Jamison Crowder was no secret heading into the 2013 Duke Blue Devils’ season as he was coming off of a 76-catch, 1,074-yard, eight touchdown season. That was good enough to put him on the Biletnikoff Award watch list heading into this season which is given to the nation’s best receiver.
It is highly unlikely that Crowder will win the award but he currently ranks 15th in the nation in receiving yards with 618 yards on 47 catches, which is good enough to rank seventh in the country. The 5-foot-9-inch Crowder has taken over the reigns as the team’s number one receiver after Conner Vernon left for the NFL. Crowder is on pace to haul in 94 passes for 1,236 yards.
Last season, Crowder and Vernon formed a formidable duo. This season, it has been Crowder that has carried the Duke passing game. Duke’s second leading receiver this season is Brandon Baxter who has 21 catches for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Even without a true secondary threat Crowder has managed to shoulder the load in the passing game and didn’t miss a beat when starting quarterback Anthony Boone went down with a broken collarbone and was replaced by Brandon Connette who is a little less consistent than Boone.
Crowder doesn’t have ideal size but he has excellent speed and is a threat to go the distance any time he touches the ball as evidenced by his two punt returns for touchdowns and his 297 yards on 17 punt returns. His two touchdowns and his 297 return yards rank first in the nation.
As long as Duke has Crowder in the lineup the passing game should continue to thrive as they search for that secondary target to take some of the pressure off him. Until that happens though, there is no reason to think Crowder won’t continue to put up the numbers he has been and now that Boone is back under center, exceed them.