Hello: Dallas Crawford

Submitted by Tim on November 11th, 2010 at 11:01 PM

Both premium sites are reporting that FL CB Dallas Crawford has committed to Michigan. Yay!

INFORMATIVE PORTION

crawfordmug.jpg

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN
3*, #32 CB 3*, 5.7, #23 CB 4*, 80, #8 CB, #142 Overall

Scout blurb on Crawford:

Crawford is an elite play-maker at QB and DB. He is a three year starter at QB, but projects to DB or WR at the next level. He has a tremendous natural ability to break on the football and can elevate to go get it(with great hands). His instincts are second to none and he has excellent pop as a tackler. Crawford lacks ideal height at 5'10, but is very strong on that frame. -Geoff Vogt, Florida Recruiting Analyst

They list his strengths as "Burst out of Breaks," "Instincts," and (perhaps most importantly for Michigan fans) "Tackling Ability." His only area for improvement is "Size," which, good luck with that.

As for that size, he's listed at 5-9 180 by Scout, and 5-10 185 by Rivals and ESPN, so I'll side with the majority there and give him the extra inch and five pounds. ESPN's evaluations are always breathless, but their talk on Crawford goes beyond that:

Crawford is simply one of the more instinctive defensive backs we have seen around the football in this class. A great overall athlete with excellent footwork and ball skills.

Before going any further, these are the things Michigan fans have been complaining about for the current DBs, no? Of course the height could be an issue, but ESPN says that he "plays taller." Without lifting their entire evaluation, we skip right to the moneyshot:

Crawford is still very scheme versatile as he could play corner or safety, a potentially great nickel and just a valuable defender in sub-packages. Simply a great playmaker with a nose for the football and some coveted intangibles.

Michigan picked up some smaller (Avery and Talbott) and a taller corner in the class of 2010, but Crawford is the third smurf-ish DB in the 2011 group. There's a chance he could stay at safety in college, but it seems more likely that he ends up on the corner.

Crawford's coach compares him favorably to Brodrick Jenkins, a South Fort Meyers product who now plies his trade at West Virginia:

“I tell all the programs that Dallas is as good as Brodrick. You better take him,” Redhead said. “He’s very talented. He’s got great grades. He’s going to make a great DB, slot receiver/running back in college. He’s just one of the best athletes, period.”

dcrawfordpassin.jpg

Crawford is also a productive QB for his high school, something that often correlates with good instincts (see: Avery, Courtney). He was profiled as the area's Most Outstanding Athlete as a junior:

It’s rare to see a quarterback, particularly one as gifted as Crawford, play so much on both sides of the ball. Coaches don’t like to risk injury to their star players more than they have to. For Redhead, though, it’s a risk he’s willing to take. Crawford’s athleticism at all positions make him a threat whenever he’s on the field, and Redhead says he’d be dumb not to let Crawford realize his full potential.

“He’s not going to help us standing next to me on the sidelines,” Redhead said. “He does some things I don’t think are possible. He’ll do some things where you say, ‘Don’t do that,’ but he comes out smelling like a rose. He’s so athletic and such a hard worker that it’s just easier for him.”

“Dallas is a phenomenal player,” Barron Collier coach Mark Ivey said. “He has an extremely strong arm and such great, athletic foot work. On defense, he’s an extremely powerful hitter.”

While he’s more than happy to help his team score points, Crawford calls himself a defensive player at heart. Being a quarterback has made him a better safety, he said, allowing him know what the opposing signal-caller is thinking.

An athlete that's too good to ever take off the field? An offensive star who considers him self more natural on defense? Yes, please.

OFFERS

Crawford's offer list has many mid-to-high level BCS programs, but very few upper echelon schools. Rivals has Georgia Tech, Iowa, Miami (YTM), and North Carolina as headliners, though Scout also credits him with LSU and Tennessee.

Crawford picked Michigan over the Hurricanes and Hawkeyes, not a bad pair of schools to beat out for a DB. That top three extended back to the summer.

