-Big 12 selections Tech has had in one year is four. That happened in 2005 when RB Taurean Henderson, WRs Joel Filani and Jarett Hicks, and safety Dwayne Slay all found their way onto the first team.
Hopefully, the Red Raiders can repeat that feat this year. If that happens, it will mean that we’ve seen the Red Raiders surpass the lowly expectations the experts have for them in 2020.
So let’s take a look at which Red Raiders might work their way onto the first team. And we will start with the offensive lineman that filled in for Anderson last year.