As one of six players to make the junior varsity/varsity swing team, freshman defensive tackle Aaron Crawford saw action on the Stone Bridge (Ashburn, VA) varsity football squad – one of the top high school football programs in the state – in the 2011 season. Crawford played a reserve role on the varsity his sophomore season before reaching starter status as a junior this past year.
“My junior year was kind of a breakout year,” said the 6’2”, 290-pound prospect. “I put in a lot of work in the offseason. We started running a new formation – a 3-5 – and I was the nose in that scheme. We’d switch it up as well and run a 4-3. I felt I was successful coming from where I was the previous few years. I was [a first-team all-Conference 14 selection]. I wasn’t first-team all-state (but did make the VHSCA all-state second-team), but I have another year left.”
Stone Bridge is used to competing for state championships, so when the Bulldogs fell to Broad Run in the 5A North Region quarterfinal last season, certainly the loss stung. While he was disappointed with how the 2013 season came to an end, Crawford soon had reason to feel better.
“I was in a bad mood for a week or so, but exactly one week [after the loss to Broad Run] I got the offer from Duke. That was the very best turnaround,” Crawford said. Duke was the first school to offer. “A week after that the UNC coaches told me I had an offer.”
Maryland, Old Dominion, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest have since offered Crawford as well. But what impact does Duke being the first to offer have on the talented defensive tackle’s decision?
“Just because they were the first doesn’t mean they are my automatic favorite,” Crawford answered. “Of course they were the automatic favorite when they first offered because they were the only ones to offer at the time, but I want to go out and see as many schools as possible before making a top list or making my decision or whatever.”
Crawford has visited Duke and he has also visited UNC, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. The trip to Tech came on February 8, when the Hokies hosted a Junior Day event.
“Tech was a different visit because I got to do down with one of my teammates,” Crawford said, referring to fellow junior Tanner Karafa. “They actually offered him while we were down there. I already had been...
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