STATS

Crawford's primary duty for South Fort Meyers is at quarterback, and he threw for 2,629 yards and 25 TDs while running for 422 yards and 5 TDs as a junior. On the defensive side of the ball, Crawford finished his junior year with 43 tackles and 10(!) interceptions, so he's no slouch as a high school DB, either. He was first-team all-state as an athlete, and the area defensive player of the year and 1st-team QB, all-district at free safety, and the Broxson Award winner as the Area MVP. Accolades: he has them.

He's been putting up good numbers in his senior season as well, so tune in for Friday Night Lights early next week to find out.

FAKE 40 TIME

None of the recruiting sites have a listed 40 time for Crawford, which makes them not so much fake but imaginary. I'll use my powers to credit him with a 4.1-second time, so I can dole out the coveted five FAKEs out of five to myself.

Realistically, he's a guy known more for his quickness and football speed than being a straight-line burner, so a time in the mid 4.5s is probably likely. Sam Webb estimates this much in the Detroit News.

VIDEO

Here's his junior year:

I couldn't find any free senior video on the tubes.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

Though Delonte Hollowell is ranked higher by Rivals, I think Crawford is probably the better corner in this class, and the most ready to earn immediate playing time. Instincts and quickness should help him to a key role on special teams as a true freshman, on coverage teams and potentially as a return guy. Michigan has three freshman corners this year that are all playing, and JT Floyd and Troy Woolfolk will both return from injury next year. There may be the luxury of a redshirt, as playing time in the secondary will be hard to come by in his first season, except in blowouts (unless the "undersized safety" suggestion by ESPN comes to fruition).

If Crawford doesn't redshirt, he'll have a bit of experience going into his sophomore year, with one of the corner positions opening up. He'll be in a battle with Courtney Avery, Terrence Talbott, and Cullen Christian for that spot. As a junior and senior, he'll get significant minutes in the secondary, even if he doesn't have a starting job.

Should he redshirt as a freshman, he'll get a bit of playing time on special teams and mop-up duty when he sees the field in 2012, then push for more playing time each year before locking down a spot as a junior and senior.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Michigan's recruiting at the corner position is almost certainly finished barring attrition or position changes, though they'll probably look for a safety or two to finish out the secondary. That means defensive line and linebacker become the areas of extreme focus. Michigan has about 21 scholarships to give out, and with 12 guys committed (13 if you count Antonio Kinard), they can be pretty selective about who gets the final spots.

...Speaking of players to fill the final spots, Crawford is teammates and friends with top WR/S Sammy Watkins. Landing Dallas may help the Wolverines beat Miami and Clemson for Watkins, which would be a major bonus to picking up a solid DB. Scout's experts think Watkins may follow Crawford.

Comments

bleednblue

November 12th, 2010 at 11:18 AM ^

Hurricane make up day.  No kids in school today (or yesterday).

In places like South Florida, "extra" days are scheduled into the school year (by starting the year earlier) to account for a possible loss of school days due to hurricanes. 

Hurricane season just ended + no hurricanes in SWFL this year = Time off to announce you're going to Michigan!

Go Blue!

MGoShoe

November 12th, 2010 at 10:38 AM ^

...schools were in his final list and his current season stats.

Crawford picked the Wolverines over Miami, Tennessee and West Virginia. He has been a starter at quarterback all four years for the Wolfpack, who are unbeaten and ranked No. 9 in Class 3A.

This season, Crawford is 78 of 104 for 1,464 yards, with 17 touchdowns and only one interception. He also has rushed for 312 yards and 11 touchdowns. However, Crawford was recruited as a defensive back, where he has 46 tackles and eight interceptions. He's rated the No. 23 cornerback by recruiting website Rivals.com.

WolvinLA2

November 12th, 2010 at 10:55 AM ^

Yeah, I was expecting the post to touch on the Greg Brown situation.  He's a solid verbal again on Rivals, but his rating went through the floor on their last re-rank.

