Alabama State RB Isaiah Crowell an Intriguing Entry to 2014 NFL Draft

By Rick Stavig
Isaiah Crowell
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Well, this is should be a surprise to absolutely no one.

Former Georgia Bulldogs and current Alabama State Hornets running back Isaiah Crowell has announced he will forgo his senior season and instead enter the 2014 NFL Draft.  The reason it should come as no surprise is that when he enrolled at ASU he and coach Reggie Barlow had come to an acknowledgment of sorts that Crowell would play there only long enough until he would be eligible for the Draft.

And now it’s official.

What kind of prospect is he?  An intriguing one to tell you the truth.

Crowell was a five-star prospect coming out of Carver High School in Columbus, Georgia and elected to stay close to home to play for his in-state Georgia Bulldogs.

With returning vets Washaun Ealey transferring to Jacksonville State and Caleb King being declared academically ineligible, Crowell was thrust into the starting lineup early and immediately made an impact.  He finished his true freshman season rushing for 850 yards and five touchdowns en route to winning Freshman of the Year honors by the Associated Press.  At the rate he was going he looked like a future first rounder.

Then, the summer before his sophomore season, Crowell was arrested on three weapons charges, two of which were felonies.  He was charged with a felony count of possessing a weapon in a school zone, a felony count of altered identification mark and a misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon.  In layman’s terms he was pulled over on campus, the cops smelled marijuana, searched the car, and found a gun under his seat with the ID number shaved off.  Less than 12 hours after being booked he was thrown off the UGA team by coach Mark Richt, who had already been growing tired of Crowell’s antics throughout his freshman season.

Crowell then transferred to ASU where he met with coach Barlow and agreed to come there with the understanding he would be leaving as soon as possible for the NFL.  In the two seasons at ASU, Crowell was solid, rushing for 1,963 yards and 30 scores.

How does he stack up in this year’s running backs class?  I peg him in the 10-15 range, and that’s strictly based off his physical gifts. Considering his illustrious rap sheet and a history of immaturity he drops down into the 20s.

As a prospect there’s a lot to like physically.  He’s undersized (5-foot 11, 190-pounds) but is a tough runner who has excellent feet and lateral agility.  He doesn’t have an extensive history as a receiving option out of the backfield but has shown good hands when given the opportunity.  I don’t think he’ll ever be a three-down back in the NFL, but he could be a very intriguing option as part of a rotation.

All in all, some NFL team will probably draft Crowell in the later rounds and give him a chance just because of his talent.  But he’s an at-risk player.  Maybe he’s matured and seen the light, but there’s a very good chance he hasn’t.

He’ll just be the latest example of someone who wouldn’t be given many job opportunities in ‘real life’, but because he’s a talented football player he’ll have a chance to make millions while playing a game.

Rick Stavig is an NFL Draft Columnist for Follow him on Twitter @rickstavig or add him to your network on google+.


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