Massillon Washington (Ohio) outside linebacker Shawn Crable is one of the nation's most highly touted defensive prospects. He combines freakish athleticism and speed (4.6 forty) with his imposing 6'6, 225 pound frame to cause havoc on opposing offenses. Starting since his sophomore year for perennial power Washington, Crable racked up 105 tackles, 6 sacks, and 2 interceptions last year.
"I'm looking at around seven or eight schools right now," said Crable. "Michigan, Ohio State, USC, Miami, Pitt, and Maryland." All of his favorites have offered in addition to over 30 other schools. Crable is an impressive kid and has put a lot of thought into what's important to him in choosing a college, "Mostly school. You know, what they have to offer in what I want to study. I want to study business. I don't know what yet, but I want to study something in business. I want to get into a little bit of education too. So I'm looking for what they have in that department. I'm also looking at what kind of players I'll be around. You know, the people who you're involved with kind of make you who you are. So, if you hang out with people with bad character, you have a tendency to get into trouble and make unwise choices. I want to hang around people who have the same hopes and the same dreams I have, in going to college, playing in a Bowl game, and winning the National Championship. The down to business people." Crable is part of a tight knit family and touched on whether or not that will impact his decision, "I'm looking at my mom because she and my brother said that wherever I go, no matter how far it is, they'll be there to watch me," he said. "She let me know what's going on there, so distance isn't really something that worries me now."
With his size, it's no wonder that a lot of colleges have spoken to Crable about moving to defensive end in college. However, he does have a preference for linebacker, "I like to play linebacker because I can see the field well. I see something coming and I like to go to it," he said. "I'm not a defensive end where I sit and wait for something to happen. At linebacker you get a lot of different things coming at you. One minute they might be trying to read you, then they'll try to run a counter at you, then they'll pass and you get to go into coverage and everything like that."
Crable has listed the Trojans among his favorites since the beginning and explained that his interest is definitely genuine, "I've come to like USC. You know, Junior Seau played there and every time they call the office or talk to me, everybody that's in the office, they're like ‘Man, USC'. They tell me a lot about it. Plus, they have great tradition, when you look back on everybody who came from USC. I was supposed to go out there to go to camp, but I broke my foot and the doctor said that going out there wouldn't be a wise thing so early." Lane Kiffin is the Trojan coach whom Crable has had the most contact with and the Ohio star has a positive impression of him, "Coach Kiffin, yeah, I talk to him on the phone. He seems like a pretty cool guy. We sit and we talk on the phone for twenty minutes or so, and we chat football, or we chat about the weather, and everything like that. Pretty much just get a feel for each other."
The Trojan staff obviously thinks very highly of Crable as evidenced by the fact that they discussed the possibility of the elite prospect wearing a certain number should he sign with USC, "I talked to them about the jersey that I wanted," he said. "I want to be #2 and they said, ‘you might think about wanting to be #55.' You know, the people who wore it get to pick and they said ‘you'll probably make it.' That's nice, but I kind of want to make my own decision. I want to kind of make a name for myself."
Also a stand-out basketball player, Crable plays center and averaged over 17 points and 9 rebounds a game last year. In fact, he's been pretty busy this summer on the hardcourt, "I've been playing AAU basketball. The 21st to the 26th, we'll be out in Vegas. We've got a tournament out there. I've also been playing basketball with the school," he said. "I want to go to college and play football and basketball. I want to go for football but then I want to try out, something to keep me busy."
Don't expect an early decision from Crable as he expects to take some official visits before he makes his decision, "I think by about the middle of the season I'll have narrowed it down," he said. "I'll take my visits. I want to go through with it and take my visits and everything. Instead of hearing about the colleges, I can see them and I can see if it's really what I want to do." Although he hasn't scheduled any trips yet, he does have two in mind already that he knows he wants to see, "I'm pretty sure I'll take one to USC. I'll take one down to Miami. Those are the only two I'm for sure going to visit."