The new No. 93

CLEMSON - Corey Crawford's journey to Clemson took a slight detour through Chatham, Va., but he's happy to finally be in Tigertown.

During his final two seasons at Carver, Crawford had 159 tackles and 23 sacks. As a senior at Carver High School in Columbus, Ga., he was given four-star billing by Scout.com and Atlanta Journal Constitution Player-of-the-Year.

Crawford went on to sign with the Tigers' 2010 class, but didn't pick up a qualifying test score last fall. With classes already two weeks into the semester, instead of enrolling at Clemson, he spent the fall at Hargrave Military Academy.

"It was frustrating, but I knew it all came back on me," Crawford said. "If I had gotten my grades the first time, I wouldn't have been there."

The adjustment wasn't easy.

"I didn't like that environment, at first, but it helped me out a lot, going to a military school," he said. "When I got here, it made the transition a bit easier than the freshmen that came in earlier."

Crawford said the semester at Hargrave also helped his transition on the field.

"It taught me more technique than what I did in high school. The competition in prep school wasn't that [much] more complicated than it was in high school," he said. "Technique-wise, it's made it a bit easier."

Crawford's spent the majority of spring practice occupying the second-team bandit end spot. He was on the first-team all of last week with Andre Branch out because of a death in the family.

During Saturday's stadium scrimmage, Crawford picked up a fumbled snap and returned it 87 yards for a touchdown.

"When I was running, I didn't see it then, but when I watched the film, I saw one of my teammates, Martin Jenkins, run from a long way to block one of the wide receivers," Crawford said. "If it wasn't for him blocking, I wouldn't have scored.

"It was tiring. It was the longest 87 yards I've ever ran in my life. I felt good, and I felt like I accomplished something that day."

The play was a flash of brilliance that's come to be expected from a defensive end wearing No. 93.

"They just don't give that number out to anybody," Crawford said. "You have to live up to it."

Crawford is well aware of the standard that was set by Gaines Adams and Da'Quan Bowers, the previous two Tigers to don the number.

"It was the number I had in high school, 93. The coaches thought I would look good with that number. I just took it," Crawford said. "I know there are some great players that had it. It makes me want to play harder, to be as good as or even better than what they were."

So far, life as Clemson's new No. 93 is going well.

"I have to say, if it wasn't for some of my teammates, like Andre Branch, Malliciah Goodman and Kourtnei Brown, all of them showing me the ropes, I don't think it would be going as good as it has," Crawford said. "I give a lot of my credit to my upperclassmen."

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