Film and Ratings
St. Edward High School
5'8", 175 lbs
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Crawford ranks 89th in the 247 Composite. Yes, he's small, but his skill set is the reason why he'll remain a four-star prospect until his cycle concludes.
Crawford's major weakness is unfortunately something that he won't ever be able to change: being 5'8". He might grow an inch or two and push 5'10" by the time he sees the field in college, but even then he would be an undersized corner. He doesn't have Trey Burke short guy length, either. On the plus side, he's already filled out and won't need to wait long to see the field.
Prospects the size of Crawford usually aren't too strong, but this kid can still bring the heat. He breaks through tackles when the ball is in his hands, and receivers who don't see him coming often get 175 pounds of pain. He's never going to overpower a receiver or crush a ball carrier, but he'll do as much damage as any other defender his size.
Crawford runs a 4.5 forty because he gets out of the blocks like that. He's quicker than fast, but he'll still house a ball if he's left open. Corners can't stay with him coming out of breaks or take him down in the open field, and receivers can't beat him with cuts. Michigan would have liked to have him in the Outback Bowl to take care of Ace Sanders.
On-Field Awareness: B+
Awareness isn't a weakness of Crawford, who sees the field well on both sides of the ball. He'll find space with the ball in his hands and keep his eyes up on defense. Some players explode when they see an opportunity present itself on the field, and Crawford is one of those players.
Ball Skills: B+
I originally gave Crawford a B- rating here purely off of memory. Then, I watched his tape from beginning to end and was pleasantly surprised by his ability to pluck the ball for someone with little length to work with. He'll go up and get it, too.
This is really the only area where Crawford can makes strides. He can run much crisper routes on offense for someone who is so quick; this might be a result of playing against kids who can't stay with him, but it needs to be fixed by the time he gets to the next level. He also gets lazy with his footwork on defense, and he'll give receivers too much cushion in pass defense. He's not terrible by any means, but he has plenty of room for growth.
The vast majority of prospects under 5'9" would be lucky to see a C+ rating here. Crawford's combination of surprising strength, pure burst and football instincts make him an intriguing prospect who could go on to leave a mark on a program if he really hones in on his technique. He could go on to be a nightmare in the slot, or he could flip around and lock down players like himself while playing corner. He's a prospect with a great skill set for very specific roles.
Crawford was identified early as one of the top 2015 prospects in Ohio. He already holds offers from Arkansas, Florida State, Iowa, Miami(FL), Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State, Tennessee and West Virginia, among others.
Michigan has been on Crawford's mind for quite some time: he grew up a Michigan fan and made it clear that an offer from the Wolverines would make it difficult for any other school to get him. Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida State, Penn State, Miami, Michigan State and Cincinnati all came knocking before the Wolverines, who received multiple unofficial visits despite not yet pulling the trigger. Michigan eventually offered in early May, instantaneously shortening Crawford's timeline.
Tennessee looked like the only team capable of staying with the Wolverines early on in Crawford's recruitment, and recent visits to Miami and Notre Dame both gave him something to think about, but Crawford is clearly still heading to Michigan. He announced yesterday that he'll be deciding on August 23rd, and you already know what his decision will be.