Crabtree played his high school football at Dallas’ Carter High School and is the sixth Tech player inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He is already a member of Texas Tech’s Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor.
“I don’t think it hit me until I was on stage and seeing all the guys next to me,” Crabtree said of his induction. “I was like, ‘This is Hall of Fame. This is major.’ The coaches, 30-40 years removed [from] getting inducted into the Hall of Fame. It’s major. It’s definitely hitting me now.”
Crabtree transformed the wide receiver position during his two seasons as a Red Raider, setting the Texas Tech career records for receiving yards (3,127) and receiving touchdowns (41).
After redshirting his freshman season in 2006, Crabtree became Texas Tech’s only two-time unanimous All-American in the two seasons he played for the Red Raiders in 2007 and 2008.
Crabtree also became the first two-time winner of the Biletnikoff Award in history, the honor given to the top wide receiver in college football.
As a redshirt freshman in 2007, he set the Texas Tech single-season marks as well as the NCAA freshman records for receptions (134), receiving yards (1,962), and receiving touchdowns (22).
The Red Raiders were a combined 20-6 during Crabtree’s two seasons, highlighted by an 11-2 season in 2008 that saw Texas Tech play in the Cotton Bowl and reach a national ranking as high as No.2.
He finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting following the memorable 2008 campaign, when he hauled in 97 passes for 1,165 yards and 19 touchdowns.
The highlight of Crabtree’s 2008 season came against undefeated and then-No.1 Texas, where he hauled in the game-winning touchdown catch from Graham Harrell, a 28-yard strike with one second remaining, handing the Longhorns their only loss of the season.
It marked the first time Texas Tech had defeated a top-ranked opponent in school history.
Crabtree’s success allowed him to forgo his final two years of college eligibility and enter the NFL Draft after only two seasons of college football experience.
The San Francisco 49ers made Crabtree the No.10 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Crabtree played 11 seasons in the NFL, catching 637 passes for 7,499 yards and 54 touchdowns over his professional career. His career featured stints with not only the 49ers but also the Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens, and Arizona Cardinals.
The rest of the Hall of Fame class inducted Tuesday included: former Colorado star Rashaan Salaam; Alabama’s Sylvester Croom; LaVar Arrington of Penn State; Champ Bailey of Georgia; Mike Doss of Ohio State; Chuck Ealey of Toledo; Kevin Faulk of LSU; Moe Gardner of Illinois; Boomer Grigsby of Illinois State; Mike Hass of Oregon State; Marvin Jones of Florida State; Andrew Luck of Stanford; Mark Messner of Michigan; Terry Miller of Oklahoma State; Dennis Thomas of Alcorn State; Zach Wiegert of Nebraska; and Roy Williams of Oklahoma.
The coaches inducted were John Luckhardt, a head coach for nearly 30 years at Washington & Jefferson and California University of Pennsylvania; Billy Jack Murphy of Memphis; and Gary Pinkel, who led Toledo and Missouri.