Archive for Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bold statement

Crawford’s personal goal set at 2,000 yards

Kansas University Running back Jocques Crawford may not start for the jayhawks this fall, but the Cisco (Texas) Junior College transfer is still hoping to make a huge splash in coach Mark Mangino's system.

Kansas University Running back Jocques Crawford may not start for the jayhawks this fall, but the Cisco (Texas) Junior College transfer is still hoping to make a huge splash in coach Mark Mangino's system.

August 27, 2008


Kansas University Running back Jocques Crawford may not start for the jayhawks this fall, but the Cisco (Texas) Junior College transfer is still hoping to make a huge splash in coach Mark Mangino's system.

Kansas University Running back Jocques Crawford may not start for the jayhawks this fall, but the Cisco (Texas) Junior College transfer is still hoping to make a huge splash in coach Mark Mangino's system.

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It wasn't a guarantee, the way Joe Namath's was when he predicted the New York Jets from the underestimated AFL would win Super Bowl III. It even stopped short of a prediction. Still, when Kansas University running back Jocques Crawford stated in such a confident manner his individual goal for the impending football season, the words left the few listening feeling as if they had just stuck their fingers into a light bulb socket.

As a sophomore last year at Cisco Junior College in Texas, Crawford, a native of Memphis, rushed for 1,935 yards and 19 touchdowns. Sure, KU has a much tougher schedule than Cisco Junior College, but he'll have more talented teammates, too.

"I think we're a really good offensive line, probably going to be the best offensive line I've ever played with," Crawford said. "I can only imagine how many yards I could rack up with a good offensive line like that."

Crawford became more specific.

"Honestly, when I talk to my family members, the personal goal I set for myself is I would rush for 2,000," Crawford said. "That's my personal goal. I don't know if I'll achieve it, but that's my goal."

Three running backs (Central Florida's Kevin Smith, Tulane's Matt Forte, Ray Rice of Rutgers) reached 2,000 yards in 2007 and none of them teamed with as prolific a passer as Todd Reesing. Jake Sharp will share the running duties with Crawford, another factor making his goal seem on the lofty side.

"It's a high number for college running backs, but especially after working with my offensive line and seeing the holes they open up against our ones (first-string defenders), I just feel that some day even me or Jake can accomplish, we can accomplish 2,000 yards together," Crawford said. "I just feel we have a good line, so I feel we'll have a lot of rushing yards this year."

Brandon McAnderson (1,125) and Sharp (821) combined for 1,946 yards and 23 rushing touchdowns in 2007.

For now, Sharp is listed as first-string on Mark Mangino's depth chart, which lists Crawford second, which doesn't necessarily mean anything.

"We only put out a depth chart because there's a public demand for it," Mangino said. "It can change before the ink dries. But right now, Jake Sharp is a veteran guy. He knows the system. He knows what to expect. Jocques is new with us. He's still learning, but he's going to play. Believe me, he's going to get a lot of carries. He's going to play a role in this game. But based on maturity, dependability and understanding the offense right now, we feel like Jake Sharp can carry the load of being the starter at this point. But don't worry, Jocques will play a lot. He'll play significantly."

Crawford's blend of speed, power and shiftiness make him an intriguing back. So does his ability to come out of the backfield to catch passes.

"I think we complement each other," Crawford said of sharing time with Sharp. "He's more of a speed back. I'm more of an inside-the-tackle and guard back. If they put us in there at the same time the defense won't know what to do."

Mangino usually goes with a one-back set and the current depth chart doesn't eat at Crawford, the junior said.

"I've talked to some of my teammates," Crawford said. "I prefer not to start. He's been here awhile. He worked hard this summer. Why should I start? I just got here. As long as I get in the game, that's my main focus right now, just do what I can do when I do get in the game."

Flashy words from a guy whose stated goal is to rush for 2,000 yards don't necessarily translate to an obnoxious showoff on Game Day. When he scores his first Division I touchdown, don't look for Crawford to spin the football.

