From Gaines Adams to Andre Branch, the Tigers have had a number of defensive ends that have gone on to be selected in the early rounds of the NFL Draft.
Malliciah Goodman could be next. From there, it appears that Crawford is on deck.
As a freshman last season, Crawford registered 29 tackles and two tackles for loss in 252 snaps over 14 games.
He'll have an opportunity to build upon those numbers in 2012. Crawford exited the spring as the starter at one of the end positions.
"It's real big. It's making me grow up more quickly than any other average sophomore," Crawford said. "It's making me mature as a player."
Victor Beasley has pushed Crawford for playing time.
"Beasley is a great football player. Right now, we're still competing. We compete every day. I'm being pushed every day by Beasley," Crawford said.
It was an up-and-down performance by Crawford during preseason camp.
"I've really gotten a lot of positive things back from my coaches. I've had a lot of days where I didn't have such good days, but I think I had more days that were good than were bad."
On the good days, the 6-foot-6, 265-pound defensive end was, "Just doing what was asked of me and what I'm coached to do."
He added, "Just being a physical player and trying to dominate my opponents."
And what about the bad days?
"Bad technique, moving slow off the ball, like I'm moving in mud -- things like that," he said.
Heading into the season opener against Auburn, Crawford feels he's refined a few aspects of his game over the last year.
"Probably now, I just feel like I pass rush [better] now than I did in the spring and [last] season. My run game is coming along. It's come a long way," he said.
Ready for his time
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