UVa added yet another commitment to the 2005 recruiting class when Gar-Field defensive lineman Kevin Crawford verbally committed to the ‘Hoos. Crawford, who chose UVa over offers from Syracuse and Kent State and interest from Maryland, Clemson, and Virginia Tech, becomes the 12th player to commit for the 2005 class.
“He committed to Virginia last night,” Gar-Field Head Coach Joe Mangano confirmed. “I think he was leaning to Virginia the whole way. He went up to the Spring game and really enjoyed the visit. I asked him what he really liked about Virginia, and he said he just felt really comfortable there. He also said he was impressed with the graduation rates there. He’s pretty excited.”
Crawford transferred to Gar-Field High School from Brooklyn, New York, his freshman year. The 6-4, 275 pound prospect played high school football for the first time last season, when he played defensive tackle on the varsity squad. Coach Mangano is excited about the potential his athletic big man exhibits.
“Last year was his first year playing at Gar-Field High School,” Mangano said. “It was pretty much his first year playing football. He was a basketball player. He has a power forward type of body. As much potential as he has, he does have a lot of work ahead. He has a lot to learn, and he needs to be more consistent. I really think the sky’s the limit for him though. There aren’t too many 6-4, 275 pound guys who can run below a five flat in the 40 and jump over a 30-inch vertical. He’s also extremely strong in the weight room.”
According to Mangano, UVa is recruiting Crawford as a defensive lineman, likely a defensive end in the 3-4 scheme.
“The word is defensive end,” Mangano said. “But he’s such an athletic kid, he could play a lot of different positions. He could add a lot of weight and grow into a nose tackle. He could be a offensive tackle. It all depends where you need him to play. I think UVa is looking at him as a defensive end though.”
Academically, Crawford has some ground to make up, though Mangano feels he will be able to do so.
“He needs to do a couple of things academically, but I wouldn’t say he’s far off at all,” Mangano said in an interview last week. “He’s made a big improvement since his freshman year.”
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