Target 2004: Paul Crews

Interest in Northern Vance defensive back Paul Crews began to grow significantly following the 2002 season, in which he recorded 96 tackles, 8 interceptions and a blocked punt for the 11-1 Vikings.

"Paul is a leader in our secondary, who has been doing a great job for the last two years," Northern Vance head coach Randy Long said. "He just keeps getting better and better, and we expect great things from him for next year. He was a captain on our team as a junior, and that shows that the players and the coaching staff look up to him."

Crews' junior season was good enough for him to be named First Team All-Northern Conference (2-A).

"At first, it started off kind of slow," Crews said. "By the beginning of my sophomore year, I started getting a little attention. After my junior year – with the type of season that I had – it picked up a whole lot.

"I'm loving the schools that are talking to me."

North Carolina has contacted Long, but has yet to offer Crews.

"I haven't talked with them on the phone or anything like that, but they've been sending me letters and they have talked to my coach," Crews said.

As of Monday, Crews listed N.C. State, UNC and Virginia as his top three, but with no clear-cut favorite. However, the fact that he holds the Tar Heels in such high regard could put them in line for Crews' services if and when they begin to recruit him more actively.

"Carolina is a great school for anybody to go to," Crews said. "You can get a great education, and I love their sports. I love what Coach [John] Bunting is doing down there. They have a lot of great players, and they are building for their future. I like where they are headed right now."

As an active three-sport star, Crews is in excellent shape. Keeping weight on during the year is the existing concern of the Northern Vance football coaches. Crews is in Long's weight training class now in hopes of adding about 10 pounds of muscle.

"We just want him to get physically bigger," Long said. "He's at about 165 or 168 [pounds] right now. By next season, we hope to have him up to about 178. He's runs track, so he's going to get faster. He got faster from the year before to last year."

Crews is also considering Miami, Colorado, South Carolina, Florida, Michigan, and Notre Dame. He plans to make his decision following the Vikings' 2003 campaign.

"He's a good role model and student-athlete," Long said.

Paul Crews
1st Position: CB
Ht: 5-11
Wt: 165
40-Time: 4.45

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