If he decided to take his talents elsewhere and we got Countess in his place, I wouldn't be too upset about it.

profitgoblue

November 12th, 2010 at 10:38 AM ^

This is the best part of Tim's entire write-up (other than the fact that Dallas picked Michigan):

I'll use my powers to credit him with a 4.1-second time, so I can dole out the coveted five FAKEs out of five to myself.

I'm all about crediting myself with things that may or may not be supported with those elusive things people call "facts."

aawolve

November 12th, 2010 at 10:38 AM ^

Friday going good so far. I'm sitting here washing down bagels, donuts, and cake with coffee, while reading Hello posts and UFR's. Work can wait until Monday.

neoavatara

November 12th, 2010 at 10:39 AM ^

Is guaranteed a spot if he wants it.  Several of these guys could play safety if need be.  Also, I get the feeling that Greg Brown might be easing his way out, for better or worse.  With Avery Walls and Wayne Lyons in the fold, not to mention Moore from USC, this class could show huge dividends in the next few years. 

bronxblue

November 12th, 2010 at 11:14 AM ^

So happy to hear that Dallas is going Blue.

And what makes me even happier is that (hopefully) he'll be able to don one of rarest articles of clothing known to the UM secondary - a non-medical redshirt.  He may actually be able to develop for a year and then become a starter as a RS freshman, not be thrown out to the wolves in his first 2 weeks and struggle becoming acclimated to the college game. 

Bodogblog

November 12th, 2010 at 11:53 AM ^

HELLS YES!  Welcome Dallas, you're going to love this team and this school

I like this kid a lot, whether Watkins joins him or not.  Great Friday news

EDIT: watch the video and get even more excited.  Playmaker on both sides of the ball.  See 1:50, where he comes flying onto the screen saying "Don't know what bullshit this is you're trying to run, but it's over."  Also, whoever's field that is at 3:00, they need a new "M"

snowcrash

November 12th, 2010 at 11:31 AM ^

Looks like a good pickup. No apparent character or academic issues, good football smarts, good work ethic. Sort of a rich man's Courtney Avery given his QB background.

I don't like to see the words "true freshman" and "special teams" in the same sentence, though. I would not burn a guy's redshirt to play him on special teams unless he can be a true difference-maker as opposed to a 5% upgrade over the alternative.  

Seth

November 12th, 2010 at 11:41 AM ^

Does this not scream Harrison? Smart, instinctive player, good tackler, NOT fast, good student, undersized, may play safety, best used as a nickel back.

The 3-3-5 is a great defense against the spread. The other great defense against spread teams is a base nickel. The key for that is having a nickelback you can trust to make linebackerish plays. It's similar to Michigan's bandit position like that. I would guess, then, that Crawford is a future heir to Kovacs, not a cornerback.

Tim

November 12th, 2010 at 11:54 AM ^

Brandon Harrison was very fast, actually. Unfortunately, all he had was straight-line speed.

As I said in the post, he's more like a (slightly) shorter Courtney Avery, ime.

SWFlaBlue

November 12th, 2010 at 12:11 PM ^

as my son attends the same school. This kid is a tremendous leader and high character student in addition to being a flat phenomenal athlete. He never takes plays off and rarely leaves the field. On defense, his burst and quickness to the ball is outstanding. He breaks on the ball really well and can absolutely bring the wood, too.

During a game early in the year he knocked the opposing team's QB out cold with a stunning and clean hit, and then promptly stepped in front of a dig route for a pick six on the replacement QB's first throw.

Offensively, he's very skilled and smart with an above average arm and some serious shake. Sammy Watkins is the guy who gets all the acclaim because of his size, but Dallas is clearly the leader and better all-around player at this point. I have no doubt it will translate to the next level.

Can't wait to congratulate him on making the best decision of his life.

bing24

November 12th, 2010 at 12:14 PM ^

Dreads and speed...Plus he's a DB!!! Great pick up, now start workin on ur boy S. Watkins!

Big game tomorrow, let's mop up purdeuce (deuce - as in shit) and keep the momentum going for an upset against Wisc!

I think 8 Wins would look pretty attractive to recruits...