Michael Crabtree
Crabtree at 49ers training camp in August 2010.
No. 15     San Francisco 49ers
Wide Receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1987-09-14) September 14, 1987 (age 32)
Place of birth: Dallas, Texas
High School: Dallas (TX) Carter
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) Weight: 214 lb (97 kg)
Career information
College: Texas Tech
NFL Draft: 2009 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10
Debuted in 2009 for the San Francisco 49ers
Career history
* San Francisco 49ers ( 2009–present)
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
* NFC champion (2012)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2013
Receptions     279
Receiving yards     3,629
Average     13.0
Receiving TDs     22

Michael Alex Crabtree (born September 14, 1987) is an American football wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Texas Tech University, where he was a two-time unanimous All-American, and was twice recognized as the nation's top college receiver. He left college after only two seasons, and the San Francisco 49ers selected him with the tenth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Early yearsEdit

Crabtree was born in Dallas, Texas. He attended David W. Carter High School in Dallas and played quarterback for the Carter Cowboys high school football team. As a senior, he passed for 870 yards and eleven touchdowns on 45 completions out of 100 attempts. He also ran for 646 yards and nine touchdowns on 100 carries. He was a four-star football recruit as an athlete.[1][2]

In addition to playing football in high school, Michael Crabtree was also on the basketball team and ranked among the top 51 recruits in the state of Texas going into college.[1] During a visit in 2004, Texas Tech basketball coach Bob Knight asked Crabtree which sport he was going to choose. Though the decision was not an easy one, he opted to play college football exclusively.[3]

Crabtree was offered football scholarships by Baylor, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Kansas. He was also recruited by Texas, whose coaches wanted him to play defense. Crabtree refused, stating that he wanted to score touchdowns.[4]

College careerEdit

Crabtree accepted an athletic scholarship to attend Texas Tech University, where he played for coach Mike Leach's Texas Tech Red Raiders football team from 2006 to 2008.[1]

Freshman seasonEdit

Michael Crabtree was redshirted his freshman season of 2006 due to a transcript glitch and a position change from QB to WR.[5]


In 2007, Crabtree started his redshirt-freshman season against SMU. The Red Raiders won 49–9, and Crabtree stood out with 106 yards receiving on twelve receptions for three touchdowns. The next week, in a 45–31 win over UTEP, Crabtree continued his performance with 15 receptions, 188 yards, and two touchdowns. Against the Rice Owls, Crabtree put up 244 yards on eleven receptions for three touchdowns. In Tech's first loss of the season, against Oklahoma State, he had 14 receptions for 237 yards and three touchdowns. In a 75–7 win over Northwestern State, Crabtree had 145 yards on eight receptions for three touchdowns in only two and a half quarters of playing time. In the contest against Iowa State, Crabtree had 10 receptions for 154 yards and three touchdowns.[6]

During the Iowa State game, Crabtree broke the season record for most touchdown receptions by a freshman receiver. The previous record of 14 was shared by Jabar Gaffney in 2000, Mike Williams in 2002, and Davone Bess in 2005.[7] In the October 13, 2007 game, Crabtree tacked on 170 more receiving yards on eight receptions but had no touchdowns in a 35–7 win over the Texas A&M Aggies. This brought his total yardage to 1,244. In the next game, against Missouri, he again did not score but still added 76 more yards on ten catches.[6] In spite of having two consecutive games without a touchdown, CBS Sports still ranked Crabtree as the top freshman in the nation.[8]

During the game against Colorado, Crabtree made his 99th catch. This set three records simultaneously—most single-season receptions by a freshman in I-A, most single-season receptions by a Red Raider, and most single-season touchdowns by a Big 12 player (18). Crabtree finished his freshman season with 134 receptions, 1,962 yards and 22 TDs.[9]

