This season, another juco corner will try to make an impact for SMU.
"My approach coming in is just to work hard. I'm not much of a big talker guy, I'm just going to do what I'm told and do it to the best of my ability. Sterling is a guy that I could model my experience after," said Richard Crawford. "I'm very excited to get there. I can't wait to play Tech. I hear the other corners had great springs, that is good. If you want to be successful in football these days, you have to have four to five good corners. I'm excited to get going."
A two-year stater for Saddleback junior college, Crawford recorded 34 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, six interceptions, five pass breakups in 2009. He knows while his numbers were good at the junior college level, he will even have to be better to hit the field at SMU.
"I have been going to this place called Athletic Republic. A lot of big time athletes train there, including some NFL guys. Josh Childress trains there. What I have been mostly working on is my explosion. I also have been lifting weights," said the 2010 signee.
While one of the biggest story-lines this spring was the battle for the starting corner opposite of Sterling Moore, Crawford was sitting at home reading about it on the Internet.
"I really tried to keep up, checking out practice reports, and Facebooking some of the guys including Sterling. I also talked with K.G. and J.R."
While SMU special teams coach Dennis McKnight told PonyStampede.com that finding a returner in the spring wasn't really a must for the team, no one stood out. Crawford knows that his skills at the position might be just what the Mustangs need .
"When it comes to punt returns, I'm a two-year starter. What my coaches loved about me more than anything is that I catch the ball. I always do a good job of ball security and that is the first thing I focus on," said Crawford. "The second thing I'm going to do is find the hole. I think that I do that pretty well. I think I could bring it to the table at SMU."