"I thought they were going to offer me, but I figured it would be during my senior year or after it," said Crawford. "I didn't think it would be before it even started... before the summer even got here.
"That was the thing I had been thinking the whole time. I thought schools were going to put me on hold until my senior year. I guess I just thought they wanted to see me play some more, but NC State and West Virginia don't have to."
Crawford, who picked up his first offer from West Virginia last month, was happy to see NC State extend a scholarship offer.
"It's great," he stated. "I mean it's NC State... NC State is an impressive offer. It's an in-state school... it's impressive. There's really not much more you can say.
"I haven't been up there yet for a visit but with it being in-state it's only like two hours away so as soon as I can get up there I will. I know coach O'Brien is a real good coach. At Boston College, their staff won a lot of games and had a good program. I'd love to be a part of what they are building at NC State."
To land a commitment from Crawford, NC State is going to have to overcome a lead that West Virginia has built. Programs such as Clemson, North Carolina, Duke, South Carolina, and Georgia Tech are expressing strong interest, but the Big East program has the early advantage. The Mountaineers have been heavily recruiting Crawford and teammate Justin Foxx, and the early attention has them out front with the 6-foot-5, 220-pound rising senior.
"West Virginia is my leader right now," said Crawford. "I'm kind of close to committing to them. I just love the defense they run and I think I fit into it. I talked with coach Stewart and he was real nice, and I love the program. They win a lot of games."
Crawford has yet to visit West Virginia but plans to do so in the near future. As a junior, he tallied an astounding 18 sacks for Victory Christian.
"He's a great up-field pass rusher," Victory Christian head coach Frank Crockett previously informed Inside Carolina's Don Callahan. "He puts you in the mind of a young man we had here a year and a half ago -- Kourtnei Brown. [He's a] speed rusher, great contain guy, heads up type player -- a player that gets a lot of sacks because of his athleticism.
"He's very smart, very intelligent. Great speed, great hands, great footwork -- those are his best assets as a defensive end."
Crawford has a timeframe for a final decision in mind.
"I would like to make a verbal commitment before my senior season starts," he stated. "That way I can only worry about my season."
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