Sophomore seasonEdit

File:2008 TTU at KU.jpg

Before the beginning of his sophomore season, CBS Sports listed Crabtree as a Heisman hopeful. Tech quarterback Graham Harrell's name also appeared on the list.[10] Crabtree, along with Harrell and head coach Mike Leach, were featured on the cover of the 2008 edition of Dave Campbell's Texas Football.[11] His name has also appeared on the Maxwell Award preseason watchlist along with Harrell.[12] To support the Heisman campaign of both Harrell and Crabtree, Texas Tech created a website called, which is modelled after political campaigns. The site has garnered national attention and was awarded a Telly Award which honors the best in local, regional, and cable commercials and programs, as well as online videos, films, and commercials.[13][14] Crabtree finished fifth in the Heisman race behind Harrell at fourth.[15]

Crabtree began his sophomore campaign in the 49-24 win over Eastern Washington, recording 9 receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown in limited playing time. In the following 35-19 win over Nevada, he totaled 7 receptions for 158 yards and an 82-yard touchdown catch. Crabtree was selected as the AT&T ESPN All-America Player of the Week for following 43-7 win over Southern Methodist for totaling a season-high 164 yards and 3 touchdowns from 8 receptions.

In the 56–14 win over Massachusetts, Crabtree recorded 62 yards and a touchdown off of 5 receptions in limited playing time. In the following 58-28 win over Kansas State, he totaled 107 yards on 9 receptions for 2 touchdowns. The Red Raiders then defeated Nebraska 37-31, in which he had 5 receptions for 89 yards and two touchdowns. In the following 43-25 win over Texas A&M, he totaled 71 yards and two touchdowns from 8 receptions. He also compiled his first kickoff return of his career in the game, running the ball for 50 yards. On the return however, he tweaked his left ankle and hobbled off the field.[16]

Crabtree partially recovered from his ankle sprain enough to play at Kansas, where he amassed 70 yards and two touchdowns off of 9 receptions in a 63-21 Tech victory. The Red Raiders then upset #1 Texas 39-33. Down 33-32, Tech drove down into Longhorns' territory with 8 seconds left in the game. Quarterback Graham Harrell threw to Crabtree in double coverage inside the 10-yard line. Crabtree grabbed the pass, shook a defender on the sideline, and ran into the endzone for the game-winning touchdown with a second left in the game.[17] As the Red Raiders won, Crabtree finished with 127 yards and a touchdown off of 10 receptions. In Oklahoma State game, Crabtree recorded 89 yards and three touchdowns on eight catches. He extended his streak of at least five receptions and a touchdown catch to 13 games, placing him in a tie for second-longest all time.[18] In these three games, he hobbled off the field at times after making catches.[19] He used the bye week before the Oklahoma game to fully recover from the injury.[20] On December 2, 2008, Crabtree and teammate Graham Harrell were named as Walter Camp Award finalists.[21] Crabtree started the year with the expectation that he would compete for the Heisman trophy, and in the end he finished fifth in the Heisman voting, garnering 3 first place votes.[22]

On April 23, 2009, EA Sports announced that Crabtree would be featured on the cover of NCAA Football 10 for Xbox 360.[23] Cover athletes for the other editions of the game are Brian Johnson of the Utah Utes (PlayStation 3), Brian Orakpo of the Texas Longhorns (PlayStation 2), and Mark Sanchez of the USC Trojans (PlayStation Portable). The game was available in stores beginning July 14, 2009.[24][25]

NCAA recordsEdit

Crabtree holds eight NCAA records. See also NCAA records held by individual Red Raiders

NCAA record Statistic
Most passes caught by two players same team, season 243 (2007) with Danny Amendola
Most passes caught by a freshman, season 134 (2007)
Most passes caught by a freshman, season per game 10.3 (2007) (134 in 13 games)
Most yards gained by a freshman, season 1,962 (2007)
Most yards gained by a freshman, season per game 150.9 (2007)
Most games gaining 100 yards or more by a freshman, season 11 (2007)
Most touchdown passes caught by a freshman 22 (2007)
Most touchdown passes caught in freshman and sophomore seasons[26] 41 (2007 (22) & 2008 (19))



