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Commitment train continues with blue-chip CB Shaun Crawford

Jun 15, 2014, 7:20 PM EDT

Cleveland Plain Dealer Cleveland Plain Dealer

For a recruiting class that many expected to be small, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. And while Ohio’s Shaun Crawford may only be 5-foot-9, no recruit has been bigger for the Irish. Crawford became the Irish’s fifth commitment of the past 10 days when he pledged to the Irish on Father’s Day.

Crawford joins defensive tackles Brandon Tiassum, Micah Dew-Treadway and Elijah Taylor, along with fellow Ohio cornerback Nick Coleman as recruits joining Brian VanGorder’s defense in the last two weeks. Add to that the May 30th commitment of linebacker Josh Barajas, and Notre Dame’s recruiting class has began to take shape over the past month.

Crawford chose the Irish over an elite offer list that includes Florida State, Miami, Michigan and Ohio State. He was committed to the Wolverines earlier this summer but an offer from Notre Dame changed all that. After visiting campus and being wooed by VanGorder and secondary coach Kerry Cooks, Crawford finally pulled the trigger on Sunday.

Crawford embodies the recruiting change that’s come since Bob Diaco took the UConn job. At cornerback, Diaco coveted size and height. That meant no offer to Crawford when he first visited, even with a lofty recruiting ranking. But Crawford gives the Irish a full-time player in the mold of Cody Riggs, a small, competitive, lightning-fast cornerback that can play both inside and out and contribute in the return game.

Crawford caught up with BlueandGold.com’s Tom Loy, detailing the decision to back away from a Michigan commitment and decide on Notre Dame.

“I’ve always loved Michigan. Even after I committed, I loved Michigan,” noted Crawford. “This isn’t about them, really. I just really felt at home with Notre Dame. Once they offered and I talked to Coach Kelly, I just knew that I needed to give them another look. I remembered my first experience at Notre Dame and I just wanted to see if I would have the same feeling when I visited a second time. I wanted to see if it was a one-time thing or if that was just the place for me. After my visit to Notre Dame and talking to Coach Kelly, Coach Cooks, Coach McCarthy, [running backs] Coach [Tony] Alford and the rest of the staff, I just knew that I needed to be at Notre Dame and that’s where I truly wanted to be. Michigan didn’t do anything wrong or anything negative. I can’t say that enough. I have nothing but respect for them. Notre Dame is just the place for me and I had to make the best decision for me.”

Crawford’s commitment makes 13 for Notre Dame. He’s a consensus 4-star prospect who has been invited to The Opening and will likely be back in South Bend for next weekend’s Irish Invasion.

 

 

  1. borromini - Jun 15, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    It’s been an awesome week and now there is a rumor on 2 ND sites that a RB has been kicked off the team for an off-field issue.

    Keith, have you heard anything?

    • Stethoscope Nunchucks - Jun 15, 2014 at 8:16 PM

      Links! Must have links!

      • landon929 - Jun 15, 2014 at 10:27 PM

        Looks like it’s Will Mahone…

        http://pii.mahoningcountyoh.gov/(S(0pzeta55ymm5c355mtx4xd55))/Booking.aspx

      • landon929 - Jun 15, 2014 at 10:33 PM

        @NDatRivals: Irish RB/WR Will Mahone was arrested on Sunday. Notre Dame has no comment at this time on Mahone’s status. http://t.co/mdb5FPpqK8/s/eZN9

      • bernhtp - Jun 15, 2014 at 11:06 PM

        Wow! Full “Cops” type mug shot with no shirt and all.

        Looks like the cops loaded up the charges (intimidating, assault on officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, vandalism government entity). I wonder what the original problem was?

        Looks like Mahone had an even worse night than Rees two years ago. The irony is that it is in Mahoning County.

        Disappointing.

