American Texas Tech pitcher Gabriel Oladipo joins the football team

Texas Tech's Gabriel Oladipo, an American first-team shot putter and three-time Big 12 throwing champion, joined the Red Raiders football team on Saturday as a defensive lineman.  Oladipo, a 2017 Fort Bend Hightower graduate, hasn't played football since high school.

The Texas Tech football team added a Big 12 champion and an all-American first team to the defensive line Saturday, the second day of preseason practices.

There’s a catch: The highly decorated Gabriel Oladipo earned those accolades with the Red Raiders track and field team. But when he exhausted his eligibility in his main sport in June, Oladipo decided to try football.

It’s not like Tech hurts for someone to play defensive tackle with Jaylon Hutchings, Tony Bradford and Philip Blidi all being key players. But Oladipo is 6-foot-3, 290 pounds, has a 440-pound bench and an 875 squat deadlift. And he’s spent five college seasons perfecting his footwork and outburst.

“You’re talking about a great human being who is really, really strong and really athletic,” said technical coach Joey McGuire. “It just adds another person, whatever (their role). Whether it’s in the field goal block or the field goal or how many snaps he gets in the game, to any time you can add great people who can really, really run. . . . “

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