Rutgers track and field star Corey Crawford and women's soccer leader Brianne Reed took home the ultimate honors Tuesday night as the Scarlet Knights' representatives for the Big Ten Medal of Honor.
A prestigious award filled with history, the honor was not lost on Crawford. Crawford is a sixth-year senior for Rutgers, who spoke with last year's winner David Milewski for advice about a speech.
"When I found out I had to speak, I was like, ‘Oh my god, I have to follow in Dave’s shoes?’” Crawford said. “Dave is a great guy. He’s been awesome to me. He sent me his speech, told me to speak from the heart and tell my story. I have six years of material. I could’ve kept going.”
How could his senior year end better? Crawford has an idea.
"Yeah, I could win an NCAA championship and beat a guy from Arkansas who beat me," Crawford said. "No matter how this year turns out, I got my Big Ten medal. That's why I gave [former athletic director] Tim [Pernetti] a shoutout. A lot of people don't know in here, but without Tim, all of this wouldn't have happened."
Rutgers honored many individuals and teams during its R Awards, and sophomore two-time All-American wrestler Anthony Ashnault yet again earned his time in the spotlight.
"It's awesome, you see every athletic program here making strides," Ashnault said. "Whether it's going from the bottom to the middle or the middle to the top, everyone is making strides and everyone wants to be the best. You see women's soccer taking fourth and everyone wants to be like them."