Texas Tech had searched all year long to add junior college defensive backs to its 2013 recruiting class to lighten the blow of losing all four starters from the 2012 secondary. As a result of the coaching change in December, the Red Raiders lost two JUCO defensive backs that had been committed for several months and were forced to start the search over.
2013 signees left to right: DB Dorian Crawford, RB Tyler Middleton and WR Carlos Thompson.
Ten days before signing day, Texas Tech found its guy, Dorian Crawford of Mt. San Antonio College (Walnut, Calif.), who had visited the Red Raiders the week before.
“I was looking at three other schools and went out to Lubbock on a visit,” Crawford said. “That was a wrap. I was fascinated about the football down in Texas. It’s a little bit different than in California. The fans down there are crazy. I was hanging out with my future teammates and they had their Texas Tech gear on and everywhere we went everyone was like ‘guns up’, even little kids and stuff. It was real cool. They’re always asking for pictures, asking for autographs. Football is basically a religion out there, I like that.”
After witnessing how much Red Raider nation values its team, Crawford’s decision was made. Like Texas Tech fans, Crawford has a deep appreciation for the game of football.
In fact, the game has played a major role in shaping him into the person he is today.
“When I was growing up, I really didn’t have many things going for me as a little kid,” Crawford said. “When I was nine or 10 years old, I was a hyper little kid, I ended up acting up, so I got into football at a young age and it always kept me in my place. My grades became better, I became a better person. Football helped me out a lot. Being around the coaches, I looked up to a lot of them as father figures. To me, it’s about being part of another family.”
During the Texas Tech Recruiting Review, coaches described Crawford as guy that is obsessed with the game of football, saying “that is all he talks about.” Knowing he will only have two seasons to make his mark on the program, and knowing the opportunity is available to be an immediate factor, Crawford is making the most out of every day in preparation for fall camp.
“Football means a lot to me and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon,” Crawford said. “…I’ve been doing a lot of workouts and training down here in San Diego. I’ve been taking care of classes online. I’ve been doing speed training mostly, working on change of direction and weightlifting…I improved my acceleration, it’s a lot quicker. I’m really seeing it when we do 1-on-1s. I can basically catch up to a receiver whenever the ball is in the air. I’m loving my acceleration right now.”
“My strength is looking real good right now too. When I went on my visit to Texas Tech, my weight was 190 pounds. Right now I’m a solid 205. I put 225 up 14 times (on bench press), my squats and power cleans are up. I’ve got my body fat down. I’m feeling blessed and real happy.”
The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder will start out at cornerback, but can play multiple positions in the secondary and could be moved around in different packages.
“The offense is going to be real crazy and the defense is looking good,” Crawford said. “(Defensive back coaches Trey Haverty and Kevin Curtis were) telling me we are young in the defensive backfield, but we got some players, some young dudes who are going to make a big impact. I just have to compete and that’s it. They know I can play, I just have to keep doing what I’ve been doing. I’m looking at that corner position on the left side.”
Crawford, who is set to move to Lubbock June 2, will room with running back signee Tyler Middleton of Navarro Junior College.
“We’re both JUCO transfers and we know what time it is, so that’s a good thing,” Crawford said. “…I just can’t wait to get there. I want to thank my weightlifting trainer Matt Lee as well as the best personal trainer, Alex Johnson. He’s the one that has me in shape with strength and conditioning and I want to thank my grandpa and grandma for always praying for me.”
“I also want to thank everybody at Texas Tech and in Lubbock for supporting me. You all bring out the best in me. Every day I’m just thinking about how many fans are going to be there and it pumps me up more and more every day. I know I’m going to love it.”