South Fort Myers CB/ATH Dallas Crawford has known for weeks which program fits him best. From the moment he set foot in the Big House for Michigan's spring game back in April he began expressing a growing affinity for Maize & Blue. When he returned in October to see take in the gameday atmosphere firsthand, the experience proved to be the clincher.
"When I was up there for the two visits, the fans were crazy," Crawford recalled. "The atmosphere was crazy! (The Wolverines) were always up there (on his list), but I didn't really know (Michigan was the place he wanted to be) until this last visit. I got to know some of the academic advisors at Michigan a little bit. The academics at Michigan are great. It felt like a place that I could be for four to five years. After seeing the Big House, seeing the game, and seeing the potential that I could play there early that's what really did it."
Once Crawford arrives in Ann Arbor he will likely do so as a cornerback. That said, the overwhelming versatility he has displayed as a high school QB/RB/WR/S/CB is something his future coaches might look to tap also into.
"They're talking about me playing everything," Crawford said excitedly. "They're talking corner, safety, and possibly a wildcat package. I just talked to Rich Rodriguez (Wednesday) and he was talking about wildcat. It is wherever I can make an impact. It don't really matter me. I can see me trying corner. I like safety better, but I can see myself playing corner at Michigan."
"I'm a kid that is always around the ball -- a ball hawk. If the ball is in the air, it's mine! That's how I like to play the game. I will tackle. I'm not afraid of contact – not afraid to come up and hit any fullback or any running back in the backfield."
Spoken like a youngster that flies at ball carriers like a heat-seeking missile. As a matter of fact, it's spoken like a youngster that has been overwhelmingly effective virtually every position he has played. As a junior Crawford was named First Team All State Athlete for 3A classification, defensive Player of the Year by the Ft. Myers News-Press, and First Team All Area at QB by the Naples News after throwing for 2,629 yards with 25 TDs, rushing for 422 rushing yards and five TDs, and registering 43 tackles and 10 interceptions on defense. He has similarly effective this year in leading his team to a 9-0 record.
His right hand man throughout his high school career has been five-star WR/DB Sammy Watkins. Now that Crawford is officially a Wolverine, he plans to put on his recruiting hat in hopes of luring his play-making cohort to Ann Arbor.
"You know I'll try to get him there," said Crawford of Watkins. "I just want him to do what's best for him. If he feels that another school better fit his talent then he has to do what he has to do. He's like my brother and I just want him to be happy. I know Michigan is right up there in his top three or four. I know they are right there, neck and neck with Miami and Clemson. You know Sammy, he doesn't really talk too much, so it is totally up to him."
The duo will be back on campus in the coming months for their official visit in the coming weeks. In the meantime both youngsters are completely focused on the task at hand.
Winning a state title.