Scout: 4-star, # 98 OVR, #10 CB
ESPN: 4-star, #49 OVR, #5 CB
247Sports: 4-star, #156 OVR, #17 CB
The 2015 class makes another big, big splash landing OH CB Shawn Crawford; ending one of the more predictable outcomes in my time here at Maize N Blue Nation. Crawford always had love for Michigan, and after naming them his leader following the BBQ -- shocker I know. They should just cancel this event all together. Nothing good comes of it anyway -- this one turned into a no-brainer. Chalk another on up for the good guys!
A consensus 4-star (he will be on Rivals once they update), ranking in the top 20 of his position group, Crawford is a great way to kick off the defensive side of this class. A smaller defensive back at 5'9, teetering around 170-175 lbs., he is not the typical corner Hoke and co. have gone after in recent past. But don't be mistaken, height is the only thing Crawford has going against him. He has great athleticism and pretty good to great speed. Pretty good according to Rivals at a 4.5, great says 247Sports, who saw Crawford run a 4.3 40 at the Raw Talent Combine last winter on his way to being ranked the #2 performer:
2. Shaun Crawford, CB, Lakewood St. Edward: A rare two-way player at Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward that pulled it off as a sophomore this past fall, the 5-foot-9, 165-pound Crawford was able to show why he is one of the state’s top prospects in 2015. Crawford ran a pair of sub 4.4 40-yard dashes during testing including a 4.34 according to the event staff. He is smooth in his back-pedal and explodes out of it when breaking on the football. Crawford was unable to participate in 1-on-1s because of a cut on his eye but was flawless through everything else...Whichever school Crawford ends up at, he’ll also run track.Flawless is always a bring-a-smile-to-your-face, best-case-compliment word that you want to hear when describing any player on your team. This analysis goes even further back mentioning the word "legend"; from a year ago as a sophomore from Scout's Bill Green:
"Sophomore Shaun Crawford is already a track legend in Ohio, and his speed is well-known. Crawford showed Tuesday he is also a fine football prospect as a slot receiver. He caught everything thrown his way and had the ability to make people miss. One to watch for 2015."So Green thinks he can he can shine on the offensive side of the ball. How about his defensive game?? Rivals' Mark Gilver had this to say:
Shaun Crawford is as good in run support as any corner I've seen come out of Ohio the last few years.Not 2 minutes later, Crawford tweeted this:
— Marc Givler (@MarcGivlerBG) August 17, 2013
I love hittingSo we have a kid who is the best run-supporting defensive back in the last few years out of the talent-rich state of Ohio who has a love for hitting, but has the athleticism and speed to cover opposing wide receivers? Am I re-writing my Jabrill Pepper's Incoming post, 'cuz it sure feels like it. This gives us more-than-enough reason to believe Crawford is ranked as high as the #3 player in the state (also from Gilver); Size seems to be the only thing holding him back.
— Shaun Crawford (@Crawf_4) August 17, 2013
One last thing to note: Crawford's weight already compares to most CB commits Michigan has picked up in the last couple years...as a junior in HS (!!). Difference? Most those guys are 6'1 or taller. So yeah...Crawford is a thick body who will be able to handle/bring a hit...or twelve. The '15 class now has 3 of 5 commits considered to be top 50 prospects. The hot start continues.
Crawford had a pretty decent offer list from the likes of Ark., Cincy, FSU, Illinois, Iowa, UK, Miami (FL), MSU, Northwestern, Penn St., Tenn. and WVU. He was awaiting offers from ND and OSU, but they never came before his commitment. ND would've been biggest threat, but don't think they would have been a factor.
Notice Crawford's big hit ability. Kid can bring the pain! Most importantly though, Crawford is a very smart tackler, almost never missing, and has a knack for causing a turnover. Two things Mattison is going to be happy about when it comes to his development (or no need to) in the future.
Something Scary to Think About
I'm scared just trying to think about what to write. Crawford is the lone defender so far in this class, but two 5-stars from previous classes join him in Thomas and Peppers. Put Thomas at safety, Crawford and Peppers at each corner...Need I say more? Getchur' popcorn ready for big hit's, an insane amount of speed, and they've got some athletic ability too...I guess. I see Michigan's turnover margin to be in their favor big-time come '15 or '16.
*Stay tuned tomorrow as well. Looks like some good news may come for the Wolverines...*