Illinois had been in contact for some time, but things picked up in a hurry, and Crawford decided to visit Illinois earlier this week.
"I've been talking to them for a while and decided to visit Tuesday," he said.
And once he got to Illinois, he felt comfortable with the players and coaches and decided that Illinois was right for him. He has a couple former teammates from St. Thomas Aquinas at Illinois in Justin DuVernois and Dami Ayoola, too.
"It was a great fit for me and the players are cool as well as the coaches," Crawford said. "It helped knowing a couple guys, but we didn't really talk much. I wasn't with them for long."
Crawford says he projects at either free safety or strong safety but isn't sure which in particular yet.
Throughout the process, it was defensive coordinator Tim Banks leading the charge for Crawford.
"It was coach Banks (recruiting me)," he said. "He was really cool and seemed like a players coach."