During his two-year college career at Texas Tech, Crabtree set numerous NCAA records and became the only two-time winner of the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the nation's top wide receiver. Crabtree decided to forgo his final two years of eligibility at Texas Tech and enter the 2009 NFL Draft.
Michael Crabtree is listed at 6-feet, 3-inches tall and 214 pounds.
Crabtree entered the 2008 season as the only unanimous selection to the preseason All-Big 12 Team. He got off to a relatively slow start, finishing with 73 receiving yards in Texas Tech's season-opening win over Eastern Washington. At the time, it was the second-lowest single-game total of his career. Crabtree caught a touchdown in each of the Red Raiders first 10 games of the season, before being held out of the end zone in the loss to Oklahoma, in a game that marked Texas Tech's first loss of the season. He was also shut out in the win over Baylor, marking the second time in his career he failed to score in back-to-back games.
Despite decreases in receptions (97), yards (1,165) and touchdowns (19), he still repeated as the Biletnikoff Award winner. He became the first ever two-time winner of the award. He also repeated as a consensus All-America. Crabtree left Texas Tech ranking fifth on the schools career touchdowns list, despite playing only two seasons. His 40 career receiving TD are the most ever over a player's freshman and sophomore seasons, and rank ninth in FBS history. He's only the second player in Texas Tech history with a pair of 1,000-yard receiving seasons, joining Joel Filani.
At the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine, a physical exam revealed that Crabtree had a stress fracture in his left foot. Originally, he was planning on postponing surgery until after Texas Tech's pro day, so he could post a 40-yard dash time for scouts. However, on March 1, Crabtree reconsidered and decided to undergo surgery, forcing him to miss the pro day. He wore a protective boot for more than a month, but took it off nearly three weeks before the draft.
Crabtree was expected to be the first wide receiver selected in the 2009 NFL Draft, but fell to 10th, three picks after the Raiders selected Darrius Heyward-Bey. The 49ers selected him 10th overall.
Crabtree was held out of 49ers minicamps before his rookie season. The team held him out as a precautionary measure to prevent further damage to his injured foot.
In July, Crabtree failed to report to training camp on time, holding out for what he considered a fair market value contract. Reportedly, Crabtree was seeking money equal to the third overall pick. On August 6, Crabtree's cousin and advisor David Wells said Crabtree was willing to sit out the entire 2009 season and re-enter the draft in 2010. Crabtree's agent, Eugene Parker, said no such threat had been made to the 49ers. Crabtree held out the entire 2009 preseason, during which time he held private workouts with ESPN analyst and former Super Bowl winner Trent Dilfer to stay in football shape.
On October 6, 2009, after having missed the first four regular-season games of 2009, Crabtree returned to San Francisco and re-opened negotiations with the 49ers. Crabtree signed his six-year contract on Oct. 7, 2009. The deal has a maximum value of $40M, if every incentive is reached. Crabtree is guaranteed $17M, and is expected to make $19M over the first three years of the contract and $23M over the first four years. If he reaches certain performance levels, he can void the contract after five seasons.
Crabtree was not added to the 49ers roster for their first game after he signed his contract. He made his debut on Oct. 25, 2009, following the 49ers bye week. Crabtree had five receptions for 56 yards in his first game. He caught his first career touchdown in Week 11 against the Packers. Crabree finished his rookie season with 48 receptions, the third-most ever by a 49ers rookie wide receiver, behind Gene Washington and Jerry Rice. Crabtree's 56.8 receiving yards per game led all rookies in 2009.
Crabtree has signed endorsement deals with Subway and Jordan Brand sneakers (a division of Nike). Crabtree also appears on the cover of EA Sports' "NCAA Football 10" for Xbox 360. Despite his holdout, he had the second best selling jersey for any rookie during the 2009 offseason, behind only Mark Sanchez. Overall, Crabtree's jersey was the eighth-most popular in the NFL.