May 2, 2007

Top 25 in Leach's tenure? 25-21

As hard as it is to believe, Mike Leach is now entering his eighth season as Texas Tech's head football coach. For most of us, the Rich Rodriguez/Mike Leach saga and eventual appointment of Leach to head up the program seem almost like yesterday's headlines. Instead, the Leach era approaches the decade milestone.

Needless to say, Mike Leach has now been in Lubbock long enough to have left his impress on the program, and has certainly done that with his flying carpet ride offense, idiosyncratic personality and droll sense of humor. But without the recruitment of a considerable body of talented players, Leach's schemes and intriguing personality would have counted for little and he would have been vanquished long ago.

Which brings us to the discussion at hand: who were the 25 most talented players Leach recruited and in what did their talent consist? In putting the individual articles in this series together, we consider not only on-field production, but also in some cases, unrealized potential, and professional playing status, all the while bearing in mind how this reflects on Leach's ability to isolate and recruit talent.

So let's tee it up, shall we?

25. SETH DOEGE: According to several people on the RedRaiderSports website who should know, the quarterback from Wolfforth could wind up as the most heralded recruit to sign with Mike Leach so far. The odds of him eventually receiving a Rivals four-star rating are good and it is not out of the question that he could actually attain five-star status. Were the latter to transpire, Doege would not only be the most highly lauded recruit of the Leach era, he would arguably be the bluest blue chip in the history of Texas Tech football. And that must surely count for something even if he has yet to take a single snap in a Red Raider uniform.

24. DANNY AMENDOLA: The senior receiver from The Woodlands has certainly grown up. In workouts during his true freshman season, senior safety Josh Rangel once roughed up an intimidated Amendola only to be protected by Jarrett Hicks. Fast forward to last year's Texas game where Amendola coldcocked Longhorn safety Michael Griffin with a forearm shiver that turned out Griffin's lights and drew a personal foul penalty. Amendola now is one of the toughest players on the team and is a clutch receiver who has the knack for making the biggest plays (see 4th and 3 against Oklahoma in 2005). Amendola's productivity, moreover, will ensure he leaves Tech high on the charts of most career receptions and most receiving yards.

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