Michael Crabtree has received multiple honors. In addition to being a two-time unanimous first-team All-American, he is a two-time Biletnikoff Award and Paul Warfield Award winner. Only 5 Red Raiders overall have earned unanimous All-American honors: Mark Bounds in 1991, Zach Thomas in 1995, Byron Hanspard in 1996, and Jace Amaro in 2013.[28]

Season Honor Status Notes
2007 All-Big 12 Selected for first team [29]
2007 AFCA Coaches' All-America Selected One of two wide receivers selected; first Freshman to earn the honor since Herschel Walker in 1980[30]
2007 AP All-America Selected for first team Garnered Unanimous All-America status by being selected for a fifth NCAA-recognized All-America team[31][32]
2007 AP Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year Selected [33][34]
2007 AT&T ESPN All-America Player of the Year Winner First freshman to win the award[35]
2007 Biletnikoff Award Winner First freshman and first Big 12 player ever chosen for the honor[36]
2007 All-America Selected to first team [37]
2007 Freshman of the Year Selected Unanimous first place selection[38]
2007 ESPN All-America Selected [39]
2007 FWAA All-America Selected for team [40]
2007 Maxwell Award Chosen as a semifinalist Only freshman chosen as semifinalist in 2007[41][42]
2007 Paul Warfield Award Winner [37]
2007 National Freshman of the Year Selected [43]
2007 All-America Selected for first team [44]
2007 Sporting News All-America Selected for first team Garnered Consensus All-America status by being selected for a third NCAA-recognized All-America team[45]
2007 Sporting News Big 12 All-Freshman Team Selected [46]
2007 Touchdown Club of Columbus Freshman of the Year Selected [37]
2007 Walter Camp All-America Selected for first team [47]
2008 Playboy All-America Selected [48]
2008 Preseason All-Big 12 Selected for first team Only unanimous selection[49][50]
2008 All-Big 12 Selected for first team Only offensive unanimous selection[51]
2008 AFCA Coaches' All-America Selected One of three returnees from last year's list[52]
2008 Biletnikoff Award Winner First ever two-time winner[53]
2008 Walter Camp All-America Selected for first team [54]
2008 FWAA All-America Selected for team Garnered Consensus All-America status by being selected for a third NCAA-recognized All-America team[55]
2008 All-America Selected for first team [56]
2008 AP All-America Selected for first team [57]
2008 Sporting News All-America Selected for first team Garnered Unanimous All-America status by being selected for a fifth NCAA-recognized All-America team[58]
2008 Paul Warfield Award Winner [59]
2008 NCAA Football 10 cover athlete Xbox 360 release [24][25]

Professional careerEdit


Shortly before the deadline, Crabtree declared himself eligible for the 2009 NFL Draft, after discussions with his coach Mike Leach, and with representatives of the NFL who advised that "he would be a first-round pick".[60] At the press conference to announce his plans to enter the NFL draft, Crabtree was accompanied by his Texas Tech Red Raider teammate Brandon Williams, who made a similar announcement. Williams had led the Big 12 Conference in sacks.[61] NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper had projected Crabtree to be selected by the Seattle Seahawks as the fourth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.[62]

On February 21, 2009, it was reported that Crabtree sustained a Jones fracture in his left foot, which would require surgery to insert a screw and would leave him unable to perform for the next six to ten weeks including the NFL Combine and Texas Tech's pro day.[63] Doctors found that the injury happened recently, and possibly during his training for the combine.[64] However, Crabtree stated that the stress fracture had been there for a year and did not cause him pain.[65] On March 1, Crabtree stated he would have surgery and forgo the workout at Texas Tech's pro day on March 26.[66]

At the 2009 NFL Combine, Crabtree weighed 214 pounds; his height was reported at 6′1⅜″.[67] He later scored 15 on the Wonderlic Test.[68]

