July 7, 2007

Key Red Raiders: #14 Clint Stoffels

A huge number of factors go into the success of any football team. In this series, we will be examining 25 of them. More specifically, we will be taking a reverse-order look at the 25 players who will be most crucial if the Texas Tech Red Raiders are to have a successful 2007 season, however that may be defined.

This is not, however, a list of the best players on the team. Rather, this series takes into consideration the importance of a given position on the team, depth issues, experience and inexperience, and the historic strengths and weaknesses of Mike Leach's program. The results, therefore, may surprise many readers, and will hopefully spur spirited discussion and debate.

CLINT STOFFELS: As the Texas Tech Red Raiders floated off the field following their impossible comeback victory over Minnesota in the Insight Bowl, who would have predicted that a kid named Clint Stoffels would be one of the team's fifteen most important players heading into the 2007 season?

And if the person doing the predicting had informed you that Stoffels is a 250-pound freshman walk-on defensive tackle from Gainesville, what would you have said? You probably would have guessed he was washing his hair with no shampoo or that he was a crypto-Aggie, in which case you would have given him a quick poke in the chops.

Who wouldn't?

But then you would come to regret it because that crazy, hypothetical prophecy has actually come to pass. As spring drills concluded, and as things currently stand, Clint "Turbo" Stoffels (pronounced STOW-fulz) is your second-team defensive tackle behind Richard Jones.

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