In competitive lifting, each competitor receives three attempts at both the bench press and ‘clean and jerk.' The competitor's maxes in the two lifts are combined to give a total score.
"You start off with something that usually you can get that's around your max," Crowley said. "You want to end your third one on your best lift."
On the bench press, Crowley maxed out at 370 pounds. He missed a later attempt of 380, which put him behind heading into clean and jerk.
Crowley started off clean-and-jerk with 325 pounds and then successfully lifted 335 pounds. Although he closed the gap, he was trailing the leader, Joshua Rimes, by 15 pounds as Crowley approached his third and final try. Since Crowley weighed less than Rimes, Crowley would have been given the tie-breaker. Thus, he attempted and failed to put up 350 pounds.
"I barely missed it," Crowley said. "I got under it but I couldn't get it up."
Since his senior football season concluded, Crowley has put on ten pounds (he played at about 275 pounds) while following a weight room workout designed by his weightlifting coach, who is also Nease's offensive line coach. But, he follows the running portion of the regimen UNC sends its signees.
"I do my coach's workout, because it's for competitive lifting so it's a little bit more aggressive and works different muscles," Crowley said.
Although the communication hasn't been as frequent, Crowley says he remains in regular communication with both UNC assistant coaches Dan Disch and Chris Kapilovic.
"Mainly we just talk about how I'm doing and how they're doing," Crowley said. "They ask me where I'm at lifting wise and where I'm at running wise."
The UNC coaches expect Crowley to immediately compete for playing time behind starting center Russell Bodine.
"Coach Kap told me I'm definitely going to come in and compete," Crowley said. "And if he feels that I have worked myself into the position to play, he wants me to come in at second string.
"I will do whatever the coaches want me to do. If they need me, then I'm there. If they want me to red-shirt, then I'll red-shirt."
Crowley would like to wear his high school jersey number, No. 68, at UNC, but he'll have to wait at least a season to land that number. Soon-to-be senior James Hurst currently holds that number at UNC.
"Once he graduates, I'd like to get [No. 68]," Crowley said. "My brother wore that number in high school. So my sophomore year – my first year on varsity – I decided to switch to that number."
Crowley, who's academically qualified, says he'll report on campus on June 17. However, he plans to arrive in the area a few days before that and stay with family in Cary.
Crowley has talked with fellow signee Brad Henson about rooming together along with R.J. Prince, a freshman who's been on campus since January.