Dallas Crawford, Wolverine

Dallas Crawford, Wolverine

November 16, 2010
Dallas Crawford (#4) committed to the Wolverines on Friday.

Last Friday Dallas Crawford called up Michigan’s coaches and told them that he would be joining their defensive backfield in 2011.  Crawford is current a quarterback/safety for South Fort Myers High School in Fort Myers, FL.  At 5’10” and 180 lbs., he’s a 3-star recruit to both Scout and Rivals, but a 4-star to ESPN.  He chose Michigan over offers from Georgia Tech, Iowa, Miami, North Carolina, South Florida, Tennessee, and West Virginia, among others.

Elite high school defensive backs often play free safety; opponents can fairly easily run and throw away from a cornerback for an entire game.  That holds true with Crawford as well, who racked up 10 interceptions as a junior and already has 8 this season (his team is still in the playoffs). 

As mentioned above, though, Crawford also plays quarterback.  I really like prospects who play quarterback for their high school teams – not only because teams usually put their best athletes at quarterback, but because quarterbacks are usually intelligent and have good awareness of the entire field.  That’s one of the main reasons I like Desmond Morgan as a linebacker prospect, too; when he’s not playing linebacker, he’s behind center.

I like what Crawford offers as a defensive back on his merits solely on that side of the ball, too.  He does a good job of going up to get the ball at its highest point, and he breaks on the ball quickly.  He’s also a quick-twitch athlete and can make people miss when he gets the ball in his hands, not a long strider like some of Michigan’s other cornerbacks.  Perhaps the most impressive thing about Crawford is that, despite his middling size, he’s a very solid tackler.  Many high school coaches don’t even want their quarterbacks playing defense, let alone flying into ballcarriers at full speed like #4 does.

I’m not sure how much Crawford’s commitment affects his teammate Sammy Watkins, a stellar wide receiver recruit.  The two are not a package deal and Watkins reportedly has Clemson as his leader.  Regardless, I really like the Crawford commitment.  He’s a playmaker at a position that currently lacks them.  I like him more as a cornerback than any of Michigan’s cornerback recruits in the last few years, save Demar Dorsey (who obviously never arrived on campus).  And yes, that includes the highly touted Cullen Christian.  How immediately Crawford makes an impact at Michigan probably depends on what position Troy Woolfolk plays in 2011 when he returns from that ankle injury, but Michigan finally seems to be gathering some depth at a position that sorely needed it.


  1. Comments: 21383
    Nov 16, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    Thoughts and prayers out to the Crawford family. His father suddenly passed away the very day he offered his commitment to Michigan. The Michigan families thoughts and prayers are with you.

  2. Comments: 21383
    Nov 16, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    @ Anonymous 8:58 a.m.

    I had not heard that. Wow, that's sad. Thanks for the info. My thoughts go out to him and his family as well.

  3. Comments: 21383
    Nov 16, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    Terrible news about Crawford's father. Wishing him and his family all the best.

    Magnus – if you like prospects that played QB in high school, how come you aren't higher on Courtney Avery?

  4. Comments: 21383
    Nov 16, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    @ Anonymous 10:48 a.m.

    I'm kind of coming around on Avery. One of my issues with him coming out of high school is that he hadn't played a ton of defense since he was the team's QB.

    He's done some decent things this year, and he's done some bad things, too. He does seem to be improving quickly, but I think we all can agree that he would have benefitted from redshirting this year if Michigan had any depth whatsoever.

  5. Comments: 21383
    Nov 16, 2010 at 6:52 PM

    I think we can all agree that most of our true freshmen this year could have benefitted from redshirting.

    I'm starting to like Avery as well. I'm definitely more pleased to see him on the field instead of Talbott or Christian, based purely on results.

  6. Comments: 21383
    Nov 16, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    "I really like prospects who play quarterback for their high school teams "

    I agree with this for sure. These players just seem to have a better overall awareness to whats going on.

    I'd be pretty shocked to see Woolfolk at anywhere besides CB. I think you'd need not one, but 2 CBs make a huge leap for Woolfolk to move. JT Floyd doesn't look like he'll ever be a quality starter. Ideally, he's the nickel back. That means that someone out of Avery/Christian/Talbott or a freshman has to step up just to fill one of the CB spots. I just don't see a 2 deep consisting of Avery-Floyd-Christian-Talbott as a desirable situation. I'd much rather see them stick with Vinopal/Johnson at FS again next year than Floyd starting at CB. And when the inevitable injury hits one of the CBs, I'd rather avoid the situation of switching Woolfolk once again. CB just doesn't have the depth to support putting Woolfolk at S.

  7. Comments: 21383
    Nov 16, 2010 at 8:13 PM

    I like and agree with the enthusiasm about Crawford. Sometimes you can read between the lines in these recruiting profiles and form expectations quickly.

    I think Avery is going to stick and end up being a 4-year starter. I think Cullen Christian is going to move to FS, unless M pulls in an elite recruit.

  8. Comments: 21383
    Nov 16, 2010 at 10:11 PM

    Isn't one of Christian's biggest weaknesses tackling? Why would FS make any sense?

  9. Comments: 21383
    Nov 17, 2010 at 5:39 PM

    Tackling is a skill that can be taught. Christian doesn't look like he has the fluidity and quickness to be a CB to me.I'm no expert though… FWIW His recruiting profile suggested a potential move to S for him due to a lack of top-end speed.

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