Living up to the number

CLEMSON - These days, there's a certain level of expectation that comes with playing defensive end and wearing No. 93 at Clemson.

Gaines Adams and Da'Quan Bowers, two former Tiger defensive ends who both sported the number, set the bar high.

Freshman Corey Crawford now wears it. With or without 93, he's dealt with the pressure of becoming Clemson's next great pass rusher.

"At first, it was kind of a lot -- it wasn't a lot, I just didn't know if I could [handle the pressure]," he said. "As time went on, I realized I just have to do me, be the player I am, don't try to be Da'Quan Bowers or Gaines Adams.

"Both are great players. I just have to do what Corey Crawford can do. If they think that's good enough to wear No. 93, then I guess it's good enough."

To get there, it took a little longer than originally expected.

Crawford, who signed with Clemson out of high school in 2010, spent a prep season at Hargrave Military Academy last fall before arriving to campus in January.

While in prep school, Crawford assumed his first season at Clemson would be as a redshirt. That idea ceased to exist shortly after his arrival.

"I thought we had more depth at my position. Seeing that we didn't, I saw it as an opportunity to play early," he said. "I just had to do what I had to do."

So far, so good.

Three games into his career, Crawford has played a significant number of snaps at the bandit position.

He had one tackle In 21 snaps against Troy.

Against Wofford a week later, Crawford logged five tackles and a tackle for loss in 19 snaps.

In this past weekend's win against Auburn, he had one tackle in 13 snaps.

"I've still got a ways to go, to get where the coaches want me, and where I want myself. I do feel like I have gotten better since Hargrave, and even since high school," Crawford said.

Coming out of Carver High School in Columbus, Ga., Crawford was the No. 18 defensive end in the class of 2010. He had 87 tackles, 16 sacks, two recovered fumbles, two interceptions, and two returns for touchdowns that season.

The time between graduating high school and enrolling at Clemson has paid off.

"[Going to Hargrave] helped a lot. In practice, we always did the Oklahoma drill, to see who's the most physical person. I feel like that helped out a lot," Crawford said. Top Stories