Hardaways Justin Crawford played in only five games as a sophomore in 2012, sitting for the first half of the season while his transfer was being cleared by the Georgia High School Association.
In those five games, however, he put up monster numbers: 825 yards and seven touchdowns rushing. He had 1,243 all-purpose yards.
A 6-foot, 200-pound athlete, Crawford, who has two years left in high school, already has caught college coaches attention. He has scored three Division-I offers with more sure to come.
Crawford spoke with the Ledger-Enquirer on Tuesday about his excitement for playing a full season and goals for himself and the team in 2013.
I know theres some high expectations for you guys this year. Has everything been coming along well over the summer, I guess?
Everythings really falling into place, yeah.
Whats been the focus for you guys? I know you guys have a lot returning and have a good idea of what youll be. What was the focus as you guys worked out over the summer?
We just want to execute, work hard and fight until the end. Were working a lot harder this year.
Whats the atmosphere like around the team right now?
Everybodys just going 110 percent, giving it theyre all. We just feel real confident we can get farther than we did last year.
Whats it going to take to do that?
We need to be more physical. We just need to push, push, push.
Lets talk about you individually. You played only five games last year, but the numbers were really impressive. How excited are you personally to get a full year this year.
Very, very, very excited.
Three verys. I guess it was tough to sit out for part of last year?
It was hard. It was hard. It was almost to the point where I didnt want to play anymore. It was tough watching everybody and not being able to help the guys out.
What kind of impact do you feel like you can have for the full season? Is it just some consistency in the backfield, or what?
Itll help a lot because we can contribute more on the ground, which helps out the passing game. Hopefully, we can win more games.
Do you feel like you can keep up that pace you were on last year for a full season?
Im not being cocky or anything, but Im aiming for 2,000 rushing yards. I really feel like thats something I can do.
Thats an individual goal for you. As far as the team goes, you have to figure if you do that the team will be in a good place, too. What are the team goals?
We want to make the playoffs and worry about the rest when we get there.
Where do you stand in recruiting right now?
Louisville, Georgia and Alabama have all offered me.
Just those three.
Any others youre hoping to hear from?
Im not a picky person. (Laughing)
How exciting is it to already have those offers on the table?
Very. Very exciting. Cant wait to get on the field this fall and keep getting better.
David Mitchell, 706-571-8571; Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports