Florida corner likes UT

One of the top cornerback prospects in talent-rich Florida lists the Tennessee Vols among his five leaders at this time.

Dallas Crawford, a 5-10, 180-pounder from South Fort Myers High School, is rated a 3-star recruit and the No. 29 corner in America by Scout.com. He recorded 56 tackles last season and intercepted 10 passes, returning four for touchdowns, en route to first-team all-state recognition.

Also a skilled quarterback, Crawford passed for 2,629 yards and 28 touchdowns last fall, tacking on another 470 yards and 8 TDs rushing. He understands he'll be playing defense in college, however.

"Yeah," he said with a chuckle, "there's not too many places for 5-10 quarterbacks in college."

There's plenty of places for 5-10 cornerbacks with 4.47 speed and fluid hips, however. That's why Tennessee is among the "close to 30" schools he says have offered scholarships.

Crawford told InsideTennessee.com tonight that he has "a lot of interest in Tennessee." When asked if he has any favorite schools, he replied: "Right now it would be Miami, Michigan, Tennessee, Ole Miss and North Carolina."

Crawford won't be able to attend the Vols' July 20-22 camp but said "I'm going to try to get there sometime this summer."

The dynamic defensive back is being recruited by Tennessee quarterback coach Darin Hinshaw, a fellow Floridian.

"I met him in the spring. He came down and watched me practice," Crawford said. "He's a laid-back coach and a cool guy. He's from Punta Gorda, which is about 45 minutes from here."

Describing himself as "a hard-nosed football player that makes plays," Crawford said the thing he enjoys most about playing defense is "I like hitting. I like to come down and hit somebody in the mouth."

He has yet to speak with Vol head coach Derek Dooley but looks forward to the opportunity.

"I tried to call him one time," the player said, "but he's a busy guy."

Geoff Vogt, Scout.com's recruiting analyst for the state of Florida, has this to say about Crawford:

"Crawford is an elite play-maker at QB and DB. He is a three year starter at QB, but projects to DB or WR at the next level. He has a tremendous natural ability to break on the football and can elevate to go get it (with great hands). His instincts are second to none and he has excellent pop as a tackler. Crawford lacks ideal height at 5'10, but is very strong on that frame."

Tennessee also may get a visit from Crawford's go-to receiver, Sammy Watkins. The 6-1, 180-pounder is rated a 5-star recruit and the country's No. 3 wideout prospect by Scout.com. The duo attended Michigan's spring game together and may visit Tennessee in tandem.

"As far as I know, he's interested in Tennessee," Crawford said of Watkins. "Last time we talked he was."

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