With National Signing Day less than a month away, the Texas Tech football program and head football coach Mike Leach will be heavily spotlighted throughout the next week before making a final push to close out their 2009 recruiting class.
The attention began during Thursday's FOX broadcast of the BCS National Championship game, where the Red Raiders received special recognition for their many accomplishments during the 2008 season. First, All-American quarterback Graham Harrell was announced as the winner of the AT&T All-America Player of the Year Award, the only major national award voted on by the fans; All-American wide receiver Michael Crabtree won this award last season. Later during the broadcast, Harrell's game-winning, 28-yard touchdown pass to Crabtree against Texas – which will go down as one of the single-most exciting plays in college football history – was named the 2008 Pontiac Game Changing Performance of the Year.
Leach, the AP Big 12 Coach of the Year, will be picking up some hardware as well. At tomorrow's American Football Coaches Association convention in Nashville, the ninth-year head coach will be receiving his first of several national honors, the FieldTurf/Howie Long Coach of the Year Award. Later in the week, Leach will be a featured speaker at the convention before flying to Houston for Thursday's Paul "Bear" Bryant College Football Coach of the Year Award ceremony, for which he is one of eight finalists.
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Though he will also be receiving the Woody Hayes Award on February 7th and the George Munger Award a month later, Leach's immediate focus after his appearance in Houston will be finishing out Texas Tech's recruiting efforts for the 2009 class. Beginning on January 18th, he will begin taking his in-home visits with committed and uncommitted prospects. The Red Raiders still have several uncommitted targets left on the board, so these visits will be instrumental in whether or not they opt for the Scarlet and Black.
Texas Tech boast a class of 18 reported commitments, and is currently ranked fourth (by average star ranking) in the Big 12 Conference.
Stay tuned to RedRaiderSports.com throughout the coming weeks as we provide wall-to-wall coverage of the Red Raiders' efforts to close out the 2009 class with a bang!