Over the next two weeks, we will be examining the most indispensable player for every team in the Big 12. In other words, the player each team could least afford to lose to injury.
We’re knocking on wood before we turn in these posts; so no need to worry about a jinx.
We continue below with the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Most indispensable player: Tackle Le’Raven Clark
2014 stats: All-Big 12 first-teamer; started all 12 games at left tackle; helped De’Andre Washington rush for 1,103 yards and helped the Red Raiders finish eighth nationally in sacks allowed (13) and second nationally in sack percentage (2.3 percent).
Why Tech can’t afford to lose him: The piece of mind he brings to the Red Raiders' offense is one reason the unit has remained explosive during his 38 consecutive starts despite the musical chairs that have been going on behind center. Patrick Mahomes, Davis Webb and Baker Mayfield are among the multiple quarterbacks who have taken snaps while the Red Raiders have ranked second in the Big 12 in yards per game (503.6) and yards per play (6.29) during Clark’s time as a starter.
Clark allows the Red Raiders' coaching staff to create game plans with the confidence that the senior can create running lanes for Washington and the Red Raiders’ deep group of running backs while also protecting the quarterback’s blind side.
A talent like Clark is tough to replace. His 38 games of experience and versatility -- he has started at guard and tackle during his time in Lubbock -- makes him the most important player on the entire roster. As coach Kliff Kingsbury builds Tech's offense this fall, Clark is a great place to start.