Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Interesting Prospect

Among the kids coming in for tryouts during rookie minicamp stands a man that would naturally be near and dear to Tom Coughlin's heart.

The head coach is a big military guy. It's no secret that he enjoys the company of soldiers of any rank, as he's had a range from commanding generals to injured privates view his practices. So it's no surprise that Ball State defensive end Brandon Crawford should have been invited for a tryout.

Crawford, at 6-3, 272 pounds, is obviously there because of his on-field accomplishments. He finished second on his team with three sacks and 11 1/2 tackles for losses, earning All-MAC second-team honors. But it wasn't long ago that Crawford wore another uniform.

You see, he's 33 years old. He went into the Marine Corps in 1999, after a few years working in an automotive factory after a run-in with the law ruined his college chances after high school graduation in 1996. Crawford served until 2003, attending the Military Occupational Specialties School and posting at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock, N.C. while there.

He walked on at Ball State in 2006, and went on to start 39 consecutive games. And now, at 33, he has an oh-so-slim shot at earning a trip to Giants training camp.

"I can contribute leadership, character, maturity," he told the Kansas City Star before the draft. "A lot of those guys they bring in are younger guys, they’ve never been in this position before. I’ve spent four years in the Marine Corps. I know what it takes to be accountable.

"You have to have toughness, you have to have effort, you’ve got to be someone they can trust and can communicate with. You have to have loyalty to your team and your teammates, even when you’re off the field, by doing the right things the right way for the right reasons."

Pretty cool stuff.



  1. The NYT wrote an article on him last week before the draft. Very inspirational read. He seems to have a very supportive family and his faith is strong and unwavering.

    He's a feel good story and if he makes the team...well I have a feeling he might prosper. Even if he's in the league for a few years, he's accomplished his dream and that's something not many can claim in their lives. Good luck to him and let's go Giants!!!

  2. Shwartz wrote an article about him today and the attention he is getting is taking away analysis from players who may actually make the team. I want to hear more about Hunt, the other RB, and Randolph than some guy who got an invite to camp for no good reason. Before I get bashed football is about winning and this guy is 33.

  3. 33, yes, but thats not a 33 y/o NFL body with 10 years of wear and tear on it. worth having a look. whats the worst that can happen?

  4. He takes the spot of the next Wes Welker. This is serious business and pr stunts are not welcomed.

  5. "This is serious business and pr stunts are not welcomed."

    Pete Rozelle just turned over in his grave...the entire league is a PR stunt!

    Nice story.

  6. Okay, on the current roster and all of these invitees, who is this next Wes Welker? If Crawford is not good enough to make the team, he won't. I do believe the Giants front office has a commitment to win. I agree 1138sw, I hope he does well. Go Big Blue!

  7. I don't think the NYG got Micah Johnson, he did not appear in their press release. This guy was an all SEC player as a junior, stayed and had a bad senior season. My guess is that he signed with someone else.

  8. He'll never make the team, but of course, I'll be rooting for him.