DO NOT WANT!
On second thought, he'll wear blue on Saturdays, so okay. Another nice writeup Ace, thanks.
Previously: Bryan Mone
This edition of Future Blue Originals features my first attempt at using screen capture software with streaming video; I'm still working out the kinks, so video quality should be better in future posts.
2015 commit Shaun Crawford, who's projected to play cornerback for Michigan but lines up at safety, running back, and slot receiver for Lakewood St. Edward, one of Ohio's powerhouse programs. Crawford is universally regarded as a top-150 overall prospect, listed as high as #49 overall (ESPN) and coming in at #79 (#8 CB) in the 247 Composite. The quick take on Crawford is that he's got everything you'd want in a corner except ideal size—he's listed at 5'9", 173, though he certainly doesn't play small.
St. Edward defeated Erie McDowell 56-7 in this game, which occurred two weekends ago. Crawford had 98 yards and a touchdown on seven carries, three receptions for 56 yards, a long punt return for a touchdown, a blocked field goal, and eight tackles in about three quarters of action.
Edited by yours truly, taken from full game video courtesy of iHigh.com.
Soundtrack: "Have Mercy On Me" — The Black Keys
[Hit THE JUMP for my evaluation of Crawford. SPOILER: he's pretty good, you guys.]
The first thing that jumps out about Crawford is his willingness to hit and how hard he does it—he relishes contact, knocks bigger players backwards, and doesn't allow yards after contact. Some big hitters aren't solid tacklers—see: Ohio State's secondary the last two years—but Crawford does a great job of taking the correct angle to the ball and wrapping up on contact; he didn't miss a tackle in this game.
Crawford mostly played as one of two deep safeties in pass coverage and McDowell rarely tested him, so I didn't get much of a feel for his ability in man coverage, though the general consensus is that he's a lockdown cover corner. He was very responsible in zone coverage, not only locking down his area but often recognizing breakdowns in front of him and adjusting accordingly to ensure his team didn't give up a big play. Nobody got over the top on him, his number one job, and the passes completed in front of him were usually because of coverage breakdowns by the linebackers—one when a linebacker played zone instead of man, the other when two LBs jumped the same route and let a slot receiver go up the middle uncovered.
Crawford's play recognition was very good; he gets to run plays with frightening speed and didn't get fooled by play-action. He did have two plays in which misdirection fooled him, one on a read option in which he bolted for the running back and the quarterback got a long gain, the other on a counter when he took a couple steps inside, though the defensive pursuit still stopped the play at the LOS.
Of course, he also made a big impact with the ball in his hands. While Crawford doesn't project to offense, he displayed very impressive straight-line speed as a running back, hitting holes with authority and getting the corner when it seemed unlikely. He could make an impact as a return man, and did so in this game with a huge return down the sideline; while I'd like to see him field a punt on the fly, his vision and burst upfield give him a lot of potential in this area.
Aside from the two plays in which he got fooled by misdirection, I didn't see anything in his play that I could criticize. The main knock on Crawford is his height, and we'll have to wait until he gets to college to see how he handles lining up against big, skilled receivers. In every other aspect, he plays bigger than his size—not only in laying the wood, but also in shedding blocks, as nobody could keep him from getting to the football.
Crawford was as advertised—an ideal defensive back prospect if he was just a little bit taller, with the jury still out on his ability to play man against big receivers, which we don't get to see with him at safety against high school competition. I love his physicality and playmaking ability on both sides of the ball; it's tough to see him not finding a way onto the field, and despite his size I could see him playing safety in college—his play recognition and run support project well there. If he can stick to receivers in man coverage, as he's done in the past in high school and at camps, he's as well-rounded a cornerback as you're going to find.
DO NOT WANT!
On second thought, he'll wear blue on Saturdays, so okay. Another nice writeup Ace, thanks.
that was also Kyle Kalis' high school
Great to get this kid out of Ohio. He could be the next Antoine Winfield who I think is the best corner I've seen besides Woodsen.
I personally am a big fan of Woodson
So if Crawford is the next Winfield, and Peppers is the new Woodson. Then that would bode well for our defense in a few years.
But he is from the same HS as Kyle Kalis. Wonder if that played into his recruiting at all.
Doesn't directly answer your question, but when Crawford committed I took a look at Rivals to see where Lakewood St. Edward was sending its top commits. Northwestern landed a four star in 2012 and two three stars in 2011. Ohio hasn't taken a recruit from the school since 2007, but Kalis is the only one since then who has had an OSU offer.
