The countdown to kickoff is on. Over the 100 days before Texas takes on Maryland, we’re counting down the 100 best players the Longhorns will face in 2017. This series is all about impressing your friends at pregame tailgates and watch parties, so grab a notepad and buckle up.
Who is he?
A little more than a year ago, Morgantown fourth-mealers probably had no idea they were being served their crunchwrap by a star running back. To support his wife and two sons, Justin Crawford spent the month leading up to fall camp working the night shift at Taco Bell. Then he shredded Big 12 defenses for a total of 1,184 rushing yards, the most by any player returning to the league in 2017.
Crawford, who ran for 3,161 yards in two seasons at Northwest Mississippi Community College, is the lead back in a three-man rotation that rivals any in college football. The 6-foot, 202-pound Georgia native averaged 7.8 yards a carry in 2016, but injuries allowed freshmen Kennedy McKoy and Martell Pettaway to show flashes of their potential.
What should the Longhorns watch for?
Crawford arrived under the radar and didn’t need an adjustment period. There’s no substitute for experience, and he got plenty of that with more than 400 carries in JUCO. He’s great at changing direction on a dime and leaving defenders in his wake both at the line of scrimmage and in the open field. With limited experience up front, expect him to use that elusiveness even more often, resulting in at least a few spellbinding highlights.
An ankle injury limited Crawford toward the end of the season, and he only received three carries for 12 yards against the Longhorns. The next week, he ran for 331 yards against Oklahoma.
Catch up on the series
No. 14: Dalton Risner
The post Top opponents for Texas in 2017, No. 13: West Virginia RB Justin Crawford appeared first on HookEm.
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