2018 Rockdale (Tex.) wide receiver JaQuayln Crawford's recruitment started with an SMU offer and now some of the schools in his Top 10 are some of the biggest Power Five schools in the country. SMU though, is still in it for Crawford and his relationship with wide receivers coach Justin Stepp is a big reason why.
"That's my dude. Me and coach Stepp are so close. I tell him stuff that I don't tell my mom," Crawford told Scout. "That should tell you everything you need to know about me and coach Stepp. They're Top 5."
Stepp made a big impression early on by being the first to offer and told Crawford that he would offer. Sure enough, Stepp did just that.
"I've had coaches come to me and BS me. He was my first offer. He followed me on Twitter one Wednesday night and came to my school on that Thursday morning. The offer came on that Friday morning," the four-star receiver said. "I've talked to coaches that have told me they'd do stuff then not do it. Him staying true to his word means a lot to me."
SMU stands out because of the combination of academics and football.
"It's a real nice school, great education. It's in Dallas so that's nice. I can go there and play right away. Coach Stepp said they'll find a way to get me the ball."
One of the most important factors in Crawford's recruitment is his mom, who SMU has impressed as well. The Mustangs lead for mom at this point.
"That's where my mom wants me to go. My goal in life is to make her happy so if that's what it's going to take, that's what it's going to take," Crawford said. "Her and coach Stepp talk a lot too so that's pretty big. He's got a relationship with my mom too."
Nebraska, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Florida and Georgia are a few of the schools coming after Crawford the hardest. Crawford's Top 10 though featured SMU along with Auburn, Florida, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, Texas, Texas Tech and TCU.
Scout's No. 261 overall prospect recently took in Texas' Junior Day and was impressed with Tom Herman's program.
"I like Texas because of the staff. They offered me at Houston and then offered me at Texas so they showed they really wanted me," Crawford said. "I like what they're doing with the program at UT and how they can use me at UT."
At The Opening in Dallas, Crawford wanted to show just how much he's improved, checking in at 5-9.5, 161 pounds and clocking at 4.55. Crawford was one of Scout's Top 10 performers on offense at The Opening. http://www.scout.com/college/football/recruiting/story/1761507-4-star-ja...
"Just show that my skill set is as good as anyone's in the area and country," Crawford said. "I've been working to get my routes better and my quickness better. My shuttle improved by a half-second."
Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Baylor are schools that will get visits soon from Crawford. Florida State is another school showing interest in Crawford.
The No. 9 wide receiver in Texas plans to take his official visits during his senior season and then decide, but admitted to Scout's Greg Powers that he might even silent commit somewhere along the way.
"I am going to take the visits," Crawford told Powers at The Opening. "If I do have a decision I will probably be silent about it and let everybody know on signing day or pick on signing day, but I want to commit sometime early in my season or sometime before."