    • johngaltisspeaking - Jun 15, 2014 at 9:16 PM

      Greg Bryant

      • mediocrebob - Jun 16, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        Nailed it

  2. lightskin350 - Jun 15, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    Crawford is a flat stud. Now comes the hard part is keeping him. He is our most talented recruit so far.

    • onward2victory - Jun 15, 2014 at 8:08 PM

      The kid looks great no doubt. And I’m no scouting expert, but just based on the highlight reel, I like Nick Coleman better. Granted, most of that is based on offensive highlights from Coleman, but he seems more explosive and faster than Crawford. Regardless of who is a better prospect, I’m stoked to have them both!

  3. nudeman - Jun 15, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    Well well well … couple years ago I seem to recall there was an ND QB who was involved in an altercation with a cop. He got a 1 game suspension and had his paper route cancelled.
    He was also teacher’s pet.

    So now we have Will Mahone, buried on the depth chart and involved in a bar fight of some sort.
    He’s been charged with everything from using bad language to carrying a nuke.
    Cops always over-charge in these type things so high possibility it gets bargained down to jaywalking.

    Let’s just see what Res Life and Kelly do with Will. I saw nothing about Will kicking a cop.
    1 half seems about right.

    • bernhtp - Jun 15, 2014 at 11:09 PM

      Manziel got suspended for the first half of the Rice game last year. Seems to have set a precedent.

      • nudeman - Jun 15, 2014 at 11:20 PM

        I just want to see them be as lenient and second chance-oriented with Will as they were with the other clown. Mr. Interception. And yes, he was a clown. If I had to answer for every dumb thing I did in college, I’d still be answering.

        Who knows what happened? Maybe he was put in a position of having to defend himself.

      • bernhtp - Jun 15, 2014 at 11:28 PM

        I tend to agree even though I don’t know what he really did. While many will read these charges and immediately pass judgment, I will wait because I have seen cops load up charges on kids doing little more than being a bit rowdy way too many times.

    • kansasirish - Jun 15, 2014 at 11:45 PM

      Nude, I agree with you 99% of the time and this time doesn’t differ but I think we’re all thankful that they gave MMF a second chance?

      • nudeman - Jun 16, 2014 at 11:49 AM

        Absolutely glad MMF got a 2nd chance.

        All I’m saying here is that Mahone deserves a second chance as well unless there is something really egregious we haven’t heard about. I feel bad for the kid – came to ND highly touted and just hasn’t been able to make it happen yet. He must be frustrated and disappointed and it would be very sad to see him get the boot. Not just because of the football aspect, but he’d also lose the shot at the ND degree. Life changing. I hope ND is charitable here.

      • landon929 - Jun 16, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        This story just got A LOT more interesting….

        http://www.southbendtribune.com/sports/college/notredame/football/notre-dame-football-reserve-will-mahone-arrested/article_21e90576-f503-11e3-a12c-001a4bcf6878.html

      • nudeman - Jun 16, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        Wow … Will isn’t going to be competing on the field any time soon.
        If all this is true, I’d guess he won’t serve jail time but will pay a fine, get probation, do community service and get sent to anger management or alcohol therapy.

        Could he come back to ND at some point? I suppose, but doubt it’s this year.

        I feel bad for the guy. We all have demons and some of us have more than others.
        Will’s demons won the battle that night.
        Hope he’s OK

    • johngaltisspeaking - Jun 16, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      Look guys you can’t have it both ways. Way too many Notre Dame fans are constantly talking about other schools having players who are arrested especially the SEC Schools. Notre Dame is no different. Many of these kids who commit to Notre Dame are still under the same social pressures and they all make dumb decisions. I have no idea what the kid did but as long as he didn’t try robbing a bank I think its safe to say it was just a bone headed incident. I think its very difficult to do anything High Schoolish today without getting busted. Whatever kid either wakes up and sees the light or he rinses and repeats.

      • onward2victory - Jun 16, 2014 at 1:01 PM

        Check ya facts, son.

