GTK: WR Decoldest Crawford follows Mickey Joseph to Nebraska
Louisiana wideout prospect Decoldest Crawford committed to Mickey Joseph and the LSU Tigers, but when the former Husker took the associate head coaching position at Nebraska, Crawford followed Joseph to Lincoln and committed to NU sight unseen. He trusted Joseph that much and wanted to play under his guidance in college.
Below is another in our series of "Getting to know you" features which we will be running on the members of Nebraska's 2022 recruiting class.
Position: Wide receiver
Current size: 6-foot-1, 180-pounds
Rankings: Crawford was rated a 5.7 three-star by Rivals, as well as the No. 23 prospect in the state of Louisiana and the No. 80 receiver recruit in the country.
Statistics: Crawford helped lead Green Oaks to three playoff appearances in his four seasons of high school. As a senior, he caught 30 passes for more than 200 yards with the Giants starting a freshman quarterback. Crawford caught 50 passes for 813 yards and six touchdowns as a junior. In his high school career, Crawford had nearly 150 receptions and more than 2,200 receiving yards.
Other schools offering scholarships: LSU, Penn State, USC, Michigan State, Arkansas, Missouri, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Kansas, Washington State and Louisiana Tech.
What do you do in your spare time?
“I just like to ride horses, play video games and get on social media. Yes, I do have my own horse and it is named 'Junior'. I keep it in a barn by my house. I have been riding horses since the fourth or fifth grade. I ride American saddlebred and trotters. I ride all around Shreveport. We have trails and stuff like that."
What food do you like the best?
“My mom's shrimp Alfredo."
What is your favorite television show?
“I really don't know because I don't watch much TV. I do like All-American and Undefeated."
Do you have a favorite movie?
“Little Rascals. The newer one. It's just a fun kids' movie."
What type of music do you listen to and who is your favorite musical artist?
“My favorite artists are NBA YoungBoy, Polo G, Lil Tjay -- I listen to a lot of rappers."
Who is your celebrity crush?
"I would say Miss Mulatto."
Who has provided great inspiration to you in your life?
"My mom and my brother. They push me everyday and make sure I stay on track. They make sure I am taken care of."
What person(s) from history or alive today would you most like to sit down and have dinner with?
“Sports-wise, I would say Davante Adams. He's a good receiver and I try to model my game after him. I would like to talk to him face to face and get a couple of pointers on what I should do to become a great receiver."
Do you have a nickname?
What is something very few people know about you?
“That I ride horses."
If football wasn’t an option, what would your dream career be?
"It would definitely be track or basketball."
Do you have a major picked out yet?
“Not really, but I like sports management. Or something like marketing."
Have you met all the academic requirements to enroll at Nebraska?
THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS
Who is your favorite football player of all-time?
“I would say Davante (Adams). I like his route running and ability to get open in coverages to make big plays."
Who is the best football player you've personally played against in a game?
“I haven't played against teams with many good players, but I have always been on teams with a lot of good players. I never have faced a really good cornerback. So, I would say my teammate Jacoby Matthews [Texas A&M]. He's a five-star safety."
What has been the most memorable moment on the football field so far in your career?
“Scoring a 99-yard touchdown my sophomore year. And, I would also say, when I caught the one-handed touchdown my sophomore year as well."
Which school are you most looking forward to playing against in college?
"Oklahoma and Michigan, but mostly Oklahoma. Is Iowa a big rivalry game? Then I would say Iowa, too."
Do you have a pre-game ritual?
“I just thank God before every game and pray up."
Did you play other sports growing up or in high school?
"Yeah, I played basketball, track and football. I ran the 4X100 and the 100m. I ran track a little my freshman year, and then we only had one meet as a sophomore before we were shut down for COVID. We haven't had a full track season in a couple years."
What is the one thing you most need to work on to play at the next level?
“I have to work on my route running and getting more separation. I really like to run a good route and if the cornerback is with me to jump over him to make the catch. But in the Big Ten, I have watched games and you've got to separate because they've got bigger guys."
How often do you work out and what is your routine?
“Right now, because of my hand, I haven't been very physically active or working out. I've just been running and doing stuff like that. I had dislocated my middle finger during warmups in one of our games. I caught a ball and looked at my finger and it was dislocated. I've got a week left and then I can start working out again."
[Note: this interview took place two months ago.]
What did you know about the Nebraska football program before they offered and started recruiting you?
