Introducing the 2005 Class: Grant Crunkleton

The Pac-10 conference is widely known for its high passing offenses and exciting brand of football. Thus, topflight quarterbacks and wide receivers yearn to play in this league and strut their skills. On the other hand, some cornerbacks may not be so eager to spend their college career chasing down some of the best wide-outs in the nation. Then again, some corners, such as Grant Crunkleton, not only stand up to the challenge, but also realize the benefits associated with it.

"For that reason exactly I wanted to play in the Pac-10," said the 5-11 180 Grant Crunkleton. "The Pac-10 puts the ball in the air a lot, and that will give me the best experience because I'm covering the best receivers in the country. I want to prove myself as much as I can. Playing in this league can also help me play at the next level."

These days Crunkleton, who won a state championship last season with Mullen (Denver, Colo.) high school, is participating twice a week in informal 7 on 7 drills. The distinctions may be small in number, but are nonetheless noticeable. "The only difference from high school to college is that the quarterback puts the ball on the money," stated the cornerback, "and the routes the receivers run are cleaner." In these drills the incoming freshman is asked at times to guard one of the best receivers in the country, and true to form he relishes in that challenge. "When I go up against Derek Hagan, I look forward to covering him," he explained. "It's only gonna make me better. Right now when I do these drills, I feel that I can play on this level."

In recent years, Arizona State has been able to recruit well in the state of Colorado. The Sun Devils targeted Crunkleton, a 2004 PrepStar Magazine pre- and postseason all-Region selection, fairly early in the recruiting process. "(Safeties) Coach Fidler came to my spring practice after my junior year," the cornerback recalled. "I felt he was real honest with me, didn't sugarcoat anything, and that the program really wanted me. When they started to recruit me, Arizona State was at the bottom of my list. But after I researched the program I obviously changed my mind."

"ASU offered me first before Colorado did," Crunkleton continued. "I actually met Coach Fidler after ASU had already offered. Kansas State, UCLA, Oregon, and Colorado State also offered me. I really wanted to leave the state, and experience new stuff."

An obviously great official visit to Tempe, convinced the Colorado native to don the maroon and gold. Furthermore, meeting his future position coach left a positive impression. "I really like Coach Carrier," Crunkleton commented. "It's good to be coached by someone who played at the next level, because that's where I want to be. I know he can teach me a lot. I also felt like they could use some depth at cornerback, so if I came out here and preformed I would have a chance to play early.."

During his senior campaign, Crunkleton collected over 120 tackles, seven interceptions and one quarterback sack. "I like to press and be in your face," he said of his skills. "I try to shut down every receiver that I guard. I need to work on my tackling and understanding the game a little bit more. I run a 4.46 on grass, and one day I'd like to run a legitimate 4.3." The all-state defensive back, would also like an opportunity to play on special teams, an area where he excelled at Mullen.

The calendar shows that the team's grueling off-season conditioning program is about to come to an end. The start of this event may have been rough, but the incoming freshman says that everything now feels more natural. "The conditioning program is very different than high school, so it was a rude awakening when I got here," he remarked. "I really didn't know what to expect, but I like it. The workouts are probably more mental than physical. After the first week, I got used to the workouts. The whole atmosphere is a new experience for me, and I'm really enjoying it."

No one position on the team will have as dramatic of a new look, as the cornerbacks unit. The group will have six players that haven't played a down in the Pac-10, with four of them joining the team last month. "It does help in the transition that they are some new players," said Crunkleton. "It always good to have experienced players coming back, but having a lot of new players gives me an opportunity to showcase my skills and get playing time. I wouldn't be disappointed if I redshirted. I'll take anything they give me. If I'm not gonna get a lot of playing time, it's probably best if I redshirt and get better."

As the old saying goes, the cream rises to the top. With an uncertain cornerback depth chart looming for fall camp, Crunkleton could face that Pac-10 challenge he so enjoys sooner rather than later.

Recruit Profile


Grant Crunkleton

High School

Mullen (Denver, Col.)







Date of birth



Aurora, Col.



Favorite TV show


Favorite movie

"The Program"

Favorite singer/band


Favorite food

"BBQ Chicken"

Favorite drink


Favorite athlete

"Michael Jordan"

Favorite pro team

"Denver Broncos"

Person you most admire

"My mom. She has been through a lot, but she stays strong and continues to push."

First football memory

"Scoring nine touchdowns in Pop Warner, when I was nine. Parents started talking smack to me, and my dad got into to it with them (smile)."

One thing most people don't know about me

"I'm pretty simple (smile). There's not much people don't know about me."

Why did you choose ASU?

"Coming out for a visit, it felt like a second home. I felt real comfortable with the players."

Where do you want to be in ten years?

"Retired from the NFL and having my own business (smile). Maybe be a sports agent."

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