        SEC Student-Athlete Arrests Since July 1, 2012:

        Missouri: 16
        Georgia: 16
        Texas AM: 15
        Mississippi: 10
        Alabama: 10
        Florida: 7
        Arkansas: 7

        In total, the SEC had 110 arrests. 84 involved football players.

        http://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-georgia-top-list-of-sec-student-athlete-arrests/

        ND is not immune to players getting in trouble. But don’t think for a second that we have the same level of incidents as the SEC.

      • mediocrebob - Jun 16, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        And think if Urban was still at Florida. What’d he have? 30 arrest in 5 years or something insane like that? Yet more often than not, a quarter or a half game suspension became the norm.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        well Stanford Ucla and Usc has note Dame beat. 1 arrested player is too much.

      • ibleedirish - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:32 PM

        johngalt, the best thing to do at this point is just admit you are wrong. ND isn’t even in the same category as the SEC when it comes to off the field incidents, and the nature of said incidents. The facts from onward just made you look silly.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:27 PM

        I disagree a good solid program is one that does not have trouble with the law. It isnt the number of arrests. Alabama had 12 and ND only had 6 so we are better. That is just such BS ! I haven’t read any criminal activity at Northwestern, UCLA, Stanford, Vanderbilt or Duke. The bottom line is when teams are winning big they also have high arrests. But the school still has the ability not to recruit these type of players. It looks to me that Stanford is a more Solid program then anyone in the country and Notre Dame is just as bad as the SEC. The sad thing about ND is we have trouble with our kids and we are still only winning 8 games. So go figure….

    • dillonbigred - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      After reading The South Bend Tribune, if only what he was doing before the police arrived is true, he should never see the ND campus again. Rees stupidly ran and was tackled, he was a lousy QB but it doesn’t appear he assoulted a police officer.

  4. jem5b - Jun 16, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    jgspeaking like a person with his head up his ass.
    Encouraging to note that you trashed a kid w/o any insight whatsoever.
    People like you make it less annoying when ND loses, the same with “nude” another ass wipe who can’t let his distaste of Tommy R go.

    • ndgoldandblue - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:06 AM

      Jem was a cartoon my sister used to watch in the 80′s. You should have gone with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. More manly.

  5. yaketyyacc - Jun 16, 2014 at 6:39 AM

    wowie. the big bad police got another ND football player. must have been hard for the Swat team to overcome a tipsy player. probably took all of their collective IQ of one to plan the capture.
    and I agree 100% with Nude.

    • ibleedirish - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      This isn’t even in the same zip code as the Tommy incident, and I’ve as hard on him as anyone. This is allegedly, multiple death threats, racist tirades, and violent behavior over the course of a sizable span of time. Doesn’t even compare, and to mock the police in this instance is disgusting.

      • ibleedirish - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        *I’ve been

      • dillonbigred - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:56 PM

        I wish I could give this many thumbs up. Sure, maybe all that is being reported is not true, but I don’t understand how anyone could try to minimize these criminal actions. I did 23+ years of law enforcement, but admittedly none as a street officer, these people seem to have no understanding of what the police have to deal with.

  6. iamgolden4life - Jun 16, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    Sounds like the young man has made some mistakes. I will not let it over shadow the fact that this 2015 class is coming together quite nicely 8 defensive & 5 offensive players thus far. We are in great shape right now, and by years end could land a top 5 class. Keith if you remember try to give a list of the recruits that will be attending the Irish Invasion this weekend, or how things went this weekend, we would appreciate it. Boy I hope we get @ least two of these three in Hilliard, Bilal, and Cornell. WeAreND

  7. irishwilliamsport - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    This class is coming together but we need a couple 5 star guys also. BK does a real nice job of recruiting for need and has replenished the D line in the last 2 classes with some big guys. I think Diaco had way too much say on the defensive side and passed on quite a few good players because of his quirks.

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