We’re back again today with another edition of our 2017 Mountaineer football profile series. We’re going to be taking a look at one or two players every day leading up to opening week as we work our way through our position breakdowns and Fall camp analysis. Today we’re looking at...
Justin Crawford, RB, #25
Hometown: Columbus, GA
High School: Hardaway High School
Previous College: Northwest Mississippi Community College (Senatobia, MS)
How he got to Morgantown
Country Roads brought Justin Crawford to Morgantown from Northwest Mississippi Community College. While at NMCC, Crawford was the National Junior College Offensive Player of the Year. The well-rounded back turned down offers from Georgia, Louisville, Missouri, and South Carolina to play for Dana Holgorsen and the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Crawford’s first season at WVU came with great success. He gained over 1,100 yards and earned five touchdowns, while averaging over 90 yards a game. Crawford’s incredible junior season led to him being named the 2016 Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year.
Despite injuries, Justin Crawford rose to the occasion against Oklahoma last season in Morgantown. In a game with freezing temperatures, high winds, and snow, Crawford had 24 rushing attempts for a season high 331 yards for the game. Despite the loss and Sooner excuses that Crawford’s success was a product of their own mistakes, his effort that game showed not only his incredible athletic ability, but also his leadership skills. If he and the Mountaineers had avoided turning the ball over, that game could have had a different result.
Crawford’s talent will not fly under the radar this season. The WVU senior has already been named to the 2017 Maxwell Award Watch List. He is joined on the list by his teammate in the backfield, Will Grier. Crawford has also been nominated for the Doak Walker Award.
With Crawford being the lead running back for the Mountaineers, he can be expected to get more touches this season. This increase in rushing attempts should lead to even greater production for the senior. Crawford will hopefully produce over 1,000 rushing yards again for the Mountaineers, while also getting into the endzone more than he did in his first season in Morgantown.
From a personal perspective, a dream season for Justin Crawford would consist of exceeding his production of last season, while also balancing out the offensive attack. Crawford could also remain on the 2017 Maxwell Award Watch List and contend for that award as the season concludes. He would also need to stay healthy throughout the season to reach these achievements. Making it to the next level to play on Sundays is not out of the question for Crawford.
With Grier in the backfield with Crawford, there is great potential for the two to be a dynamic duo for the Mountaineer offensive. Justin Crawford could help lead the Mountaineers to their first Big 12 conference championship.
Tomorrow’s profile will feature someone sharing touches with Crawford, Kennedy McKoy.