"I know Coach Mickey Joseph went there, and I've also been following some of their players on social media. But I didn't really know about Nebraska until they started recruiting me with Coach Joseph."
Do you have any family ties to the Husker football program or the state of Nebraska?
How did you inform the Nebraska staff of your commitment?
"I talked to Coach Mickey Joseph. I mean, he was fired-up when I first called him because I was going to wait and sign until February to explore my options. But I was at school on the Tuesday before the Wednesday signing day and I said, 'I know where I'm going to go, so I'm going to just lock it in with Nebraska.' At first, I texted him and told him I was going to commit, but then he called me and said, 'Are you sure?'
"He came to my house earlier and talked with me and my mom and I was planning to wait to sign; but the Tuesday before signing day [in December] I told him I was ready. When I got home, my mom called him but he was in a meeting, so he put me on speaker with the staff and they loved it. Then I talked to Coach (Scott) Frost and stuff like that."
What were the major determining factors in your picking Nebraska and signing with the Huskers?
“Well, like I said, it was the relationships first. Coach Joseph has put a lot of great receivers into the League. He knows how to develop receivers as a coach and he's going to get the ball to you. So, I will have the opportunity to showcase my skills."
Which Nebraska coach do you feel especially close to?
“Coach Mickey Joseph. He was at LSU for a bit of time and coming into my freshman year I met him. So, I've known him since my freshman year, but he offered me a full ride my sophomore year. Him and Coach O. He just stayed in contact with me every day. He was always checking up on me and making sure I was good. We built a strong relationship. He's going to keep it real with you."
Did Nebraska’s weather factor into your recruitment?
"Well, it really didn't because it will be cold really anywhere you go. If you go to the NFL and some place like the Packers, you will have to play in the cold."
Did you make friends with any current players at Nebraska or incoming freshmen during the process?
“Yeah, a lot of the commits and signees text over Instagram and social media. A lot of the players there right now, the upperclassmen, said they're going to watch over me so that I keep my head on straight up there."
What did you think of Nebraska's season?
"I mean, it wasn't the best season, but it's a new season now. It's 2022. I like how the season will start off with the first three games. I feel those first three games will boost our confidence as a team. You know?"
Are you excited about getting to travel to Ireland for the Northwestern game?
"Oh yeah, I got that one in bold. I'm ready!"
A LOOK AT THE RECRUITING PROCESS
What's the funniest or craziest thing that happened to you during the recruiting process?
“The craziest thing was being a long-time LSU commit and then getting to a week before signing day when I de-committed."
What was your favorite moment during the recruiting process?
“It was receiving tons of DI offers."
What was the worst moment during the recruiting process?
“It was when Coach O (Ed Ogeron) was replaced."
What is one thing you learned that you would share with a recruit going through the process now?
"Always be straightforward with every school. Don't big-time any school. Just do the right thing and, in the end, everything will work out."
Which schools tried to get in the picture with you and wanted you to visit after you committed to Nebraska?
"The University of Texas in Austin, Baylor University and Houston. Also, Florida and Mississippi State."
Which school would you have chosen if you hadn't decided in favor of Nebraska?
“Oh, I would have definitely went to Texas. I liked how they threw the ball, and they had a real good freshman receiver, so I would have had the opportunity for early playing time there. I would have come in and there would have been competition, but I think I would have earned some playing time."
FUTURE AND GOALS
What position will you be playing at Nebraska?
“I'm playing receiver."
Are you expecting to redshirt your first year at Nebraska?
“No, I want to play as a true freshman."
What number would you like to wear at Nebraska?
What are your goals for your first year in college?
“I want to win Freshman of the Year. I want to make great plays on the field. I want to try to reach 1000 receiving yards. A lot of touchdowns, a lot of catches, and no drops. Be a great blocker, a great team guy with great character."
What will you bring to Nebraska as far as a strong point?
“Will first, you'll be getting a person with a respectful character. Second, you'll be getting a receiver who plays hard every play. One that is going to high point the ball and make great, contested catches. One who will get separation, show speed, and be physical. Just do everything a great receiver does."
Are you planning to attend the Huskers' Red-White spring game?
“Yes, I plan on coming up there April 8 for the spring game. My mom and older brother will be coming with me. Then, in May, I will be on campus."
What would you like to say to the Nebraska fans?
“I'm just ready to get to work. I know y'all are going to show me a lot of love, so I'm just ready to get to work. I love the fans."