August 19, 2007

Key Red Raiders: #8 Shawn Byrnes

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.

Shawn Byrnes: Mike Leach and his staff have made something of an art out of isolating obscure high school offensive linemen and molding them into NFL caliber players.

Afterthought recruit Dylan Gandy of Pflugerville is the biggest success story in this vein. He rose from the depths of the unknown to a position as a sometime starter for Tony Dungy, Peyton Manning and the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts.

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