PAHOKEE – B.J. Crawford will not be satisfied until he gets a state title ring in December.
The Pahokee Blue Devils 2017 offensive/defensive lineman has experienced some high points and low points with the fabled program over the years. But from this point on, anything less than greatness is unacceptable.
If anyone spends even a little bit of time with the Pahokee program, it’s all Crawford, his teammates, and his coaches care to talk about. After all, the Blue Devils are six-time state champions with a rich supply of pride, talent, and heart.
“It’s going to take a full team effort, coaches included, to make it to state,” Crawford said. “I only want ballers playing beside me who will go after it every play on one accord. I have to lead by example. That’s why I won’t let anyone outwork me at anything.”
The Blue Devils captain has seen his hard work and determination pay off with three scholarship offers from UNC Charlotte, North Carolina Central, and Glenville State. The 6’3″, 290-pound two-way lineman has also received interest from the likes of Nebraska, Illinois, Wake Forest, Marshall, FAU, and Appalachian State.
Crawford offered his take on how the recruiting process is currently going for him.
“To be honest, I really think recruiters want to see me in person to feel me out,” said Crawford, who took a camp visit this past weekend (July 14-16) to Wake Forest. “They want to see how good I am. That’s why I have been camping hard this summer. Many schools stopped by this spring to see me, but they just wanted me to show team how bad I really want it.”
Crawford, who has a 3.5 GPA and an ACT score of 20, is fully qualified for college football with the NCAA Clearinghouse. The Pahokee product made himself even more recruitable by his series of summer camp appearances at the Michigan Satellite Camp (June 3; St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale), Palm Beach Bash (June 9 in Jupiter), and the Down and Dirty Camp (late June).
“The camps this summer have been great,” Crawford said. “I learned many new fundamentals and I’ve also had a chance to polish up my techniques. It has helped me to learn new things that are being coached at the next level.”
With fall football practices slated to start in less than two weeks, Crawford fully realizes what is at stake for his hometown program this year.
“I believe we have a good group of captains that will match my intensity every time we step on the field,” he said. “Great team leadership is what we really need to get back to Orlando.”
Pahokee won the District 8-1A title last season, its first district championship since 2008. They were eliminated in the first round of the Class 1A playoffs last November by Dixie County (16-13 overtime loss at home).
Stay tuned for further updates on Crawford’s recruiting process, as well as his team’s overall progress, throughout this upcoming season and beyond.