Michigan added another receiver to its heralded recruiting class when Santa Margarita (Calif.) standout Dylan Crawford committed to the Wolverines moments ago during the U.S. Army All American Bowl. The four-star pass catcher selected the Wolverines out of a final six that also included Georgia, Miami, Stanford, UCLA and Washington.
Michigan had been a strong presence on Crawford’s radar since he first visited Ann Arbor the summer after his sophomore year. When Jim Harbaugh & company took the helm of the program last winter they immediately made the Golden State star a priority, but early season struggles on offense hurt the Maize & Blue’s standing. Then his official visit to Michigan in mid-October and the offensive surge during the second half of the season turned his perception around for good.
“Early on in the season I was kind of skeptical on if they were going to throw the ball or not, but as the season went on you obviously saw them doing a lot more in the passing game, doing different stuff in the passing game, getting it to a lot of different receivers in the passing game,” said Crawford. “So that was a good thing to watch.”
He found the growth of Jake Rudock particularly encouraging. It convinced him that the quarterback situation at Michigan will unquestionably be a good one as long as it has as its coach the man that has come to be known as the “quarterback whisperer.”
“I know they’ve got a commit here (in the Army game),” said Crawford. “He is on our team… Brandon Peters. He is going (to Michigan). He was at the Elite 11. I got to talk to him a little bit. Definitely there is an opening (at quarterback), but they’ll be able to do it. They’ll have quarterbacks. Jim Harbaugh will make sure they have quarterbacks.”
Even with the lure of Harbaugh at Michigan, Crawford’s decision to play so far away from home comes as a mild surprise to some… but not to those who listened intently to his take on the role distance would play in his decision.
“Obviously, I could play in California, but I feel like out-of-state, that’s a nice way to go,” Crawford told Scout.com. “Just get away from people and have a new life basically.”
And now that Crawford has set out on that path, maybe his friend and former little league teammate David Long will join him in Ann Arbor?
“We definitely talked about it before,” said Crawford. “It would be cool to play with him just because I played with him in Pop Warner… the Pasadena Trojans. There are a lot of people from that Pop Warner team going to the next level, so it would be exciting to watch."
All that stands in the way of that now is Long’s official visit to Washington the weekend of January 16th and a few officials that Crawford himself wants to take before signing day.
“I’ll probably take three (more visits),” said Crawford. “I’ll probably take one to Miami, one to Washington, and one to I think Georgia. I haven’t really got to get exposed to an SEC environment like that before so I think it would be fun to check that out.”
Stay tuned to the Michigan Insider for more on this breaking news story in the hours to come.