Tom VanHaaren interviews one of the top OL prospects in the class of 2010.
I recently had the privilege of talking with Robert Crisp. I’m sure not too many people know that name yet, but "yet" is the key word. Crisp is a 6’8” 295 pound junior left tackle, from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and he's one of the best in the 2010 class.
As big as he is, Robert runs a 4.85 40, and still looking to improve his time. He is a monster that plays on both sides of the ball. Basketball was his first love, and he didn’t even start playing football until a year and a half ago. He currently plays football, basketball, and will start track for his high school this year. Here’s the conversation we had.
TOM: You’re a junior, and it seems like you’re still a little under the radar. Tell me a little about yourself.
ROB: I’m 6 feet 8 inches and 295lbs. Our team is doing pretty good; we lost Friday 31-34. Our record is 6-3. We’re still looking okay though; we should have a chance to win it all. We made it to the playoffs last year, to the 3rd round. That’s not normal for our school, but we’ve been good since I’ve been there.
TOM: Now, I read that you are 6 feet 8 inches tall, 295 pound Offensive Tackle, and you run a 4.85 40? Is that right?
ROB: Yea, I ran that last year, I’m still around that, but I’m always trying to improve on it.
TOM: So are you a multisport athlete then? Basketball and Track too?
ROB: Yeah, well, in football I play offensive tackle, and defensive tackle. I also play basketball, which used to be my main sport. I was better at basketball than football. I’m going to start with shot put this year too.
TOM: Is being athletic something that you’ve worked on, or has it come naturally?
ROB: I just like to work hard, what I’ve learned, I do in the game. I like to pay attention and learn. My coaches have been crucial to my success.
TOM: You’re still young, but you’re going to start seeing and hearing a lot about colleges pretty soon. What is most important to you for the next level?
ROB: Academics is the first thing I think of. Who knows if I can go to the NFL, so I want a good education. Staying with my brother Pete is important, and being able to keep in touch with my guardian. I would love to go to college with Pete, who plays wide receiver and safety, we’ll see if that happens though. The last thing is just the environment on game day.
TOM: Are there any schools right now that stick out to you?
ROB: I don’t say I have a school on my mind right now, no favorite yet. I just think about where I’ll get the best education and opportunity.
TOM: Being from North Carolina there’s been a new rise with the schools there, have you seen any of those teams in person yet? Talked to any of the coaches?
ROB: No I haven’t gotten a chance to talk with them. I went to Duke last weekend, but other than that no.
TOM: Do you want to stay on the Offensive Line in college? Has anyone talked about moving you anywhere else?
ROB: I definitely want to play left tackle, if they give me the chance to play both I will. I’ll do whatever is best for the team. I try to stay humble.
TOM: You’ve got offers from Boston College, Clemson, Georgia, and Michigan to name a few. Is there one offer that you’re really hoping to get?
ROB: Last year I wanted an offer from Florida. But when I went, it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I still haven’t even gotten an offer yet, but I’m not really that excited any more. Maybe they don’t know about me, but I went down there in person, so that affects it a little bit, but not totally.
TOM: Growing up, was there one college team that you always followed, always wished you could play for?
ROB: Duke. I always dreamed about going to Duke. Basketball was my first love, and I wanted to play for the Duke basketball team.
TOM: Do you know a lot about Michigan football?
ROB: I actually don’t. We were looking for tickets to fly up this weekend, but it’s too expensive right now.
TOM: Offensive line is a big need for Michigan and always a need for a lot of teams; will early playing time affect your decision?
ROB: I don’t think so. The starting position is the guy that works the hardest and learns the most. If I work harder then I deserve it. If I don’t work hard, then I don’t deserve it.
TOM: Does it make a difference of how much coaches show interest, and how much they talk to you?
ROB: I understand if they can’t talk to me right now, they’re in the middle of their season. But hearing from them a lot is good, but I understand they’ve got work to do.
TOM: So is everyone still pretty equal, are there any schools you know you want to see?
ROB: There are some schools I want to see, I still want to come see Michigan and LSU. But there’s no leader.
TOM: Have your coaches helped you at all, early on, to sort the process out?
ROB: They told me about the rules and regulations of recruiting. But they haven’t really tried to lead me on to any schools.
TOM: When do you think you’ll start planning visits?
ROB: After this football season. I haven’t decided if I’m going to play basketball yet. But I’m going to get some trips in after the football season.
TOM: Are you the kind of guy who wants to get your decision out of the way to stay focused, or take your time with everything and make a decision later on?
ROB: I’m going wait it out, and try to get as much information as possible. Tommy Bowden told me this is one of the most important decisions I’ll make. I’m going to wait until my senior year.