In 2008, Michael Crabtree made perhaps the most important catch in Texas Tech history when the Red Raiders pulled a major upset over the University of Texas. Crabtree also won the Biletnikoff award – twice (2007-2008).
He spent six seasons with the team that drafted him, the San Francisco 49ers, and caught 347 passes for 4,327 yards and 26 TDs.
Earlier this week, Crabtree joined the Oakland Raiders as a free agent.
Crabtree broke the news himself via Twitter, stating simply, "It's official..I'm a Raider."
Newly-minted Raiders Hall of Fame WR Tim Brown took the opportunity to welcome Crabtree via Twitter as well.
According to Brown, Crabtree should fit in nicely with the Raiders. "I think it's a good thing for both parties. I think for him getting into a situation where he's probably going to be more of the focus, the Raiders certainly needed an experienced receiver," Brown said. "I think it's a good mix, just hope they can gel and get on the same page and make this thing happen."
Brown and Crabtree both hail from Dallas and played their high school football in the same area. Brown says the high school football environment in Texas is a proving ground of a different kind.
"It's just a different level of the game down here," Brown said. "Him having the opportunity to play at Carter, it's one of the best schools in Dallas and puts out great athletes year after year. For him to come out and be so highly touted and having such a great career at Tech puts him in a position to do what he needs to do."
Brown added in a follow-up Tweet, "sometimes a change of venue is what a player needs!"
Crabtree won't have to go far for that change in venue as he crosses the Bay Bridge to trade in the red and gold for the Silver and Black.
Of all of the wide receivers to hit the open market this offseason, Crabtree may be the one uniquely qualified to jump into the Raiders new offense with both feet.
Photos of some of the best players who have suited up for both the Raiders and 49ers.
Crabtree flourished in Texas Tech's wide-open, run-and-shoot, spread offense under head coach Mike Leach and with QB Graham Harrell. He hauled in 231 receptions for 3,127 yards and 41 touchdowns in just two years at Texas Tech. New Raiders Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave, who comes over from Philadelphia and Chip Kelly's fast-break style offense, is poised to install a system that plays to Crabtree's productive history and strengths.
"We're going to think players first, then plays," Musgrave told Raiders.com's Rebecca Corman. "I think it makes sense to have certain labels and it's more flattering than anything because it means you have an identity. We'll want to have our own identity. We'll want to be up the alleys of our respective players and really in line with their strengths."
Crabtree has used his strengths to not only be productive throughout his college and pro career, but he has made many game-winning and game-changing plays as well. He hauled in 5 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown in Super Bowl XLVII, and more recently made a 51-yard catch on 4th-and-10 that helped send a 2015 Week 10 game against the New Orleans Saints into overtime.
Brown believes although he is still a young player, Crabtree's playoff experience should be of benefit to his new teammates.
"It should be great, being a young guy he'll be able to get in the locker room and get with those guys, and if they'll listen to him, it should be a beautiful thing for the Raiders," Brown said.
The former Texas Tech Red Raider joins an eclectic Oakland Raiders receiver corps that features wily veteran James Jones, young vets like Rod Streater and Andre Holmes, and young, unproven players. With a new style of offense on the way, the Raiders can use all the playmakers they can find.
Check out who's currently on the roster for the Oakland Raiders.