The commitment of Waldorf (MD) North Point linebacker Conner Crowell last fall was a welcome sight to the Ohio State coaching staff, because at the time he became the first linebacker commit in the Buckeye 2011 recruiting class.
Crowell, 6-foot-1, 220-pounds, suffered a leg injury in his last high school football game, so it's conceivable he could be a candidate to red-shirt in his first year at Ohio State. The departures of Ross Homan and Brian Rolle does open up two possibilities, but there are others waiting their turn.
Standing in the way are returners Eitienne Sabino, Andrew Sweat, Storm Klein, Dorian Bell, Jordan Whiting, Scott McVey, and others, although a few have experienced medical issues.
Crowell is a versatile athlete, and he is a player that could end up at any of the three linebacker spots at Ohio State, but a year in the strength and conditioning program certainly wouldn't hurt. He will need to get stronger at the point of attack, and needs work in coverage, but the measurables are impressive.
Right now, Crowell is more combine warrior than he is a football player, but is a player that should be able to combine his great physical skills with the coaching he will receive from linebacker's coach Luke Fickell, and become a productive player.
Crowell on his decision:
“I just wanted to be one of the first from Maryland to go to Ohio State,” he told BBS. “I was just trying to start a new pipeline for Ohio State. Coach Fickell said that they needed somebody to be the first and to help them start recruiting this area more so that they can start getting better players. This is a Penn State-dominated area.”
With that, the Buckeyes had their first verbal commitment in more than four months. Crowell is rated the No. 23 prospect at his position by Scout.com. Crowell added that a member of his team’s coaching staff is acquainted with Fickell and had been pushing the linebacker to the OSU staff.
Crowell’s announcement came before his team kicked off senior night Nov. 5. As the Eagles honored seniors from each fall sport team, Crowell went last. Cradling the microphone, he announced his decision to a packed house.
“I thanked all my friends and family and teammates and coaches and then I told them I’d be going to Ohio State,” he said. “Pretty much everybody just went nuts. The whole stadium went crazy. It was a good experience. It sounded like everybody was excited.”