ESPN Jr. 300 ATH Crawford pledges to U-M

Shaun Crawford (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Edward), the No. 49 ranked prospect in the 2015 class, committed to Michigan on Friday. Crawford is the fifth commitment in his class for the Wolverines, and the third within the top 50 of the ESPN Jr. 300.

Crawford chose the Wolverines live via streaming video on ESPN.com over offers from Arkansas, Florida State, Illinois, Miami, Michigan State, Penn State and Tennessee among others.

“Finally having the chance to play at Michigan and touch that Go Blue sign before every home game is just breath taking,” he said. “I could always say I wanted to play for Michigan, but now I can officially say I will play for Michigan.”

He always has been a fan of Michigan, but being a fan doesn’t always mean that’s where a prospect ends up. Luckily for Crawford, Michigan was exactly what he was hoping it would be.

“Visiting there for the first time and then for the barbecue, they showed me the same attention. When I didn’t have an offer and then when I did, it was the same thing,” he said. “My family loved it, and the coaching staff is like a family to me. It was probably official for me, I knew it was Michigan after the barbecue when I hung out with all the other commits. That’s where I wanted to be.”

The 5-foot-9, 168-pound athlete was recruited as a cornerback for defensive coordinator Greg Mattison’s defense. Crawford is the sixth cornerback Michigan has taken in the past three classes, as it was a big need to fill.

He is listed as an athlete for a reason, though, as he will have the opportunity to potentially see playing time special teams. Crawford isn’t the biggest guy on the field, but he has speed and moves that make him an outstanding kick and punt returner for his high school team.

“The coaches haven’t said anything about special teams yet, but I’m sure I will do some returns,” he said. “I just have a natural ability to make plays. As much as I love defense, I love having the ball in my hand.”

He joins George Campbell (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake), the No. 3 overall prospect, and No. 20 ranked Damien Harris (Berea, Ky./Madison Southern) as the three ESPN Jr. 300 commitments in this class.