August 25, 2007

Key Red Raiders: #6 Shannon Woods

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.

Shannon Woods: There are few college football teams across the fruited plain who return a running back that rushed for 926 yards and caught 75 passes for 572 yards in 2006. Even fewer are the teams that would count such a productive back no more crucial to the squad's success than #6 in terms of ranking. That, however, is precisely the case with Shannon Woods and the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

There are, after all, peculiar and mitigating circumstances surrounding the case of Shannon Woods. Woods, who unceremoniously and vituperatively declined to be interviewed for this story, has been in head coach Mike Leach's dog house because of his lackluster practice habits, and just perhaps, because of his volatile personality as well.

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