Speedy Crawford looks to elevate role

Antonio Crawford is one of the team's fastest players and has served as the nickle back the last two seasons. He's looking to elevate his role this coming season.

As a recruit: Antonio Crawford played for one of the state's premier prep programs at Plant High. He helped them win a state championship as a senior. Playing both ways, he finished his senior season with over 700 yards receiving and six touchdowns. On defense, he added 61 tackles and four interceptions. Crawford made an early commitment to Georgia Tech but Miami offered him after the state championship game and he committed a short time later. Those were the only two schools he made official visits to.

As a Hurricane: It didn't take long for Crawford to break into the rotation. He played in all 12 games as a true freshman in 2012, serving as the team's nickle back and also playing a key role on special teams. He finished with seven tackles. He saw an increased role as a sophomore last season. He played in all 13 games, starting two, and finished the season with 32 tackles and one interception. He had a solid spring and finished behind Tracy Howard and Artie Burns as the team's third corner.

What to expect: The third corner likely means he'll continue serving as the team's fifth defensive back when it goes into a nickle package. He has 25 games worth of experience and is one of the team's fastest players. Even if he's unable to beat out Burns as the team's other starter (opposite Howard), there's no reason to believe that he shouldn't become one of the league's top third corners. His quality play will provide proof that Miami has solid depth at the cornerback position. Expect a very solid junior season from this talented youngster.

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