Running back Justin Crawford of was one of the national leaders in the junior college ranks last season.
Like any good running back, Crawford is always in a hurry with the football in his hands. But when it comes to this recruiting process, he is not. It’s to the point where Crawford will not sign on National Signing Day.
“I want to take my time with the process,” Crawford said. “If a coach really wants me to come play and contribute to the team, then they’ll agree with my decision and what I’m doing.”
Crawford (6-0, 198) played this season at Northwest Mississippi Community college, where he had 1,610 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. He also caught 29 passes for 394 yards and six scores. He was named the National Junior College Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Year.
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Crawford will take his first official visit this weekend to Missouri. He will visit USC on Jan. 29. After signing day he’s looking at visits to West Virginia and possibly Miami.
The signing period for football lasts until April 1, though most get the process out of the way Feb. 3.
USC recruiter Bryan McClendon has worked Crawford hard to get the Gamecocks in the game with him, and he’s looking forward to learning more about what they have to offer.
“I really don’t know too much about the school,” he said. “I do know it’s a good program and they like to run the ball, and that’s what I like. They said I would have a great opportunity there and I would fit in well with their offense and the things they do with my ability to catch the ball, not only run the ball.”
Crawford is a native of Columbus, Ga., and committed to Charlie Strong when he was at Louisville. He was ineligible for his senior season of high school football in 2013 because of his age. He enrolled at the junior college in 2014 and played two seasons, leaving him three years to play two.
Crawford said his top three schools are USC, Missouri and West Virginia.
News and notes
▪ Class of 2017 DB Brelin Faison-Walden of Greensboro, NC, was offered Thursday by USC.
▪ Miami coach Mark Richt on Thursday night had an in-home visit with WR Sam Bruce of Fort Lauderdale. Bruce is a USC target.
▪ USC target DL Aaron Thompson of Fort Lauderdale committed Thursday to Maryland. He was scheduled to visit Tennessee this weekend and USC on Jan. 29. He visited Maryland last weekend.
▪ DE Allen Cater of Kennesaw, Ga., announced via Twitter he would not be visiting USC this weekend “due to certain circumstances.” Cater has visited North Carolina, Arkansas and Indiana. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema made an in-home visit Thursday night.
▪ USC no longer is recruiting OL Jordan Johnson of Jacksonville. He was first recruited by USC by the Spurrier staff and the new staff picked back up on him in December. He had planned to visit USC this weekend. He has been to UCF and also has visits set with Virginia Tech, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech. He’s a former Georgia Tech commitment.