ESPN 150 offensive lineman Tyrone Crowder (Rockingham, N.C./Richmond) would love to be able to get his recruitment over with as soon as possible. But unfortunately, he has not been able to fit any of his official visits into his schedule during his senior season. The 6-foot-2, 325-pound senior acknowledged his decision might not be made until signing day, depending on how quickly he can get his visits done.
The four-star prospect says two key factors stand out right now, with location not being one of them.
“A great coaching staff and a nice campus lifestyle,” Crowder said. “My family tells me that distance does not matter when it comes to me trying to achieve my goals.”
Crowder has two schools on top right now, with a nearby college also under consideration and a prominent national program trying to get in the mix with a recent offer.
“It is kind of even with Clemson and Georgia right now, and North Carolina is right there after them,” Crowder said. “Texas offered about a month ago but I have not really looked at them yet. They could be in there if I do check them out. I know Texas has a great program and I would like to learn more about them.”
Before the season is over, Crowder wants to take official visits to one or two of his top three schools, and he discussed just why those colleges are in his top group.
Clemson: “They have a great team and I really like what they are doing. It is a good academic school. My cousin Stephone Anthony plays there and he tells me how great things are there. It is kind of close to home and I used to live like thirty minutes from Clemson, so I still have some family right there. I communicate with Coach [Dan] Brooks, Coach [Robbie] Caldwell and Coach [Dabo] Swinney pretty much every week.”
North Carolina: “That is my top in-state school, and I just got done talking with Coach [Larry] Fedora, Coach Vic [Koenning] and Coach Kap [Chris Kapilovic] last Tuesday. Really they are just excited about me having them in my top group and they just want me to give them a chance. They think I can do big things for their program, and they want me to get down there for more games. They are making the best of what they came into, and they are trying to keep the best players in-state as they try to build things back up. They are probably recruiting me the hardest right now.”
Georgia: “They have a good chance with me. They are a very physical team and there is a great atmosphere around their campus. I talked to Coach [Will] Friend and Coach [Mark] Richt a week ago and they pretty much tell me to take my time with my decision, and if I need someone to talk to about anything in life, just to give them a call. They are great guys. They are selling me on having a chance to play with the best and against the best in the SEC. Georgia has the best campus I have seen so far. Just the support from the student body and the city makes for a great college atmosphere.”
In a regional game last year, Crowder was a force to be reckoned with. He had 23 knockdown blocks against his opponent, dominating the defensive linemen in front of him and likely leaving several battered and bruised the next morning. Crowder feels no remorse for his actions on the gridiron.
“Football is a violent game and if you are not prepared to play physical then you should not be out there,” Crowder said.
While the skill position players often get the glory, the Under Armour All-America game selection took great pride in his performance that night, calling it one of his favorite memories since he started playing football.
“It was a great feeling seeing my teammates getting excited about it because offensive linemen really do not get official stats like skill players and defensive players do,” Crowder said. "I do not really care about recognition, but I do think offensive linemen should get more than they get right now because there could not be any big plays on offense without the line blocking.”