Hardaway's Justin Crawford eyes big season in 2013

dmitchell@ledger-enquirerJuly 30, 2013 

Hardaway’s 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 there’s some high expectations for you guys this year. Has everything been coming along well over the summer, I guess?

Everything’s really falling into place, yeah.

What’s been the focus for you guys? I know you guys have a lot returning and have a good idea of what you’ll 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. We’re working a lot harder this year.

What’s the atmosphere like around the team right now?

Everybody’s just going 110 percent, giving it they’re all. We just feel real confident we can get farther than we did last year.

What’s it going to take to do that?

We need to be more physical. We just need to push, push, push.

Let’s 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 didn’t 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?

It’ll 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?

I’m not being cocky or anything, but I’m aiming for 2,000 rushing yards. I really feel like that’s something I can do.

That’s 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.

Any others?

Just those three.

Any others you’re hoping to hear from?

I’m not a picky person. (Laughing)

How exciting is it to already have those offers on the table?

Very. Very exciting. Can’t wait to get on the field this fall and keep getting better.

David Mitchell, 706-571-8571; Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports

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