Wonder why Ohio hasn't taken or even offered anyone from St. Ed's. They're a powerhouse program. Same league as St. Ignatius - tough sledding in that league.
Currently ranked #2 in state of Ohio for Division I.
Is it that they don't have big enough butts for Urban?
there were 4 regions and 8 teams made the playoffs from each region. It looks like D1 only has2 regions now and the top 16 make it in
Just out of curiosity, what screen capture software do you use? I find Snapz Pro X to be pretty solid for streaming video.
I'm using iShowU. It tends to overload my laptop, which is why I had to capture the video in such a small size, so I might try that one out and see if it's any better. Thanks for the recommendation.
2015 makes him a junior right? There's a good chance he'll grow another inch or two by the time he gets to Michigan.
My son is a HS junior - he's still growing, but the vast majority of his friends and teammates are done, other than adding weight and muscle mass.
New Honey Badger
Minus the drugs, of course.
Excited, I am. Great get from Ohio. The knock on our recent crop of smallish DB's was/is their lack of physicality, but Crawford looks college-ready from a physical standpoint as a junior. I would love to see him at 5'11" by the time he enrolls, but I would take a more physical (and athletic?) version of Brandon Harrison any day.
CONS: NEEDS MOAR GROWTH SPURTZ.
Crawford is extremely athletic; he's been making waves on the track for longer than he's been considered a football prospect (and he started as a sophomore at St. Eds). He's posted electronic times of 10.8 in the 100 and 21.8 in the 200 and also had a 20-foot long jump last year. That speed and explosiveness translates pretty well to the football field, as you can see on the film.
Remember when Michigan seemed to continually have a lockdown secondary, with a prospect headed to NFL fame and fortune every year? I feel like that train has been started all over again. Work and talent mean the sky's the limit (or limited, in the case of a No Fly Zone). Go Blue!
Yeah, this kid is a crazy athlete. As others have said, his height, while not ideal, certainly doesn't preclude him from being a great CB. Very few college teams have big receivers who always run perfect routes and QBs who put it in the perfect spot.
It's embarrassing the lack of NFL players we've put out lately.
Yeah, but that's very clearly changing. Over the next two years, we'll have a pretty high number of guys drafted (Lewan, Ryan, Gardner, Gallon, very possibly Schofield, QW, and Fitz too). And the kids on the team with the most NFL upside are all underclassmen.
I'm just flat-out amazed at how fast he can break on the ball. I see many interceptions in his future with that kind of speed.
If he's gonna play safety, I could see becoming an Ahmad Black type of player, but BETTER.
Great tape on Crawford. Enjoyed the write-up too.
He looks athletic enough to do lots of things on the football field, and I think he'll be fine in coverage and could present a great option in the return game. He could also play the nickel if he adds a little bulk--this kid looks to have the speed and agility to cover the water bugs we often see in the slot.
Worst case scenario: he's a slot receiver. If his size truly limits him, he's a Norfleet type who can return and make an impact in the slot.
Love this pick-up by Hoke and crew.
So he plays safety in high school, has great break on the ball, has great football smarts and the ability to correctly diagnose plays, likes to hit hard and tackles with good form. But he may be too short to man up on big receivers.
Why exactly are we projecting him to cornerback and not safety? Because to me he sounds like the smaller, quicker version of Kovacs - has a physical limitation but is more than smart enough to make up for it.
Because in college, size is more important at safety than CB. And we would be wasting his speed and hips if we put him at safety.
Like Gallon, he plays like a full 5' 9."
While I am relatively confident that this is, in fact, film of Crawford, the veracity of the information is somewhat in doubt given the fact that the game film continually posts scores on the screen and refers to St. Ed's opponent as the "Panthers." As an Erie, PA native (and someone who played against both McDowell and St. Ed's), I can assure you that they are not the "Panthers." Rather, they are the McDowell Trojans (the same school who produced one of the many Iowa freshman RBs last season stricken down by AIRBHG).
I'm assuming that was a graphics mistake on the TV crew's part. I can assure you that this is the film from the St. Eds-Erie McDowell game; if you have any doubts about that, click on the link to the newspaper recap from the game.
Excited to see this kid in AA on Saturdays! I long for the days that we have so much talent that we no longer worry about a player leaving a year early because the player behind him steps right in! Go Blue
I think he would be great covering the other team slot guy with his ability to play the run and his fast change of direction.