Michael Crabtree and Wes Welker are two of the best wide receivers in the NFL, and they have tight-knit roots from their college ties to Texas Tech. But the relationship between the two talented Red Raiders alums didn’t exactly get off to the best start.
Crabtree, now a star wideout for the San Francisco 49ers, played at Texas Tech from 2006 to 2008. So, while he and Welker, who starred at Tech from 2000 to 2003, never crossed paths during their careers in Lubbock, Crabtree vividly remembers their first encounter — and it was none too pleasant, according to the Boston Herald.
“I actually got into it with Wes Welker when I first went to college,” Crabtree said. “He said something about me playing in the summer. We were doing one-on-ones with some guys that were in the NFL that used to go to Tech. He was holding me, and I was fresh out of high school, had an attitude, and I was cussing him out to get off of me. He got in my face like I was going to back down.”
Crabtree was heavily recruited out of high school and entered his freshman year at Tech carrying quite an ego. That elevated sense of self-worth paired with his competitive spirit inspired him to show the grizzled NFL veteran just how good he was.
“That was one of those things I was letting him know I’m about to come in there and do better than what he did,” Crabtree said. “It was just fun and games. That’s my dude, though.”
Crabtree did just as he said, too, during his two seasons at Tech, setting nearly every receiving record in school history. Since entering the NFL in 2009, though, he’s grown into a reliable receiver for the San Francisco 49ers and even developed a great respect for Welker.
“You can learn a lot from guys like that,” Crabtree added. “Wes is a legend.”
While Crabtree has grown to admire and even emulate Welker, he’s certainly hoping that his trip to the Super Bowl this season ends nothing like Welker’s did one year ago.