File:Michael Crabtree at 49ers training camp 2010-08-11 2.JPG

San Francisco 49ers (2009-present)Edit

Crabtree was selected 10th overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2009 NFL Draft.[69] He was the highest drafted Texas Tech Red Raider since Donny Anderson went seventh overall in the 1965 NFL Draft. On July 28, 2009, Crabtree failed to report for training camp because he had no contract.[70][71][72] Crabtree's training camp no show was the first for a rookie since 2005.[73] Sources[who?] close to Crabtree indicated that he was prepared to sit out the 2009-2010 NFL season and re-enter the 2010 NFL Draft.[74] Crabtree's agent Eugene Parker stated that he denied threatening the 49ers with having Crabtree sit out the season and reenter the draft.[75]

On August 30, 2009, Crabtree became the very last holdout and unsigned draft pick from the 2009 NFL draft when Andre Smith, the 6th overall pick, signed with the Bengals.[76][77] That day was also the 32nd day of Crabtree's holdout,[76] and only 10 days short of the all time long holdout for any 49er rookie in the franchise's history.[73] Beat reporter Matt Maiocco had reported rumors that the signing could have happened around Labor Day, but that did not occur as the sides remained at a complete impasse.[76] Over Labor Day weekend Deion Sanders, an NFL reporter and Crabtree counselor,[78] stated on the NFL Total Access show that Crabtree was indeed willing to sit out the entire season.[78][79] Sanders also claimed that the rookie receiver was not in "dire need" of money at that time.[78]

By September 9, 2009, Crabtree set a 49ers record by becoming the longest rookie holdout in franchise history.[80] The last first round draft pick to hold out for an entire season was quarterback Kelly Stouffer in 1987 when he refused to sign with the Cardinals.[79][80] Stouffer was eventually traded in April 1988 to the Seahawks for three draft picks, including a first pick in the 1989 draft.[80] The 49ers would have had the option to trade the rights to Crabtree only after March 1, 2010, and up until the next draft. If a team were to trade for the rights, that team would not be able to sign such a player before the 2010 NFL Draft. If he was not signed by the 49ers and then traded to another team, his contract would have then counted against that team's 2010 rookie pool.[80][81]

On September 21, 2009, the 49ers filed charges against the New York Jets for attempting to tamper with their negotiations with Crabtree. The 49ers may believe the Jets contacted Crabtree's agent to let him know they'd be interested in trading for his rights, or in drafting him in 2010 with a better salary than the 49ers were offering.[82][83] The 49ers had until November 17 to sign Crabtree or he wouldn't be allowed to play in the 2009 season along with it being considered a non-accrued season for contract purposes.

On October 7, 2009, ESPN reported that Crabtree and the 49ers had agreed to a six-year contract. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the deal would be worth $32 million, with $17 million guaranteed, $8 million more than offered by the team in August 2009, but also a year longer. The contract can void to five years based on Pro Bowl and playing time triggers.[84]

File:Michael Crabtree 49ers sideline.jpg

2009 seasonEdit

On October 25, 2009, Crabtree made his first career NFL start against the Houston Texans catching 5 passes for 56 yards and playing more snaps[85] than any other 49ers receiver in the game.[86] On November 22, 2009, Crabtree caught his first touchdown on a 38-yard pass from quarterback Alex Smith, beating veteran All-Pro cornerback Al Harris on the play. He caught his second touchdown pass, and his first touchdown at Candlestick Park against the Arizona Cardinals in a Week 14 divisional match up. He led all rookie receivers in yards per game, with 56.8 yards per game.

File:Michael Crabtree at 49ers training camp 2010-08-09 2.JPG

2010 seasonEdit

In the season opener against the Seattle Seahawks, Crabtree caught 2 passes for 12 yards (career low). It was the first time in his career that he did not record at least 3 receptions in a game. In the home opener on Monday Night Football against New Orleans he caught just 1 pass (career low) for 32 yards. On October 10, 2010, Crabtree recorded his first career 100+ yard game. He caught 9 passes for 105 yards and also had a 7-yard touchdown. He caught the go-ahead 32-yard touchdown against Oakland in week 6. It was the first time he caught a touchdown in consecutive games.