"I'm going to give the ball to the official and then celebrate with my teammates and then not do anything like dance or high fives or anything like that," Crawford said. "I've never been one to celebrate touchdowns."

He always has been one to score them.


Rickyonealku 9 years, 9 months ago

With Sharp and Crawford a combined 2,000 yards....that could happen...GO HAWKS....

Thats_messed_up 9 years, 9 months ago

Sorry the guy sexually assaulted a 14 year old. There's no denying that. He is who he is and KU was the only school desperate enough to allow him to represent their school. Maybe him and Sherron Collins can get together and compare notes.

OnlyTheOne 9 years, 9 months ago

Whatever happened to smiles on athletes? All these "sports" photos of the KU team members - any sport - are pretty close to mug shots.

Eric Beightel 9 years, 9 months ago

He was accused along with 3 other classmates of raping a 15 year old classmate. He plead to sexual assault. What he did was wrong and he copped to it. End of story. He has since moved out of that environment and started a new life. Who are we to deny him the ability to play football? Do you know that he is, in fact, a serial rapist? Have you spoken to this young man? Are you just assuming that because he made a poor decision as a kid that he is most likely to repeat it because it's "what he does?"Get over yourself. Let the kid try and have a life. If he screws up again, he forfeits all of the opportunities in front of him. Until that time, he is on a short leash...

Eric Beightel 9 years, 9 months ago

Thats_messed_up - the incident took place when Jocques was a senior in high school. This is over three years ago. He has paid his debt to society. The guy has kept his nose clean and deserves a second chance. Mangino has already proven that he will not tolerate off the field character issues. I don't forsee this being a problem.Additionally, KU was not the only school "desperate" enough to give him a chance. He was the No 1. offensive player in JUCO last year. There were plenty of schools trying to pick him up.

Eric Beightel 9 years, 9 months ago

Jocques wound up in JUCO because of the incident, yes. He had a terrible senior year and failed to qualify academically. That happens.I have no idea (and neither do you) if the victim thinks that Jocques should be playing football but that's not her call to make. He plead to his crime and the matter is closed. Denying him the opportunity to make something of his life through his natural abilities (he's already on NFL scout's radar) would further punish him beyond what the courts saw fit.The fact that his dad is a sex offender in no way shapes the future for Jocques. He is not "predetermined" to be a rapist any more than OJ Simpson's children are destined to be double murderers. There is no genetic cause for criminal behavior. It is a product of one's environment as much as anything else.I firmly believe that Jocques is trying to make a new life for himself. Why would you deny him that opportunity?

blahblahblah 9 years, 9 months ago

"not her call to make"...yes, it obviously is yours."denying him the opportunity to make something of his life"...yes, he can only play football to be successful. Maybe he should choose to counsel sex offenders who want to be rehabilitated as a career instead. He does seem to have oodles of experience in that realm."fact that his dad is a sex offender in no way shapes the future for Jocques"...never said he was predetermined, that was you. More likely to have a lifestyle similar to his father, yes. His dad was a football player, he is a football player. His dad is a sex offender, he is a sex offender.

packs_of_wild_dogzz 9 years, 9 months ago

It's football. He's suppose to look like he'll run your **s over if you get in the way.

blahblahblah 9 years, 9 months ago

Ah yes, the poor kid made a mistake. I'm sure the girl who was raped feels he deserves a chance to play football. If he is not a threat, then why did he attend Junior College rather than attending a D-I school out of high school? Oh yeah, that's right, no one would touch him because he was a sex offender, who happens to come from a family that obviously values women, seeing as how his father is a registered offender. Yes, by all means, give this kid a chance.

Thats_messed_up 9 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

blahblahblah 9 years, 9 months ago

Yes, Eric you are totally correct. Most rapists are not repeat offenders, and getting a slap on the wrist does fulfill one's debt to society. Moron.

lawrence5468 9 years, 9 months ago

Still....2000 yards? We have to see if the OLine can do anything first.

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