2011 Intro: Jamison Crowder

MONROE, N.C. --- Jamison Crowder had a Devin Hester-like campaign for Monroe High last season, returning five punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns.

"I really don't have a secret," Crowder said. "I just do what I know to do best: just run to make plays happen. And my teammates do a good job of blocking and setting up lanes."

Crowder, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound athlete, didn't solely make an impact on special teams.

"He does a lot of things offensively and defensively," Monroe head football coach Johnny Sowell said. "When you have an athlete as skilled [as Crowder], people have to prepare for him. If he's on offense, you've got to know if he's playing the slot, the X or the Z, [and] how you're going to defend it. If he's on the defense, you've got to know where he's at in coverage or if we're bringing him on a blitz."

This past season, Crowder mainly played the ‘X' receiver (split end), while Isaac Blakeney, who will sign with Duke on Signing Day, lined up at ‘Y' receiver (flanker).

"A lot of people had to move over there [to Blakeney] to make the adjustment and that left Jamison one-on-one," Sowell said.

As a result, Crowder ended the season with 630 yards and 13 touchdowns receiving.

With Blakeney graduating, Sowell is now charged with finding creative ways for using Crowder, who will now be the primary focus of opposing defenses.

"He may play the ‘Y' position because of the things we want to do with him in motion, we may put him in the backfield with some wildcat kind of stuff," Sowell said. "There're a lot of things that we may do next year that we didn't do with him [last] year."

Defensively, Crowder plays a "centerfielder" style safety.

"We do a lot of man-free, which leaves him free," Sowell said. "When we're in cover-two, he has a zone. A lot of times when we go to our cover-two, we normally bring the strong safety – we normally roll him or roll the corner and that moves him out to the corner."

Outside of football, Crowder stars at point guard for Monroe's basketball team, which is off to a 17-1 start.

Because of his versatility, Crowder is being recruited as an athlete. He has already received scholarship offers with that label from Duke and North Carolina, while schools like Clemson, NC State, and Oregon have expressed strong interest.

"[In college] he may one year play on the offensive side and next year be playing on the defensive side," Sowell said. "Everybody wants an athlete. Once they get the athlete it's ‘What are my needs? Do I need him on offense or do I need him on defense.'"

Sowell, who was college teammates and roommates with UNC assistant coach Everett Withers at Appalachian State, believes Crowder could excel on either said of the ball.

Crowder heads into the recruiting process with no favorite schools.

"I'm just looking at my options and seeing what would be best for me and my future," Crowder said. "I don't really have a favorite right now."

Crowder doesn't plan to make a verbal commitment until sometime during his senior year.

"[I'll commit] when I feel the time is best," Crowder said.

This weekend, Crowder will attend Duke's Junior Day. He also plans to be at UNC's Junior Day and make a visit to Clemson sometime this spring.

Jamison Crowder Profile

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