2011 seasonEdit

Crabtree suffered a broken foot during player-only off-season workouts. He received surgery and missed the entire preseason. In the first game of the regular season against the Seattle Seahawks, he was still obviously not fully recovered from his injury and sat out the second half of that game and the next game against the Dallas Cowboys. Crabtree caught his first touchdown of the season in a 20-10 win against the Cleveland Browns. His second touchdown reception occurred in a home game against the St. Louis Rams on a 52-yard pass from QB Alex Smith. In the final game of the regular season in St. Louis, Crabtree recorded the first multi-touchdown game of his NFL career with two touchdown receptions, one of which came from kicker David Akers on a fake field-goal. Crabtree finished the season with a career high in both receptions(72) and receiving yards(874).

In the playoffs, Crabtree caught a 5-yard touchdown pass in the divisional round against the New Orleans Saints to give the 49ers an early 14-0 lead. However, in the Saints game and NFC Championship game against the New York Giants, he totaled only five receptions for 28 yards.

2012 seasonEdit

File:Michael Crabtree - San Francisco vs Green Bay 2012.jpg

In 2012, Crabtree posted his first season with greater than 1,000 receiving yards as he continued to develop as a player and grow into his role as the number-one target in the 49ers' passing game. Following Colin Kaepernick's ascension to the starting QB position, Crabtree became a greater focal point of the offense, as Kaepernick's ability enabled more down-field passing. It became clear that Kaepernick and Crabtree had developed quite a rapport, as Crabtree began to put up better numbers with Kaepernick at the helm. Late in the season, Crabtree showed dominance in games against the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals, with 281 receiving yards and 4 touchdown receptions in those two games. Crabtree finished with career highs in targets, receptions, yards and touchdowns. In the post-season, Crabtree had 9 catches for 119 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 49ers victory over the Green Bay Packers, as well as 6 receptions for 57 yards in the NFC Championship win over the Atlanta Falcons.

2013 seasonEdit

On May 22, 2013, Crabtree underwent surgery to repair a torn achilles tendon. The surgery required a minimum of 6 months to recover. On August 27, 2013, the 49ers placed Crabtree on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. He was most likely to return to the field in mid-November 2013.[87] On November 25, 2013, rumors circulated online that he would be activated since November 26 would be the deadline for the team to activate him or face benching him for the rest of the season. On November 26, 2013, the 49ers activated him and waived a backup quarterback to make room for him on the 53 man roster.[88] Crabtree played his first game of the 2013 season on December 1, 2013 in Week 13 against the St. Louis Rams making 2 receptions for 68 yards and the 49ers won the game 23-13.

Career StatisticsEdit

Season Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
2013 San Francisco 49ers 5 5 19 284 14.9 60 1 - - - - - - -
2012 San Francisco 49ers 16 16 85 1,105 13.0 49T 9 1 8 8.0 - - - -
2011 San Francisco 49ers 15 14 72 874 12.1 52T 4 1 6 6.0 - - - -
2010 San Francisco 49ers 16 15 55 741 13.5 60T 6 - - - - - - -
2009 San Francisco 49ers 11 11 48 625 13.0 50 2 - - - - - 1 1
Total 63 61 279 3,629 13.0 60T 22 2 14 7.0 - - 1 1


In 2012, Crabtree partnered with Ubisoft, makers of the video game, The Hip Hop Dance Experience, to create a touchdown celebration dance inspired by the video game. Each time Crabtree performed his signature dance move "The Crab Shake" on the field, Ubisoft made a charitable donation to the Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco.[89]

Crabtree teamed up with Subway restaurants in 2009 in his first national endorsement. The deal involves a variety of endeavors including personal appearances and behind-the-scenes webisodes which debuted the week of the 2009 NFL Draft.[90] His other contracts includes EA Sports, Jordan Brand, three trading card companies, and MogoTXT.[91]

Personal lifeEdit

Texas Tech University honored Crabtree, by incorporating a large mural of Crabtree as part of a $51.1 million expansion to the Jones AT&T Stadium. The mural is located on the east side of the stadium inside the concession area. Crabtree's image is also displayed prominently in the football training facility.[92]


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